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Duke’s Young Guns defeats friendly rival Duke’s Elite to claim 2023 AA crown at @Victory_Events Liberty National Classic

Monday, 28th June 2021

Categories Boy's/Men's, Club  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 6/28/21

FREDERICA, Del. – Don’t make the mistake of calling Duke’s Young Guns the “B” team in the Duke’s Lacrosse Program.

Duke’s Young Guns leaders (from left) included Trent Layton, Nathan Bradley, Nolan Tully and Zack Paterno

On Sunday Duke’s Young Guns proved its mettle by defeating Duke’s Elite, 9-6, in the championship game of the Victory Events Liberty National Elite Classic at the Delaware Turf Complex.

The Young Guns won all six of its game, including a 7-4 triumph over Duke’s Elite in the first game of pool play Saturday.

In the title game, Duke’s Young Guns broke open a 3-3 tie by scoring late in the first half on a two-man advantage and then adding two more goals to open the second half. Duke’s Elite never got closer than 2 goals.

“They definitely didn’t expect to come out and lose to use the first game yesterday and I think they wanted to prove something to us in the second game,” said Nolan Tully (Haddonfield), who had three goals for the Young Guns. “But we did the same thing and Trent (Layton) stepped up on the faceoffs.”

Layton with great wing work, helped neutralize Duke’s Elite standout Owen Bosak and the Young Guns’ defense never allowed the Elite attack to get on a run. Last week at the Victory Events Summer Slam, Duke’s Elite rallied in the second half to topple PA Roughriders for the 2023 AA crown.

“Our defense played lock down, that was a big part of it,” said Layton (Academy of the New Church). “It came down to faceoffs and my wings did a ton to help us win.

“We rolled the ball around well and looked for the best shot.”

Duke’s Young Guns won the 2023 AA championship at the Victory Events Liberty National Elite Classic

Nathan Bradley (Academy of the New Church) said the Young Guns have played together for years and enjoy playing for their coach Jack Forster (also coach at Academy of the New Church), the Co-Coach of the Year in 2019.

“I like playing for Coach Jack, it’s a fun experience,” said Bradley. “I know some of them (players on Duke’s Elite) and I have played with some of them and I feel when we beat them yesterday, the groundballs were important. Same with today. Our team defense was good, we all worked as a team. it was fun, a big game.”

Young Guns goalie Zack Paterno (State College HS) made several key saves in the second half to help stymie Duke’s Elite.

“In the first half we went man down and they started going on runs, so I felt we needed big stops to keep the momentum on our side,” said Paterno. “We really have great team chemistry. We have been playing together a long time and it just works.”



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