LELL 2023 Championship Coverage
Congratulations to the Astronauts for taking home the title! Very strong goalie play from Maverick Pritchett and Hugo Brown led the way from the back. Keegan O’Hara, Kellen Walsh, JJ Yan, and Ryder Reesey put plenty of balls in the back of the net. Newcomers Joshua Yoo and Bodhi Wight contributed their fair share too!
Semifinal #1 – Redwoods vs. Waterdogs – The eventual champion Redwoods captured the first semifinal with a 19-11 win, but not without a valiant effort from the Waterdogs. Ozzy Lynch (6g), Colin Woods (3g, 2a) and John Caldwell (4g) paced the day for the winners on offense with fast paced transition play and no nonsense finishing. Chase Werling (16 saves, 60% save pct.) was tough to beat in the net, and long stick Ryan Betts was a disruptor all game, and pitched in 4 assists on offense. For the Waterdogs Will Meany (6g, 1a) was a threat all game and had to be accounted for at all times to stop the comeback. James Cho made 16 saves and kept it interesting!
Semifinal #2 – Archers vs. Whipsnakes – A thrilling comeback by the Archers earned them a spot in the championship. Max Olin (6g) and John Jussaume (4g, 1a) led a second half surge on offense, and Jaxon Sylvester’s (10 saves, 50% save pct.) goalkeeping contribution cannot be overlooked. Tye Reesey (4g, 2a) put up strong numbers on offense for the Whipsnakes, with Matan Yosefson (3g) putting in consistent work as well. The Archers could not be stopped though, and their semifinal surge was enough to create the comeback and game of the season!
Final – Redwoods vs. Archers – The Redwoods carried their momentum from the semifinal into a comfortable finals win over the Archers. Once again, Colin Woods (3g, 3a), and John Caldwell (3g) finished when they needed to on offense for the Redwoods. Graham Binnick (6g, 1a) picked the right time to have his game of the season, and was the X-Factor in the big win for the Redwoods. John Jusseaume (4g, 2a) did what he could to keep the Archers afloat. Ultimately, the scoring depth and athleticism on defense for the Redwoods was too much for the league to handle.
Congrats to the Redwoods!
Semifinal #1 – Hounds vs. Machine – Our eventual Champions, the Hounds, gave us a sneak preview of their dominance in their first round match, and this semifinal was no different. Evan Lavene (3g, 1a), Adam Capello (2g, 1a), and Tyler Deede (2g) led a balanced attack from both sides of the field, particularly dangerous in transition. Rex Garozzo (8 saves, 80% save pct.) put on a clinic all day in the net; one could argue that whichever team had Rex was liable to win it all.
Semifinal #2 – Rattlers vs. Cannons – For the eventual finalist Rattlers, Ethan Fennel (11g, 1a) and Alex Fivek (9g, 2a) combined for 20 goals in one of the biggest offensive explosions of the season. Arjun Bhandari and Austin Stewart held it down just enough on defense, and deserve credit for making sure the the Cannons star player couldn’t take over the match. The Cannons’ Will Batchelor scored 9 of his teams 11 goals, and for a while looked like he might pull off an all-time LELL individual performance. Fatigue caught up with Batchelor and the Cannons, though, and the precise shooting of Fennel and Fivek was too much to for the Cannons to match.
Championship Match – Hounds vs. Rattlers – In the championship match of oldest division, the well rounded play of the hounds was deserving of the championship hats! Evan Lavene (2g, 1a) and Tyler Deede (2g, 1a) were the offensive standouts for the Hounds, and Adam Capello (2g) was the X-factor with strong play on offense, defense, and in transition. AJ Moan and Max Maloney were defensive stalwarts; the Rattlers had the most offensive firepower in the league between Alex Fivek and Ethan Fennel, but Moan and Maloney were up to the task. Ultimately, a hotly contested championship match tilted towards the Hounds!
Congratulations to the Hounds!