The Naptown event is one of the “big ones”, and this year it revealed its true colors. Given the competition and talent at hand it is difficult to pass up on this mid-week event each year…
In years past we have found extreme success in Annapolis including a third place finish last year for the 2020’s.
The two teams’ records suggest dramatically different experiences for our two teams, but the records are somewhat misleading.
The 2020’s put forth a 1-4 overall record, certainly beneath what the team was hoping for going in. But embedded in that record were two very exciting one-goal losses and a two-goal loss, each against a nationally elite program. The 2020 team, true to their nature, played fast, loose and wide open. While this style isn’t always conducive to winning close games, it is certainly conducive to being noticed on the recruiting front. This team fought its way to close, hard-fought losses, the college coaches I spoke to on the sidelines were complimentary of the skill and swagger with which they played. Certain players on the offensive end, such as Tucker Spencer, Tommy Miller, Pat Murphy and Riley Van Duzer put forth outstanding offensive performances. And defensive standouts such as Connor Theriault, Will Crowley, Zach Mickle and Anders Pineau withstood the opponent’s offensive onslaughts and put our team in positions to potentially win almost every game. A bounce of the ball here and there, some more timely shooting, and we would’ve done just that. At the upcoming NLF Championship, when many of these players come together once more before the summer season concludes, we expect these bounces of the ball to go our way, these shots to fall, because we know those players are capable of doing so.
Clams 2020 (1-4)
L 7-6 v. FLG 2020
L 9-6 v. Annapolis Hawks 2020
L 6-2 v. Madlax-Capital 2020 (playoffs)
L 9-8 v. Eclipse 2020
W 10-2 v. 2 Knights Caballeros 2020
The 2021’s reached an impressive mark of 4-1, and they lost to the eventual Naptown Tournament Champion Team Carolina by just one goal. No one came closer to beating the eventual Champs than we did, falling by a final score of 5-4; in fact, no one else was even close. This ’21 group played a very different style than their 2020 Clammates throughout the event, seemingly just as true to what’s becoming their nature. This group is beginning to show itself as a patient, smart and timely group. They’re displaying the patience necessary to win the close ones, even if it requires a level of restraint which shows maturity beyond their age.
Midfielders Jimmy Gibbons and Jack Taylor were an extraordinary 1-2 punch at this tournament, just as they appear to be whenever they play alongside one another. The attack played with balance and poise; Dan Addonizio and Jon Cayer led the scoring with five points apiece, but points were evenly spread throughout the attack unit. As solid as the offense was, it was the defense that made this team special. Goalie, Ryan Skripps stood on his head at times, and Henry Peters was right there with him. Long poles Jimmy Freehill, Gregg Dennison and Keegan Palmer were, in the opinion of the coaches, among the most impressive trio of poles at this highly competitive event’s 2021 division.
As I write this, a 2020 Clam team and a Clam 2021 team are competing in another national tournament in Downingtown, and their records coming out of day one of this event are nearly identical to what they were coming out of day one at Naptown. In day two at Naptown, both teams finished strong, and we’re expecting the same in PA. After this weekend, it’s onto the NLF Championship for our top 2021’s, 2020’s and 2019’s. Our coaches are very confident we’ll finish strong there as well!
Clams 2021 (4-1)
W 8-4 v. Legacy Greyhounds 2021
W 7-4 v. Next Level 2021
W 11-2 v. Next Level 2021 (playoffs)
L 5-4 v. Team Carolina 2021 (playoffs)
W 5-4 v. Legacy Greyhounds 2021