Baltimore holds on to take crown
VAIL – There are two ways crabs can move. They can crawl around listlessly or they can scamper with a purpose.The Baltimore Crabs lacrosse team acted like their namesake in both ways in an 11-10 win over Team Colorado U-19’s at the boys’ high school finals of the Vail Lacrosse Shootout Friday.After Team Colorado jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, and held a 5-2 lead in the second quarter, the Crabs came to life, scoring six unanswered goals. Colorado fought back several times, and finally tied the game again at 10, but the Crabs scored in the final minutes to earn the title that had eluded them in the finals for the past two years.”We were a little flat and tentative,” said Baltimore coach Rick Brocato of his team’s performance early on. “We said, ‘Look, let’s get our confidence back. Let’s get after them a little bit defensively and chip away on offense. We can’t get it all back at once.'”The Crabs seemed to do just that, however. By halftime, Baltimore had tied the game at five, then added three more goals at the beginning of the third quarter.While Colorado controlled possession for nearly the entire first quarter, setting up camp in the Baltimore zone, the U-19’s started to lose some composure during the Crabs’ comeback that spanned halves.”We didn’t play disciplined enough to beat a good team,” said Colorado coach Bryan Perry. “We had too many penalties, too many turnovers, too many hurries and not enough patience on offense. But, I’m proud of the way we played.”
Colorado calmed down later in the third quarter and cut the Crabs’ lead to 8-7 before a 30-minute lightning delay.”We didn’t let (Baltimore’s) six-goal run get us down,” said Colorado’s Kyle Greenberg. “We came back strong. That was really important.”EfficiencyTime of possession evened out in the second half, but the Crabs were more patient with the ball in the offensive zone and waited for better chances.”That’s the nature of our game,” Brocato said. “We really pride ourselves on our efficiency on the offensive end.”Baltimore outshot Colorado, 16-11, in the second half, but almost all of Baltimore’s shots were scoring chances, while several of Colorado’s attacks came from far outside the goal.”Way too far outside,” Perry said. “These goalies are too good and see too many good shot. We’ve kind of gotten away with it all tournament, but we just couldn’t today.”
The outside shots played right into the Crabs’ gameplan. “We love it when they take outside shots because we’ve got two great goalies,” Brocato said. “We have a lot of confidence in them getting the ball out quick. And our long poles handle the ball well. It’s like having all middies on the field.”Both teams had a defender named to the all-tournament team (Baltimore’s Brian Feirel, and Colorado’s Dillon Roy), while Colorado’s long stick midfielder Tyler O’Crowley was also named to the team. A trick and moreColorado had trouble containing Baltimore attacker Nate Matthews, who netted three of his four goals in the first half. Matthews scored in just about every fashion, netting a goal with the man advantage, a one-timer, a left-handed underhand rifle and a rip off a nice dodge.”(Matthews) had some great goals, especially early on,” said Brocato, who also coached Matthews at St. Paul’s in Maryland.
Greenberg (four goals) and Josh Reichert (three goals, one assist) were the weapons of choice for Colorado.One of the more impressive moments of the game came with the score tied at 10. After two Colorado players were put in the penalty box, the U-19’s looked like they were going to kill off the dual penalties, when yet another Colorado player was called for a penalty. For three seconds, Colorado killed off a three-man advantage, and then killed the remainder of the third penalty.”That’s always a big momentum change when you are down three men and come back with no goals,” Greenberg said.But the Crabs scored shortly after the penalty expired and didn’t allow the U-19’s to register a shot on net for the remainder of the game.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado