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Philly boys win Command championship at All-America Underclass tourney with second-half comeback over Washington DC

Monday, 1st August 2022

Categories All-Star Games, Boy's/Men's  
 

By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/1/22

Owen Mears admits that undefeated and top-seeded Team Philly was not playing to its ability in the first half of Sunday’s All-America Underclass Command championship game vs. Washington D.C. in at Elkridge, Md.

“They played well and we just weren’t playing at the level we did the whole weekend,” said Mears, a Malvern Prep 2025 attackman who was named the game’s MVP. “We kind of needed that halftime for the coaches to reset us.”

Philly did just that, outscoring Washington DC, 9-0, in the second half en route to an 11-6 victory for its first Command title. Later Sunday the Philly boys’ Highlight completed a rare sweep for one region by toppling New Jersey, 16-4.

Team Philly Command got the second half comeback started at the faceoff X where Griff Meyer (2025; Haverford School, all-tournament) and Brayden Lasensky (2025; Salesianum School) stood out.

Vaughn Smith (2025; Malvern Prep) scored to make it 6-3, and all-tourney defenseman Gavin Cooper (2025; Haverford School) had a takeaway that set up a transition goal by Michael Ortlieb (2025; Malvern Prep). Evan Large (2025; Haverford School) made it 6-5 and Mears tied up the game at 6-6.

Tourney MVP and LSM Aharon Bloshuk (2025; Academy of the New Church) put Philly up, 7-6 and Mears (three goals) soon made it 9-6 after forcing a turnover off a tough ride.

Once again, Philly’s defense was strong and the clutch goalie tandem of Colin Decker (2025; Haverford School) and Cam Taylor (2025; Salesianum School) was steady. Michael Ortlieb (2025; Malvern Prep) also was a force on attack all tourney.

“Everyone was sharing the ball and the next thing you knew we had a big lead,” said Mears. “We were down 6-2 in another game (against Upstate NY) and ended up winning, 11-6. Everyone just came together.

“I think our coaches (Brian Dougherty, Jack Forster, GT Corrigan and Brendan Dawson) were great. I had never played for them before – only against them – and they were awesome.”

Dougherty said his team had balance and depth and was able to make monumental runs in the second half of many games, especially the last three.

“We had a lot of guys get into the action,” he said. “I don’t think we gave up any goals in the second half of the last three games – and we had like 30 goals in those halves. The kids really pulled together. Obviously these were good teams we played, but we had some fantastic runs every game.

“Coach Dawson made some great defensive adjustments. “I think we did a lot of the little things well.”

Command champion Team Philly

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