LAKE PLACID - The FCA National Team beat the SweetLax national team 12-8 to capture the under-18 Gold Division championship Wednesday at the Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Classic.
"It means a lot (to win the championship)," said MVP Drew Supinski of FCA. "This week we all met on Saturday and really from then on we started bonding as a team, and our main goal was just to be all in, and we really wanted to come up here and win and try our best."
This was FCA's fourth-straight title in this division.
FCA’s Timmy Kelly shoots on goal against a trio of SweetLax defenders Wednesday during the Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Classic under-18 Gold Division championship game at the North Elba town fields in Lake Placid. Kelly scored three goals.
Mike Lynch/Lake Placid News
A midfielder who attends John Hopkins University, Supinski scored two goals. His coach Drew Wardlow said his hustle was a big key to the game.
"He was instrumental in playing defense, clearing," Wardlow said. "He just kind of took the whole game over for us."
FCA gained momentum early in this game, scoring a barrage of goals to get a 6-1 lead before SweetLax could get their offense going. But then just as quickly, Sweetlax gained momentum and came charging back to tie the game and eventually take the lead for a little while.
"Their face-off guy started to win and get possessions, so we couldn't get the ball back," said Wardlow about the momentum shift. "We went up (6-1), and then I think they chipped off six in a row and won, I think, every face-off in between that, and that really helped them. Then Charles Kelly, our face-off guy, started to figure it out. We started to get some saves and we just kind of chipped away at it."
FCA was led on offense by Timmy Kelly, who racked up three goals, including two in the second half when the teams were battling for the lead. Alex Roesner also had a pair.
The game was tied 6-6 at halftime when SweetLax's Don Aitken scored on a pass from Bradley Voight.
After SweetLax took the lead, FCA broke its midgame scoring drought when Curtis Zappala found the back of the net to tie the game at 7. The teams then traded another pair of goals, before FCA rallied to score the final four.
In the U19 division, the 3d New England College Prep team outlasted the Baltimore Crabs 9-7 in a tight game.
3d coach David Jenkins was ecstatic with the victory and credited his team's big heart for them being able to pull out the victory.
"Our kids cared a lot about winning, and the ground balls and the little things that we did made the difference," he said. "I think that's what it comes down to. We were willing to bend our back and pick up some ground balls at the end of the day."
3d was led on offense by midfielder Pat Fraser, attackman Joe French and midfielder Morgan Cheek, who each scored twice.
The biggest goal of the game came from Cheek, who scored late in the second half to break a 7-7 tie. The goal came on a long possession after a 3d timeout. Cheek picked up a loose ball at the end of the possession and bounced it into the net.
"The gameplan was to finally hold the ball a little bit," Jenkins said about the possession. "I think we were trying to rush things a lot, and we actually just started to get some possession, some movement, like we were telling the guys to do all week, so I think they finally settled down a bit and moved like they can."
Cheek said getting possession of ground balls was the key to this victory.
"First off, I think they thought they were going to walk all over us," he said. "We're younger and everything. We just kind of grinded out the win there at the end, ground ball and whatnot. I would say ground balls were probably the key."
3d defenseman Eric Persky was named MVP for the age division. Jenkins said his hustle was key.
"(He's )tough as nails," he said. "I don't think anyone this week wanted to go against him. In the huddles, he's just a leader and that's why. You can always count on Eric Persky to pick up a tough ground ball and do the little things right."
Overall, Jenkins said it's great being a part of this lacrosse tournament, which attracts hundreds of players.
"It's phenomenal, playing against this kind of talent up here," Jenkins said. "Every team we come up against has amazing players, freshmen that are going into their sophomore years in college, and they are just special athletes. So to get out here and to be able to compete out here, it's such an amazing setting is a special time for our kids."
3d New England College Prep 9, Baltimore Crabs 7
MVP: Eric Persky
Sportsmanship: Matt Ryan
Boys U18 Gold
FCA National Team 12, SweetLax National Team 8
MVP: Drew Supinski
Sportsmanship: George Loring
Boys U18 Silver
FCA 2016 10, Long Island Outlaws 1
MVP: Caleb Espinoza
Sportsmanship: Shane Brennan
SweetLax 8, Long Island Express Orange 6
MVP: Lucas Quinn
Sportsmanship: Andrew Barkley
FCA 12, Mass Elite Red 9
MVP: Taylor Gebhardt
Sportsmanship: Keeley MacAfee
Long Island Lady Eagles 11, Salt City Snipers 7
MVP: Madison Sanchez
Sportsmanship: Maya Chiesa
MVP: Eliza McCaul
Sportsmanship: Katie Shanley