TUKWILA, Wash. – In its first game following a defeat to Canada in the FIL World Championships this July, the U.S. Men’s National Lacrosse Team battled through a sluggish start for a come-from-behind 17 – 14 victory over Notre Dame in the third annual Seatown Classic, Saturday at the Starfire Sports Complex just south of Seattle.
Giving up seven straight goals to start the game to a high powered Fighting Irish squad that finished as the NCAA Men’s Division I runner up last spring, the Seatown Classic record crowd of 3,657 saw Team USA rely on the experience of seasoned professional players and a well-executed clearing game to fight back into contention.
“The bounces weren’t going our way. But no one pushed the panic button,” said Team USA’s Marcus Holman, a standout attackman from North Carolina playing for the Ohio Machine of Major League Lacrosse, who finished the day with a pair of goals.
Following a time out by U.S. co-coach Jeff Tambroni with just under 7 minutes remaining in the quarter and no goals on the board, the game began to swing back in the American’s favor.
Taking a well-timed pass by attackman Jordan Wolf, the U.S. finally found the net with attackman Ryan Young beating Irish goaltender Conor Kelly at 2:59 to make it 7 – 1. The goal was followed just over a minute later by Portland native and 2012 Tewaaraton Award winner Peter Baum to close the gap to 7 – 2.
After narrowing its deficit to 7 – 6 on its sixth straight goals, The U.S. gave up another three to the Irish to close the half at 10 – 6.
But it was non-releasable targeting penalty midway through the third to Irish junior defender Edwin Glazener that let the U.S back in the game. Glazener’s ill-timed hit in front of the net on Team USA’s John Locascio opened the door to an eight-goal U.S. run and hushed Notre Dame’s strong start.
With Glazener confined to the sidelines and the Irish hanging on to 10-9 lead after giving up goals to Kieran McArdle and Holman, Wolf, who was tapped for second player of the game honors with five points (3g, 2a), connected for the second of two straight over the next minute to knot the game at 10 – 10 with 3:42 to go in the third.
Holman then connected for the first of two goals to give the U.S. its first lead of the contest with 2:50 to go in the quarter. He earned first player of the game honors for his six points on the day.
“Once we started getting used to each other it started clicking,” said Holman, one of eight carry over players on Saturday’s U.S. team roster from the silver medal world performance in Denver.
To close out the third, the U.S. then reeled off another four strait extra-man goals on shots by Garrett Thul, Locascio, Ryan Young and Will Manny to take a 15 – 10 lead into the final half.
Notre Dame, which took advantage of a rusty U.S. squad opening the game with seven straight goals, made a run in the final set outscoring the U.S. 4 – 1, but its final goal, a shot by sophomore attackman Anthony Marini that beat U.S. goaltender Adam Ghitelman, was never able close ground on the older, more experience Team USA squad.
“We pushed the tempo early on and picked are spots well, said Irish junior attackman Matt Kavanagh, who earned the third player of the game honors for his team-leading three-goal, two assist performance.
“A lot of guys stepped up. Especially P.J. Finley and John Travisano on faceoffs,” said Kavanagh. “I thought we did a pretty good job.”
Matching the U.S. nearly shot-for-shot in the first, Notre Dame reeled off 18 shots in the first to 20 for the U.S., but managed just seven in each of the final quarters finishing the contest with 14. The U.S. had 17.
“They’re going to be a great team,” said Baum, who twice earned prep All-America honors at Portland’s Lincoln High School before starring at New York’s Colgate University, who was making his first appearance for the U.S. National Team.
“It’s only our first game,” Baum said. “It’s just lacrosse.”
Irish sophomore Sergio Perkovic, who delivered five goals for Notre Dame in last spring’s NCAA championship game appearance, had a single goal and six assists for seven points on the afternoon.
Paul Rabil, a standout defenseman for the Boston Cannons, was nursing a fractured left foot and did not see action in the game but was on the Team USA sidelines throughout the contest.
“I’m chomping at the bit to be back with Team USA after Denver,” said Rabil who led the former NLL Washington Stealth to the 2010 National Lacrosse League box championship while playing in Everett, Wash. just north of Seattle.
“It’s good to be back in front of lacrosse fans in Washington state,” Rabil said.
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Scoring Detail: USA 17, Notre Dame 14 (Jordan Wolf, USA, 2 goals, 3 assists, 6 ground balls; Marcus Holman, USA, 2 goals, 4 assists; Ryan Young, USA, 3 goals, 1 ground ball; Kieran McArdle, USA, 2 goals, 1 assist; Peter Baum, USA, 2 goals; Will Manny, USA, 2 goals, 6 ground balls; Garrett Thul, USA, 1 goal, 1 assist; Drew Snider, USA, 1 goal, 2 ground balls; Brett Schmidt, USA, 1 goal, 1 ground ball; Jeff Reynolds, USA, 1 assists, 1 ground ball; John Locascio, USA, 1 goal, 3 ground balls; Matt Kavanagh, ND, 3 goals, 2 assists, 1 ground ball; Sergio Perkovic, ND, 1 goal, 6 assists; Mikey Wynne, ND, 3 goals, 1 ground ball; Ben Pridemore, ND, 1 goal, 2 assists; Cole Riccardi, ND, 2 goals, 1 ground ball; Jack Near, ND, 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 ground balls; Conor Doyle, ND, 1 goal, 1 assist, 1 ground ball; Eddy Lubowicki, ND 1 goal; Anthony Marini, ND, 1 goal; Will Corrigan, ND, 1 assist)
About Lacrosse in Washington State
Lacrosse has over 100 years of history in Washington state with clubs playing in the early 1900s and high schools now in their fourth decade of state competition. With Native American origins, lacrosse is one of the oldest organized sports on the continent and today is considered the fastest growing sport in America. In Washington state, some 4,000 student-athletes attending over 200 high schools play prep lacrosse, while another 6,000 play lacrosse at the youth, adult and collegiate club levels throughout the state. For more information on high school lacrosse in Washington state visit http://www.WashingtonHSLAX.com.