Weekend #2 was a mixed bag for the Clam program. On the brighter side, our national teams played some remarkably competitive lacrosse at two different sites in Delaware. Their overall records were a combined 5-6-1. Six games were either tied or settled by one goal. College coaches watched these teams about as much as we’ve ever been watched in the history of the program over the course of a fall weekend. And I’m nearly certain upwards of a half dozen D1 Clam commitments in the 2020 class had their starts this past weekend. We fell by just one to a team that some regard as the best team in its class in the country (more on this below). In short, our national teams hung with the nation’s best, beat a few of ‘em, and nearly beat a few others.
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 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.
As we did last week, we’re once again highlighting some of the games that stood out for their competitive level and exciting outcome, whether the ending went in the Clams favor or not.
Fighting Clams 2020 (5) vs. Next Level (4) @ the 3D/FLG Tournament
The Fighting Clams team that was down in Delaware for the 3D FLG event was comprised mostly of 2020 Clams, but there was also a smattering of some 2019’s and 2021’s as well (there was an even a 2022). When mixing a roster like this, it’s hard to predict how the team will mesh and play together. It didn’t take long to find out that this group of Clams did not need much time to familiarize with one another, and it was a refreshing site to see such great chemistry come together so quickly. On what was a particularly cold and windy day down in Delaware, the Clams started off the day with a bang by defeating 3D Nor Cal 7-3; two attackman, Jon Bouvier (St. John’s) & Connor Sullivan (Hopkinton), each tallying 3 points in the game #1 win. The next game of the day was against a very strong Next Level team which was comprised of players from some of the top High Schools in Maryland, so going into this matchup we knew we would have our hands full. The Clams used the momentum from their first win and let it carry over into this matchup to jump out to an early lead. This time it was the midfielders that carried the load as John Sveen (Dover-Sherborn) & Shaun Padden (Xaverian) each tallied a goal, and added an assist. Arguably, the best and biggest goal came from another midfielder, Pressly Mead (Westford), who had a nice step-down shot that went off the cross-bar and in. This goal would wind up being the eventual game winner as the Clams won 5-4 in a wire to wire thriller. The combo of Gavin Bergeron (Littleton/UVM) & Reese Hornstein (St. Mark’s) at the faceoff X were crucial in this game, combining to go 6 for 8 at the X. Whenever a team is held to under 5 goals, serious credit has to be given to the defensive unit as well as the goaltenders. Hugh Curran (Needham), Dylan Mentis (Rivers), and Wes Silver (Newton North) were a lock down combo at close defense while Jackson Klein (SJP) & Tyler Zanini (Hopkinton) were causing havoc at the LSM spot.
Fighting Clams 2020 (8) vs. Iron Horse Austin (3) 2020 @ the North American Lacrosse Fall Invitational
The 2020 Clam’s that were at NALA had an undesirable start to the day against a very strong Legacy 2020 team. After squandering away an opportunity to beat legacy in the first game of the day, the Clams looked to bounce back with a vengeance against the 2020 Iron Horse team based out of Austin, TX. The Fighting Clams jumped out to an early lead thanks to some terrific midfield goals from Tommy Miller (Rivers/Villanova), Tim Dowd (Pingree), & Matt Constantino (Brooks). Dan Donahue (Nobles) played the first half in cage, making 4 saves out of the 5 shots he faced, and was a key contributor in taking a 5-1 lead into the half. The attack unit was not to be outdone by the midfield, the combination of Connor Sullivan (Hopkinton), Jon Bouvier (St. John’s), & Dylan Morgan (Ashland) proved to be a tough task to stop for the opposing defense. The three aforementioned attackmen combined for 10 points in what would end up being a final of 8-3 in favor of the Clams.
Fighting Clams 2021 (9) vs. Legacy Greyhound (6) 2021 @ the North American Lacrosse Fall Invitational
The top Fighting Clams 2021 team’s day followed a very similar pattern as last Sunday’s day at Mayflower. To sum it up very generally, it went as follows…first game, great; second game, decent, third game, providing plenty to improve upon for the following weekend. The boys are definitely looking to flip the script, because after this weekend, there is no next weekend. But for now, instead of harping on the fact that each Sunday’s final game left much to be desired, we figured it best to focus on game #1.
This past weekend, game #1 was an outstanding one.
Squaring off against the Legacy Greyghounds out of Long Island, this game showed that it was going to be a chippy one right out of the gate. Teddy Lisa (Phillips Exeter) started out with two heavy hammers, but predictably, the Legacy guys had a response. They surged back to knot the game at 5 at the half. It appeared the game could go either way.
But the second half was all Clams. Pressly Mead (Westford) opened the second half scoring with a strong finish, and we were off and running. Later in the third, Chris Carreras (Algonquin) pumped in two back to back goals, and in the process, broke the proverbial back of the Legacy Greyhound squad.
Stealing the show on defense were the brothers Pettito. Michael and Matthew, twin brothers out of Wakefield, were absolutely exceptional, showing tremendous hustle all over the field. Strong as well were this team’s usual suspects, Keegan Palmer (Central Catholic), Gregg Dennison (Rivers) and Jimmy Freehill (St. Sebastian’s) all pressed out and pressured our opponents all day long.
As good as the players above were, the star of the game was probably Luke Curtin (Belmont Hill), winning 75% of his draws at the X. The possessions he gained allowed the offense the ammo to pump in their nine goals, which fortunately proved to be enough against this outstanding opponent.
Fighting Clams 2022 (4) vs. Sweetlax FLA (5) @ the North American Lacrosse Fall Invitational
The 2022’s came out firing against a talented and athletic SweetLax group in our final game of the day down at NALA. Up 3-0 at the half, the team was led by the dynamic duo of Nick Bell (Rivers) and Chad Palumbo (Nobles), as both had been exceptional all day at attack. An unbelievable individual crease dive goal cost us Palumbo in the second half, and his ability to play would’ve definitely made a difference. But the SweetLax group clawed back, scoring gritty goals of their own to tie it up late. Though the end of the game did not go our way, it was the strong play of defensemen Brendan Peters (St. Mark’s), Brian Delduchetto (Weston HS), Tate Seeman (Nobles) and goaltender Peter Del Col (Nobles) who kept us in every game (we also lost a one goal game to Orange Crush, an upstate NY based team). The gritty play of recently reclassified middies Jack Taylor (Lawrence Academy) and Fitz Frechette (St. Paul’s) helped lead a midfield group that is rapidly learning to adapt to the speed and pace of the high school game. Four goals separate this 2022 Clam group from being 3-0 on the day, something that is not lost on the Clam coaching staff. What is also not lost is the fact that SweetLax Florida hasn’t lost a game since early last summer (they ended the fall 12-0), and we were right there with them. This ’22 group is ready to break out in a big way, and the Clam Coaches could not be more excited to see it!
Fighting Clams 2020 (2-1)
W 7-3 vs. 3D Nor Cal 2020
W 5-4 vs. Next Level 2020
L 7-4 vs. DoCo Lax 2020
Fighting Clams 2020 (1-1-1)
L 9-4 vs. Legacy Taz 2020
W 8-3 vs. Iron Horse Austin 2020
T 5-5 vs. Predators 2020
Fighting Clams 2021 (1-1-1)
W 9-4 vs. Legacy Greyhounds 2021
T 4-4 vs. Madlax 2021
L 10-5 vs Rising Sons 2021
Fighting Clams 2022 (1-2)
W 7-3 vs. Iron Horse Dallas 2022
L 6-5 vs. Orange Crush 2022
L 5-4 vs. Sweetlax Florida 2022