NALA and Primetime Recap

NALA

The 2019 Fighting Clams headed down to New Castle, DE with a relatively light roster due to a few injuries and MIAA playoff commitments. They battled all weekend and showed great signs for the summer ahead. A few guys really proved that they belong on the national stage and others showed more of the great things they have been doing throughout their Clam careers.

With a few gaps in the roster due to last minute injuries, specifically at the face off X, the team fought tooth and nail for every possession and came out of day one with a 2-1 record with wins over Boneyard and BBL, as well as a 1 goal loss to the Juiced Cherries. Johnny Kantaros was all over the field all weekend, taking almost every face off with his long pole and scoring 5 goals for good measure. Jake Tellers was there to play attack on the right side filling in a huge gap, and he did not disappoint (8g 1a). Pat Mahoney kept us in games all weekend with outstanding goalie play (57% Save PCT).

Unfortunately our light numbers caught up to us on day two and we lost a few tough games to very good opponents in Primetime and the West Coast Stars. We are really looking forward to seeing what this group does in the coming weeks, as it is a huge summer for many of our guys. – Coach Fallon

Fighting Clams 2019 (2-3)

13-8 W vs. Boneyard 2019

8-5 W vs. BBL 2019

6-7 L vs. Juiced Cherries

3-11 L vs. Primetime 2019

6-9 L vs. West Coast Starz

STATS

 

The 2020 Fighting Clams traveled to New Castle, Delaware this past weekend to compete against some of the most talented club teams in the country. The tournament was well-run and hosted at a venue with a mix of turf fields and grass fields that played and looked like turf. Nearly every DI program had representatives at this event, many of whom sent head coaches to watch the 2020’s playing at NALA. It was great exposure for the boys.

During the practices leading up to this event, the 2020 Clams focused on the triangle rotation in the 2-3-1 set. We emphasized the options that midfield dodgers had after drawing a slide and spent a number of repetitions on the midfield dodge and roll back. It was rewarding to see many of the midfielders execute this on the field this past weekend. We had a number of instances when a midfielder would penetrate the defense with an alley dodge, roll back to the replacing midfielder, and then quickly move the ball to the midfielder popping off the crease to the 10×10 spot for a beautiful, open shot.

Zach Frank (3g, 1a), Nils Holland (2g), and Zach DiMuccio (1g) executed this party-starting dodge perfectly throughout the weekend, earning the “hockey assist” as their dodge and pass resulted in beautifully placed goals for open teammates. Dylan Brown (5g, 1a) and Tucker Spencer (2g, 4a) paced the offense from the attack. Brown had success dodging this past weekend while Spencer demonstrated great vision.

While the offense made some encouraging developments, it was the defense that anchored this 2020 squad. It was encouraging how well the midfielders played defense. While Frank and Holland are always stout defensive players, Ryan Welch and Antonio Topouzis played tough midfield defense. Goalies Dan Donahue (60.6%) and Connor Theriault (62.2%) made a number of athletic and challenging saves throughout the weekend. Tripp Clark, Jackson Klein, and Will Crowley disrupted the opposing offenses throughout the weekend and created some great transition opportunities for the Clams. This roster played well together and truly seemed to enjoy playing with each other. The 2020 Clams will travel to Pittsford, NY for the Sweetlax tournament next week. – Coach Smith

Fighting Clams 2020 (2-3)

3-9 L vs. West Coast Starz 2020

3-4 L vs. Annapolis Hawks 2020

5-3 W vs. Orange Crush 2020

2-9 L vs. Predators 2020

6-4 W vs. TRUE Michigan 2020

STATS

 

In the first event of the summer, the 2021 Fighting Clams traveled to New Castle, Delaware to participate in what was billed as one of the top events of the summer. With a mixture of eagerness and angst, the boys gathered near our field Saturday morning watching their older peers before strapping on the gear.

In the first test of the day, the boys were tasked with battling the Annapolis Hawks, a team who traditionally has had the better of the Clam program.  But it wasn’t the Hawks day, as the Clams jumped out to a quick lead before finishing the contest 10-1. Everyone seemed to make a contribution and the chemistry began building with a number of players in the scoring column. This confidence may have gone too far as our next contest did not turn out as well. A combination of face-off dominance combined with careless turnovers allowed the NH Tomahawks to take it to us with a similar score. Valuable lessons were learned and discussed by the coaches following that game supporting the idea that we had too much talent to fall apart at the seams when adversity struck.  The boys responded well by jumping out to an early lead against the West Coast Stars in their final contest of the day. Unfortunately, the Stars made a few second half plays and earned a tie in the comeback effort. On Sunday morning, we rose to face Sweetlax Upstate with an identical record understanding it was a “win and you’re in” situation regarding a playoff spot. The talented Sweetlax team tested us, but our strong play once again resulted in a tie. With a matching record, the final playoff spot from our pool would come down to a tiebreaker and unfortunately Sweetlax had given up fewer goals on the weekend and therefore this Clam group missed a chance at the tourney.  The boys were frustrated by the result, but pleased to be playing such competitive teams to close games and finished the weekend with a solid 4-2 win over Rising Sons in the consolation round.
The 2021 Fighting Clams saw contributions from a variety of people in a variety of positions. Daniel Addonizio was the leading scoring on the weekend netting a balanced 3 goals and 3 assists. Jack Taylor and Teddy Lisa both contributed several goals, while a variety of other players scored showing a well balanced offensive group. Luke Curtin and Fitz Frechette combined to be a formidable pair at the face-off X, with the support of excellent wing and short stick defense from Jack Fates and Jack Taylor. Jimmy Freehil was the catalyst on defense and even scored a few goals as part of the man up group. His defensive efforts were supported by many takeaways from Keegan Palmer and a shut down Trever Brooks. Michael Marinello was the rock behind it all, turning away countless quality chances on the weekend.
The boys were happy to finish the weekend in the plus against top competition, but are hungry to build on the plays left out there this coming weekend.

Fighting Clams 2021 (1-1-2)

10-1 W vs. Annapolis Hawks 2021

1-15 L vs. NH Tomahawks 2021

6-6 T vs. West Coast Starz 2021

5-5 T vs. Sweetlax 2021

4-2 W vs. Rising Sons 2021

STATS

 

Primetime Shootout

The Clams program got going in earnest this past weekend. It was the biggest weekend for overall participation of the summer, as seven teams in total were in action in two different locations. This writeup will cover the four teams who were in action at the Prime Time Shootout at Babson College, an event that is emerging as one the best New England tournament options of the summer.

Overall, our program finished with 12 wins and 8 losses. Three of the four teams advanced to the playoffs, one claimed third place with their semi-final win, and one team lost a Championship game heartbreaker, by a single goal. Most importantly, college coaches were present in surprisingly big numbers, earnestly watching our sophomores and juniors. We collaborated with Prime Time to help draw coaches, and together, our two organizations both had reason to feel quite proud of the showing (the number exceeded 50, a big number at a point in time when many college coaches are drawn south by the preponderance of overlapping mid-atlantic events).

The team that surged the furthest was the Fighting Clams 2019 squad. Their 4-2 record was hard-earned. While their second Championship loss to a very strong and spirited Brotherhood team out of New Jersey certainly stung, it was worth noting that the highly competitive 6-7 loss in game #2 felt completely different than the lackluster 3-7 loss to the same team to open the tournament. It showed clear improvement, which is our #1 goal in this part of the summer. The team’s offense was paced by the electric performance of Team MVP attackman Matt Gill (Duxbury HS), whose 9 goals and 16 points were the most of any player on any of the four Clam teams in attendance. After Matt, there was impressive offensive balance, as five different players notched between 5 and 7 points. The defense was as strong as the offense, as standouts Jack Venturelli (Duxbury HS) and Boyd Hall (St. Mark’s/Quinnipiac) formed the backbone of an at-times dominant unit. Rishi Banerjee (Belmont Hill), his trademark cat-like quickness, and Cory Bannon (Hopkinton HS), backstopped the group very well. One more player clearly deserving of mention is Adam Canfield (Cushing/Clarkson), who took the majority of the draws after that not being his primary role this spring; he didn’t miss a beat, bailing us out due to the absence of the player who was to be our FOGO.

The 2020 class had player competing on two Clam teams. These teams were a combined 7-3. The team which consisted entirely of 2020’s played to a 4-1 record, falling only to eventual Champions Laxachusetts Navy in the Sunday AM game. The 2020/2021 team fought to a 3-2 record, which was especially gratifying given the fact that half players on this squad were playing up in age. Each team had its clear offensive standout. For the Fighting Clam 2020’s, it was Team MVP Von Mabbs (St. Mark’s), who notched a team-high 12 points. Included in Von’s exceptional tournament was a 3 v 3 Braveheart victory that earned us 3rd place, and was a downright gritty effort in which he simply willed his way to the cage. The Clam 2020/2021 team had its own offensive standout in Team MVP Alec Matho (Hebron Academy). Like fellow MVP’s Gill and Mabbs, Matho is also a lefty; like Mabbs, he was responsible for his own 3 v 3 Braveheart winner. Playing in his first tournament as a Clam, Alec may have been the surprise of the tournament. Going in, we didn’t quite know what we had. Coming out, we knew we had a player who will rise up the depth chart rapidly. Each team had its defensive standouts as well. For the 2020’s, Hugh Curran (Needham HS) jumped out most notably, for the smothering tenacity he displayed throughout. Hayden Zellar (Weston HS) and Tyler Zanini (Hopkinton HS) also drew pointed praise. For the 2020/2021’s, it was a pair of 2021’s who coaches singled out, as Jack Kinsella (Blackstone Valley Tech) and Sam Duffy (Newton South HS) got repeated mentions for their play.

The Clam 2021’s slugged their way to a 1-3 record, but we were very proud of the way they finished off the event, with a solid 6-4 win vs. Rising Stars. We went back and forth with regards to this team’s bracket placement. But in the end, we chose the more competitive option, and this made for tough sledding. That said, coaches did not feel this team was out of their league, and noticeable improvement took place throughout. The offensive leader was Emmett Lyne (Wellesley HS), who saved his best for last, notching 3 much needed points in the team’s sole victory; Emmett’s 5 points were a team-high. The defensive unit’s most notable and consistent performer was Chris Perri (Lawrence Academy), who played from start to finish between the pipes, and managed 30 saves vs. his 25 goals against. Things were trying at times on the defense end, and Chris saw a lot of shots. True to what we’ve come to expect, he never backed down.

 

Clams 2019 (4-2/Second Place Finish)

3-7 L vs. Brotherhood 2019

12-2 W vs. RI Bulldogs 2019

7-3 W vs. CT Valley 2019

7-6 W vs. NH Tomahawks 2019 Gold

9-4 W vs. Team Central 2019 (Semifinals)

7-6 L vs. Brotherhood 2019 (Championship)

STATS

Clams 2020 (4-1/Third Place Finish)

6-3 W vs. Laxachusetts 2020 Green

5-3 W vs. Brotherhood 2020

9-4 W vs. Team Central 2020

2-5 L vs. Laxachusetts 2020 Navy (Semifinals)

6-5 W vs. Brotherhood 2020 (Third Place Game)

STATS

Clams 20/21 (3-2)

5-7 L vs. Laxachusetts 2020 White

12-1 W vs. Bulldogs 2020

9-3 W vs. Penguins 2020

6-5 W vs. NH Tomahawks 2020 Gold

6-9 L vs. North Shore Storm 2020 (Playoffs)

STATS

Clams 2021 (1-3)

0-4 L vs. Brotherhood 2021

3-6 L vs. Rhino CT 2021

5-9 L vs. Laxachusetts 2021 White

6-4 W vs. Rising Stars 2021

STATS

 

Attachment