As a general statement, whenever a program brings four teams to an event, and each team finishes above .500, then at least we’ve hit par so to speak. Ask the next golfer you see whether he’ll take par; I’ll bet you a chicken sandwich he’ll say yes.
But the Clam program is not your average program, so to be just a hair above .500 at a local event isn’t our par. That said, weren’t just .500. As a program, we were well above, so we didn’t just hit par, we hit our par.
As a general commentary, it was really, really cool to walk around an event and see players at different points in their arc of Clam experience. You could walk to one field, where one could see our youngest players just starting out (and doing some really nice things at times), and then could slide over to an adjacent field and watch our oldest players tearing up the competition (after the first game, a relatively close victory, no one came within five goals of this oldest ’19 group).
The opportunity to do this almost forced me to reflect on a number of players committed to college programs, and reflecting on where they were as freshmen. With some, it was all but predetermined that they’d be exceptional straight through. But for others, I could remember when they were young and inexperienced and just trying to figure it all out. To see this microcosm of the Clam program in one spot was gratifying indeed.
As far as the team breakdown goes, the banner team on the day was the team that should’ve been the banner team, the Fighting Clam 2019’s. This group went undefeated at 6-0 and played some of the best lacrosse I’ve seen from our program. Among the multitude of impressive things about this team was the selflessness and balance they displayed. Nine players averaged a point or more per game, which is the first time I believe that has ever happened at a Clam tournament in our history (I honestly cannot recall it ever happening before…it’s hard to overstate how cool and gratifying a thing that is). Some of the program’s true standouts, such a leading point getters Jack Dillon (Dover-Sherborn/Sacred Heart) and Danny Angell (Littleton/Quinnipiac) moved the ball freely and openly with others who have worked their way up the depth chart and are still trying to perform to catch that coach’s eye one more time. The defensive unit, while slightly undermanned, was as impressive as the offense. While Martin Folan (BC High/Holy Cross) was the most impressive pole, slinging shots and dodging like a midfielder, others like Sean Sullivan (Wellesley) and Teddy Wynn (Belmont Hill/Hamilton) held things down very capably. And in the specialty spots were two players who very much did their job; Gavin Bergeron (Littleton/UVM) won over three-quarters of the face offs he took, and Cory Bannon (Hopkinton) saved over half the shots he faced. On this team, each was more than enough to propel the team right on through the Championship game.
A pair of Clam team notched four wins over the course of the two-day event. One, the 2019/2020 Clams, had over half the players in its class playing up in age, yet they fought their way to an impressive 4-1 finish. On the team, it was a familiar elder who was ending his great run as a Clam, and once again ended atop the point list. Adam Canfield (Cushing/Clarkson) has evolved into a swiss army knife of sorts for us as a player, facing off, playing great d middie, and obviously given the fact that he led the team in scoring, playing very effective offense. Alec Matho (Hebron) and the Chitkara cousins, Aidan (Wayland) and Brady (Belmont Hill) also landed atop the scoring leader list. Peter Canning (Xaverian) went close to 80% at the face off X, proving to be a huge part of the squad’s success. And the defense, led by Archie Perry (Belmont Hill) and goaltender Sean Henderson (Franklin), proved to be stout throughout.
Another team playing up was the 2020/2021 team, which had a similar percentage of its players playing up an age bracket. Their record, 4-2, might suggest a less successful overall tournament performance than the 19/20’s, but this team actually had an extremely exciting playoff run that saw them advance all the way to the 2020 Division Championship. Includes in the run were two very exciting one-goal victories vs. 128 and NJ Diesel. Jackson Katz (Westboro) finished what has been an outstanding summer with his best tournament to date. He not only led the team with nine timely points but was exceptional between the lines and really even outside the lines…if there was a ball to be corralled, he corralled it. Returning from injury and showing no ill-effects was Pressly Mead (Westford), who was second on the team in both points and goals. Matt Curran (Westford) and 2021 Tim Blue (St. Sebastian’s) rounded out the top end of the scoring. Defenseman Jack Elliott (Holliston) and goaltender Chris Meinhold (Acton-Boxboro) led the charge on a tough and hard-working defensive corp.
The team with the least sizzle of the solid records displayed every bit as much promise given how much time they gave to grow and develop. Leading the charge on offense was Colin Eaton (Acton-Boxboro), who scored more goals (12) and tallied more points (16) than anyone else in the program. Also making very capable contributions were Henry Antino (Algonquin) and Grady Abban (Duxbury), who tallied 9 and 8 points respectively. But each offensive player has face off midfielder Luke Curtin (Belmont Hill) to thank for providing enough possessions to get the shots needed to score the goals. Winning 47 of 57 face offs is just the kinda thing that can be inextricably linked to the offensive successes of teammates. But it wasn’t just the offense on the 2021 that provided the spark that led to the winning record. Elliott Do (Rivers) provided a nice park at the LSM position, Sam Duffy (Newton South, Cole Johnston (Littleton) and Jack Kinsella (Blackstone Valley Tech) at close, and goalies Chris Perri (Lawrence) and Stephen Cohen (Concord-Carlisle) did a nice job between the pipes throughout the event.
W 8-5 v. Penguins 2019
W 13-5 v. NJ Riot 2019
W 13-3 v. 3D Bears 2019
W 13-5 v. RI Bulldogs 2019 (playoffs)
W 13-3 v. 3D Bears 2020 (playoffs)
W 11-6 v. Jersey Thunder Elite 2019 (championship)
W 7-4 v. True Indy 2019/2020
W 11-3 v. 3D Bears 2020
W 8-4 v. MXB 2019
L 10-8 v. Laxpros 2019
W 13-4 v. Seven Hills 2019
W 8-4 v. Laxpros 2020
W 8-5 v. Metro Lacrosse Bulldogs 2020
L 9-1 v. Jersey Thunder Elite 2020
W 7-6 v. 128 Green 2020
W 6-5 v. NJ Diesel 2020
L 5-1 v. Seven Hills 2020
W 7-3 v. Laxpros 2021
L 7-3 v. Foundations Lax 2021
W 9-5 v. 1X 2021/2022
L 9-7 v. MXB 2021
W 10-1 v. 3D Bears 2021