At Harvard, two of the three teams struggled to match the level of their opponents, but in truth, we as a program must take some of the blame. Our aggressive bracketing approach – always skewing older and borderline over our heads in fall – is something we laud as an aggressive program-wide short-term approach with an eye on the long term. But there’s a fine line between borderline over your head and actually over it. For two of the three Harvard teams, we found our limit, and exceeded it in terms of the degree of difficulty we presented. Because of this, we’ll now ensure that our Prime Time schedule will show a welcome recalibration that should allow many of these same players to achieve the success that eluded them last weekend; we’re still playing up, but we’re doing so in a more controlled way.
It’s onto weekend #3 now, the final one. Historically, we’ve seen this as the weekend where it all comes together. Football, hockey and injuries have dented some of our rosters a bit, but we’ve worked diligently to try to fill holes and move players to ensure all rosters have as good a chance at success as it possible. Even as I speak, we’re crossing the last T’s, and dotting the last I’s. But optimism abounds here in Clam Headquarters. We know we’ll finish on the right foot.
Despite the mixed results at Harvard, there was one team that met expectations, and numerous individuals that exceeded them. Below we’ll highlight one game that we feel had the best lacrosse on display, exemplifying Clam-caliber toughness and competitiveness at the end of a long, cold day. Then, we’ll highlight ten players who coaches felt exceed expectations.
Game of Note at the Harvard Crimson Classic
Clams 2020/2021 AFC (8) vs. Coyotes 2021 (6)
The 2020/2021 AFC was the clear bright spot at Harvard this past Sunday. After a lopsided win in game #1, we lost a tough one to Laxachusetts that was tied at the half before the LXC boys separated. This left us with a rubber game against a feisty and competitive Coyotes squad, which we had tied the week prior at UMASS.
We jumped up in this one early on, but they fought back aggressively, knotting the game at five, and then again at a score of 6-6. Then Graham Tyson (St. John’s Prep), who’d been great all day, won the key face offs that remained. On the finishing end of the eventual game-winning goal was midfielder John Alfano (Westford), who had a rather quiet day statistically, at least by his standards, but played with tremendous energy; the coaches believed of all the middies, he was the best defensively and between the lines. Then, for good measure, Matt Curran (Westford) smoothly finished a dynamic feed from Dylan Brown (Belmont Hill) to give us some breathing room.
Opportunities for trackable improvement are tough to come by in season, for it’s somewhat rare to see the same opponent twice. But here we did, not with exactly the same teams, but very close versions, both on their side and ours. To win a game we’d previously tied at least suggests improvement; so too does the way in which the game was played. On a day at Harvard that left a fair amount to be desired at times for the entirety of our program, this game, and this team in general, was a positive.
Ten Who Impressed at the Harvard Crimson Classic
Graham Brady, 2021 attackman, Acton-Boxboro – The top scoring attackman on the youngest Clam squad competing at the Crimson Classic, Graham took on a leadership role, and managed to spark a number of strong offensive plays. Whether it was on the finishing end or the distributing end, Graham was a catalyst. Next week, he’ll be playing on an older squad, and we expect no drop off.
Liam Falvey, 2022 midfielder, Weston – The top scoring midfielder, Liam was a threat whenever he stepped on the field. If a goal was being scored this weekend on this squad, chances are it could be traced either directly to Falvey or the aforementioned Brady. Big, strong, and very persistent on the both ends of the field, Liam would have helped the top 2022 squad down in Delaware, instead he really helped this blended squad closer to home.
Ben Garozzo, 2022 goaltender, Lincoln-Sudbury – Throughout the course of the fall, Ben played extraordinary lacrosse. In his first tournament of the fall, he didn’t disappoint. Seeing an awful lot of rubber, Ben stood tall throughout. Next weekend, with our top 2022’s down in Philly, Ben is expected to excel. Come summer, participation with our top 2022 squads will likely be a constant for Ben.
Jason Werrick, 2020 attackman, Lawrence Academy – Jason’s goal total (5) matched that of every other player on the team combined. Some might fall into the category of “garbage goals” – scrappy put backs out of scrums near the crease. But on a team that had some difficulty finding the back of the net, every goal mattered. And Werrick was the guy who simply produced, plain and simple. I’ll take that any day of the week.
Ben O’Rourke, 2021 midfielder, Concord-Carlisle – Among all middies, Ben was the one who penetrated most effectively. His north south dodging drew double teams, and created opportunities for teammates time and time again. His point total could have been even higher with a little more shot accuracy, but the fact is, Ben just made things happen when he had the ball in his stick.
Emmett Schillinger, 2021 defenseman, St. John’s Prep – One of the newest Clams in the program, Emmett was a beast on ground balls, throwing his body into perilous positions as he surged through ground ball after ground ball. Emmett is a defenseman who has a very bright future in the Clam program, and will be moving up the depth charts after the fall season concludes.
Matt Curran, 2020 attackman, Westford – The team’s top goal scorer, Matt also pleased the coaching staff with his ability to take and immediately apply coaching tips. With his clear motivation to improve, the staff believes Matt is a player with a very high upside. He is coming harder and harder around the corner with each passing event, and he often finishes from a sidearm release point, displaying a level of shot deception and accuracy that is quickly becoming elite.
Paul D’eramo, 2021 attackman, Burlington – Matching the aforementioned Curran’s point total with 6, Paul more often played the role of distributor. His aggressive dodging bordered on over aggressive at times, but it could not be denied that his dodges caused the defense to react. As he continues to learn calculated restraint, Paul appears destined to crack into the top unit in his Clam class. This weekend at Philly will be a big test and a well-earned call up.
Cam Souza, 2020 defenseman, Wakefield HS – Not only did Cam display the highest level of tenacity of this squad’s poles, he also proved to be dangerous on the offensive side of the ball, notching 2 timely goals. Cam plays with a swagger and confidence that his team responds to. College coaches have responded as well, as Cam has drawn notice throughout the fall, from coaches in both D1 and D3.
Graham Tyson, 2021 F/O midfielder, St. John’s Prep – After a long period of time with just one elite face off midfielder in the 2021 class, Graham has made it clear that we now have at least two. He’ll join the other, fellow face off midfielder Luke Curtin (Belmont Hill) down in Philly this weekend, and the 1-2 punch will be tough for opponents to handle. As it was, Graham went 72% on the day, and put the AFC squad into a position to win every game they played (including the one they lost).
Fighting Clams 2020/2021 AFC
Fighting Clams 2020/2021 AFC