Clam 2019 NapTown Overview:
The 2019 Clam squad had a solid week down in Annapolis going 3-3 overall, a 3-3 that could have easily been 5-1 with a few different bounces or swings.
The tournament started on Monday and from the start we could tell that this was a very competitive field. We opened up with a somewhat frustrating 9-7 loss to a talented Madlax team out of Virginia. This game simply came down to finishing which would be a trend for the rest of the afternoon. We followed that game up with an equally competitive 8-7 loss to the Edge out of Canada (it’s worth noting that both of these teams made it to the championship with Madlax prevailing).
After a very well run seeding reveal and an awesome pep talk by Lars Tiffany (Virginia), we learned our fate for the Tuesday playoff run. We would open up at 8am against a gritty True National team. This was a hard fought game that we won 8-7. Our playoff run came to an end with a 10-5 loss to the Annapolis Hawks, in which we gave them a 4-0 cushion out the gate and simply couldn’t recover.
We won our next game over another New England foe and national power, Eclipse, in yet another one goal game (8-7). This game was followed up by defensive dominant victory over a Freedom Lacrosse program.
Overall this squad showed us some true grit and came back from some tough deficits. I think they showed us, as well as the rest of the club lacrosse world, that they belong on the national stage.
The team was led by the two headed monster of Ethan Barnard (St. John’s Prep) and Gavin Bergeron (Littleton HS) who dominated at the X from start to finish. It is likely that these one goal games would have different outcomes without such a dominant performance by these two young face-off men.
Michael Nassif (Millbrook) emerged as a true leader on this team making some fantastic saves and simply regulating a defense that held some very talented teams to low scores. With only five poles, we really needed to dig deep on the defensive end. Timmy Roberts (Governor’s), Charlie Peck (Rivers), and Johnny Goudreault (Dover-Sherborn HS) were dominate on the back end of the field and all three made some awesome plays in transition as well. Martin Folan (BC High) and Andrew Sanderson (Rivers) were absolutely fantastic between the lines, helping Bergeron and Barnard on the wing and pushing transition.
The offense was led by Anthony Forziati (Wakefield HS) and Michael Lampert (Wayland HS). Forziati returned to his true form and put the team on his shoulders at times. Lampert had a truly break out weekend and scored some highlight no angle goals at integral points.
We are very excited to carry the momentum gained in Annapolis up to Philly this weekend.
2020 Naptown Overview:
The 2020 Clams enjoyed a great run at the Naptown Challenge finishing the week with a 4-2 record on a pair of hot humid days against some of the top competition in the country.
The tournament led off on Monday were the Clams squared off against The Rock, a Baltimore based team, and LB3 Thunder, the top team in Georgia. The Clams began the day with a controlling victory over The Rock by a tally of 6-2. Riding that overconfidence, we fell behind in the first half by a count of 5-1 against LB3 Thunder in our second game before mounting a strong second half comeback. After drawing within 1 goal, a few bounces returned possession to the Atlanta team who was able to sneak out the victory by a 2 goal margin. This loss, combined with factors we don’t fully grasp, yielded a 15 seed out of a field of 22 teams for the single elimination playoff the following day.
Understanding that this seed would require 4 victories in the day to earn a spot in the finals, the team was motivated by the fact that they underperformed the previous day and were left with a difficult path. Starting the day, we faced off against Igloo, a Long Island team who the Clams controlled by a margin of 6-2. The Clams then faced the Annapolis Hawks, the host of the tournament, the number 2 seed, and a program that Clam teams have struggled to defeat. Despite the underdog status, the Clams jumped out to a 3 goal lead before the hawks tied the score. Another few goals gave us a late game margin but the Hawks never gave up, tying the score with seconds on the clock and forcing overtime. Despite losing the first possession, the defense earned the ball back giving the offense a chance at sudden victory. Peter Kip (Thayer) emerged through a pack of ferocious Hawk defenders and netted the game winner for a jubilant group. Pushing forward in the bracket, the Clams then faced Eclipse, a Connecticut team and the only other New England representation at the tournament. In a back and forth contest, the Clams once again found themselves in overtime and Eclipse on the offensive. Another immaculate defensive stand once again yielded a chance at glory. This time, it was Antonio Topouzis (La Salle Academy) who finished a rebound off a terrific save from Connor Mulvany’s (Holliston HS) bounce shot for a Clam win. An exhausted group had a bit of time to recover but tired legs and a long day had the Clams in an uphill battle against the Long Island Express. Despite a spirited effort by the young men, this exciting playoff push ended against a highly talented Express team.
The beauty of this team came from its selfless and team oriented play throughout the weekend. On offense the scoring was spread with Tucker Spencer (Pingree) and Tommy Miller (Rivers) earning 6 points each. Four other Clams scored 5 points on the week and 16 players registered a point. This selfless team attitude was truly driven by a trio of middies who played unsung hero on defense, wings, and in transition led by Zach Frank (Hopkinton HS), Cole Nye (Middlesex), and Adam Harrington (Xaverian). If it weren’t for the contributions of these young men, it would have been difficult to match up with the level of competition at this event. Jimmy Freehill (St. Sebastian’s) and Chris Deblasio (Pingree) highlighted the defensive group and Connor Theriault (Northfield Mount Hermon) stood on his head throughout the weekend, turning away countless shots and creating transition opportunities.
These young men should walk away proud of their accomplishments earning a spot as a top 4 team in the field of 22 of the most talented teams in the country. This momentum will drive this group forward to the following weekend where many of the same young men will head to the Philly Showcase.
Fighting Clams 2019 (3-3)
7-9 L vs. Madlax
7-8 L vs. Edge
9-8 W vs. True National 2019 (Playoffs)
5-11 L vs. Annapolis Hawks 2019 (Playoff)
7-6 W vs. Eclipse 2019
1-0 W vs. Freedom Lacrosse
Fighting Clams 2020 (4-2 Final Four Team)
6-4 W vs. Rock 2020
6-8 L vs. LB3 Thunder 2020
6-2 W vs. Igloo 2020 (Playoffs)
6-5 OT W vs. Annapolis Hawks 2020 (Playoffs)
6-5 OT W vs. Eclipse 2020 (Playoffs)
4-10 L vs. Long Island Express (Playoffs)