The measure of how valuable the NALA tournament was this past weekend depends largely on the nature of the goals we set for ourselves going in.
If the goals were exposure to play in highly competitive games, and hang with the country’s best, while being watched by the best college coaches in the game, then mission accomplished. Seven of the 15 games played were decided by one goal, and one more by two goals, meaning, remarkably, more than half the games the Clams played in Delaware this past weekend were decided by two goals or fewer.
If the goals were to win as many games as possible, and to push for a Championship, well, it suffices to say we came up short.
As far as the coaches’ goals go, ours were by and large the former, and less the latter. This stance is not to be mistaken for discounting outcomes; make no mistake: we want to win. But with two practices under our belts this summer, and with numerous impactful players still up north either continuing on in the MIAA playoffs or playing at our local event (where many top players helped one of our teams win a Championship, another push to the semi’s in a pretty darned good event up this way), our expectations were in check going in.
This coming weekend, with yet another practice under our belts for each team, and with more players completing their high school seasons and shifting to club, our expectations will shift accordingly. Given the rosters we’re scheduled to field at Sweetlax, our next national event, we feel winning records for all teams are not only achievable, but expected. And at Bryant, this weekend’s local event, our rosters are in almost all cases designed to have similar success, despite playing up an age bracket wherever possible.
In short, improvement – more than anything else – is our overarching goal. We know we’re going to see it this weekend. Coaching can’t wait to take some of what was learned this past weekend and apply it to this weekend. That’ll start at practice in a few short hours!
Fighting Clams 2020 Team Record: 1-4
L: Orange Crush (9) vs. Fighting Clams (8)
W: Fighting Clams (7) vs. Tenacious Turtles (5)
L: FCA MD (11) vs. Fighting Clams (2)
L: Express North Reda (10) vs. Fighting Clams (3)
L: Express North Brameier (7) vs. Fighting Clams (6)
Michael Lampert – 5 goals, 9 assists, 14 points
Nils Holland – 2 goals, 4 assists, 6 points
Liam Tasker – 4 goals, 1 assist, 5 points
Will Mohr – 4 goals, 4 points
Brady Chitkara – 3 goals, 1 assist, 4 points
Dylan Brown – 4 goals, 4 points
Pat Murphy – 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 points
Ian Jackson – 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 points
Dom Scordino – 1 goal, 1 point
Carter Hampson – 1 goal, 1 point
Pat Thomas – 53% save pct.
Carter O’Brien– 43% save pct.
Ty Benedetto – 72% F/O win pct.
Reese Hornstein – 64% F/O win pct.
Coach’s Comments: The 2020 Fighting Clams drew an extremely tough schedule this weekend at the North American Lacrosse Summer Invitational. The 1-4 record that the 2020 Clams left Delaware with, might not have been a direct indicator of the quality of lacrosse they played, but definitely leaves room for improvement for the rest of the summer.
The 2020’s opened up the tournament with an extremely competitive game against the 2020 Orange Crush out of New York, and after both teams had chanced to win, we ultimately dropped the game in overtime by a score of 9-8. This game saw a balanced offensive attack led by 2 goals from both Michael Lampert (Wayland HS/Denver) and Patrick Murphy (Proctor/Vermont). Dan Donahue (Nobles) and Pat Thomas (Gunnery/Furman) both stood strong in the goal this game as well as the whole tournament; Pat actually made an awesome save in overtime which allowed our offense to have a chance to win the game.
The second game of the tournament saw the best performance out of the 2020 group. They were able to keep the momentum from the first game and translate it to a complete performance which allowed them to take the lead and never look back against a strong Tenacious Turtles team hailing from the lacrosse hotbed of Long Island. The final score was 9-6 and the offense was led by Michael Lampert (1g 4a) and 2 goals from Dylan Brown (Belmont Hill) and Will Mohr (Shawnee Mission East). The defense held strong throughout the game starting from the goalies on up. Chris DeBlasio (Pingree), Dalton Church (Proctor), Wes Silver (Newton North) and Sam Rockett (Deerfield) played stingy defense down low while Carter Hampson primarily (Deerfield) held down the LSM position.
The next two games against FCA MD and Express North (Reda) the Clams fell into a little bit of a lull and did not perform up to their potential, which resulted in two losses.
The Coaches were happy that in the last game against Express North (Braimeier) the 2020’s turned it around and put together a strong performance even though the outcome did not fall in our favor. After being up 4-3 at halftime, the Express came back and outlasted the Clams by a score of 7-6. This game especially, but also throughout the tournament our face-off tandem of Ty Benedetto (Jupiter HS) and Reese Hornstein (St. Mark’s) helped us control possession and gave our team a great chance to win.
The offense was paced by recent Denver commit Michael Lampert (6g 9a). Michael showed great leadership qualities as well as the ability to quarterback the offense while making all of the players around him better. The 2020 Clam group looks to improve this coming weekend at Sweetlax in Upstate New York and we are confident that they will!
Fighting Clams 2021 Team Record: 1-4
L: Madlax Capital (7) vs. Fighting Clams (6)
L: Iron Horse (6) vs. Fighting Clams (5)
L: FCA MD (10) vs. Fighting Clams (2)
L: South Shore (6) vs. Fighting Clams (5)
W: Fighting Clams (6) vs. Legacy (5)
Jon Cayer – 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points
Daniel Jones – 6 goals, 6 points
Pressly Mead – 5 goals, 5 points
Daniel Addonizio – 3 goals, 2 assists, 5 points
Teddy Lisa – 3 goals, 1 assist, 4 points
Chris Carreras – 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points
Matt Park – 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points
Michael Lee – 2 goals, 2 points
Jimmy Freehill – 1 goal, 1 point
Carter Smith – 1 assist, 1 point
Sean Henderon – 58% save pct.
Chris Perri – 56% save pct.
Luke Curtin – 63% F/O win pct.
Coach’s Comments: The 2021 team had its share of remarkably competitive game, no question about it. In fact, four of their five game were decided by one goal. While three of these one goal contests didn’t go our way, one did, and it was a beautiful game to end on. In our 6-5 final game win vs. Legacy, attackman Jon Cayer (Arlington) came out firing, with our first two goals, and new-to-the program midfielder Daniel Jones (Aquinas College, Manchester) tallied two second half goals to allow the 2021’s to outlast the always-strong Long Island club.
While the final game might have been the best, Madlax Capital, who only lost one game at the event, might have been the best game. With only one defeat over the course of the weekend, Madlax out of Virginia was a force to be reckoned with. Yet we did everything but beat them. In this game, goaltender Sean Henderson (Lawrence) and Chris Perri (Newton North) did their part to keep things close, and Luke Curtin (Belmont Hill) fought a very strong opposing face off man to a better than 50% face off percentage. As always, Jimmy Freehill (St. Sebastian’s) held things down on the defensive end, with strong contributions as well offered by Groton teammates Magnus Miller (Groton) and Nico Bowden (Groton).
It is often said that on the recruiting circuit, outcomes are less important than close games. Well, close games were the rule with this team. We hung with everyone we played except for one. And the college coaches who watched – and watch they did, in huge numbers – saw very good lacrosse when they played the 2021’s.
As great as close games are, it’s time to come out on the right side of some of those W’s. And that will be our plan at Sweetlax. Out in Rochester, many of these NALA players return, alone with some additions who will firm up the roster even more. These ‘21’s are tee’d up for a big weekend, with more W’s than L’s, and coaches and players alike believe that weekend is coming up in a few short days. From there, we roll!
Fighting Clams 2022 Team Record: 1-4
L: Madlax Capital (7) vs. Fighting Clams (2)
L: FCA MD (5) vs. Fighting Clams (4)
L: NH Tomahawhs (7) vs. Fighting Clams (4)
L: BBL (9) vs. Fighting Clams (2)
W: Fighting Clams (13) vs. Carolina 24/7 (4)
Chad Palumbo – 5 goals, 3 assists, 8 points
Jack Taylor – 6 goals, 2 assists, 8 points
Jack Fates – 5 goals, 1 assist, 6 points
Nick Bell – 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points
Mick Frechette – 3 goals, 1 assist, 4 points
Colin Eaton – 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points
Fitz Frechette – 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points
Jack Duffy – 2 assists, 2 points
Parker Collins – 1 goal, 1 point
Alex Dixon – 1 goal, 1 point
Brendan Poirier – 1 assist, 1 point
Teddy Delisio – 1 assist, 1 point
Peter Del Col – 62% save pct.
Ben Garozzo – 61% save pct.
Sam Caron – 46% F/O win pct.
Coaches Comments: The 2022 Fighting Clams were tested early and often at the North American Lacrosse Summer Invitational. After going 1-2 with two one-goal losses in the fall (to Sweetlax and Orange Crush), the coaching staff knew they were in for an extremely competitive weekend. Though the overall record was not what we desired, NALA was a learning moment for this rapidly improving group. The coaching staff would like to highlight two games from this past weekend, a 5-4 OT loss to national power FCA and our 13-4 win over Carolina 24/7.
falling early to a strong Madlax Capital group, the team was presented with a
strong challenge, facing off against FCA Maryland. In what was the best game
of the weekend, Andover midfielder Jack Fates was the hero,
notching an incredible post and in goal as time expired to force
overtime. Though we did not finish our opportunity in OT, the game
proved that this 2022 group can hang with anyone in the country. A
shout out goes to the entire defense, led by goalies Peter Del Col (Nobles) and Ben
Garozzo (LS)who combined
for 7 saves in the game, as Tate Seeman (Nobles), Cam Dick (Pingree), Teddy DeLisio (Manchester Essex HS), Brendan Peters (St. Mark’s), Max Toomey (Middlesex)and Sam Duffy (Newton South) locked it
down on the back end. Jack Taylor (2g/Lawrence Academy), Chad Palumbo (1g/Nobles) and Jack
Duffy (1a/Newton South) also
tallied points in the hard-fought contest.
Our final game saw our offense explode for 13 goals, breaking open a two-goal halftime lead, as the team rallied for a 13-4 win over Carolina 24/7. Chad Palumbo (Nobles)was back to his usual ways, scoring a game high six points (3g, 3a) to lead an offense that had 11 of its 13 goals assisted. Other guys with multiple points included Mick Frechette (St. Paul’s/2g,1a), Jack Taylor (Lawrence Academy/3g,1a), Jack Fates (Andover/1g,1a), and Colin Eaton (Acton-Boxboro/1g,2a). We’d be remiss to not mention the fact that Fitz Frechette (St. Paul’s) was also a force to be reckoned with at the X, winning 8 of 9 to spark our offense.
With focus on limiting turnovers and paying special attention to the little things, the 2022 coaching staff is excited for a rebound of a weekend (record-wise) up in Rochester. This group is very close to breaking out, it’s going to be great when they do!