GMH brings it home … at last |

GMH brings it home … at last

Preston Utley/Vail DailyKip Malo, of team Go Fast (front) loses possesion of the ball after GMH's Jesse Tarr knocks it loose with a stick check. GMH won the match, and the finals of the 2005 Vail Lacross Shootout.

VAIL – The third time was a charm.GMH had been denied in the last two title games of the Men’s Elite Vail Lacrosse Shootout, but left no doubt in 2005, finishing off Team Go Fast, 13-7, Monday at Ford Park for its first crown.”It’s great. These guys really played phenomenally and I had the easiest job out here,” said head coach Mike Busza, whom despite his modesty was named as one of the coaches to the all-tournament team with fellow sideline mates, Jeff Murray and team owner, Mike Holloway. “These guys are a bunch of horses and my job is easy. I called two timeouts a game. These guys did it all. They’re very accomplished players. … Mike Holloway put a great team together and they did a nice job.””It couldn’t be better,” GMH goalie Kevin Keenan said. “It’s such a great tournament. The competition level’s so high. You can’t explain it. You come out here and it’s one of the most distinguished tournaments in lacrosse. It’s right up there with the NCAA championship. You have to believe. It’s just fantastic.”While Go Fast’s run did not end as hoped, coach Jon Barocas was pleased with his squad.”That’s a good team. They had it together. They came here to win,” he said. “They’ve been the bridesmaid twice and they were here to win it. I give them a lot of credit. Our guys hung in there. They had to play together from the first minute of the first game. We did very, very well. This our first year. We’ll be back next year. It was a great showing by these guys. I love the guys on this team.”Blowing out of the gatesAs has been its modus oprandi for this tournament, GMH scored early and often. Xander Ritz scored the first of his two goals on his way to a four-point day just 57 second into the contest. Sean Morris ripped the twine 30 seconds later.Go Fast’s Steve Brooks got his team on the board at the 6:01 mark of the first, but it was only a brief respite.

Morris struck again and then GMH capitalized on two consecutive Go Fast penalties with tallies by Mike Holloway, one of the owner’s sons, and Marc Morely for a 5-1 lead.GMH’s Patrick Heim and Bill McGlone finished up the first half scoring, giving their team a 7-1 at the break.Go Fast surgesBy the time McGlone and Morely scored again in the third period, this one looked like it was getting ugly with the score at 9-2. But, Go Fast made a charge. Paul Rabil, Brooks, Noah Hollander, Greer Hanlon and Rabil again scored, and all of a sudden, GMH was up just 10-7.Busza immediately called a timeout with 8:36 left in the game – and his ace responded. Sean Morris completed his hat trick, halting Go Fast’s surge. Heim and Ritz later added some insurance while Morris ended up collecting the tournament’s MVP award. “It was huge,” Busza said. “We made a substitution on the attack and they did a real nice job. Sean Moore has played great all week. He has that quick first step and he has no fear of going to the goal. He’s a tough little guy.””It’s just our team. I’ve said it before. We’re a team,” Morris said. “I could hand it to anybody. The MVP is a great honor. It’s a great tournament. I’m on a great team and was able to step up a little for us. I’m just happy we got this for Mr. Holloway and GMH.”De-fenseBackstopping GMH’s effort all week was its defensive crew. GMH won the ground ball battle decisively, 30-14. The unit forced 25 Go Fast turnovers.”We had a great defense,” said GMH’s Jack Reid, who was named as a defenseman to the all-tournament team. “We were solid from top to bottom. We had three great poles (in Matt McMillen, DJ Driscoll and Jesse Tarr). They basically tore it up today. They were the key to the victory today. The defense played solid. We talked a lot. It’s great group of guys.Just ask Keenan who was the goalie on the all-tournament team.

“The defense deserves all of it. I got the honor, but the defense earned it,” he said. “When you see seven shots a game and they’re all from the outside, you’re just doing your job. It’s like a field goal kicker kicking extra points. These are some of the best players I’ve ever played with. I can’t say enough. The defense won the tournament.”Yes, the defense was rock solid, but Keenan and fellow goalie, Joe Canuso, also do merit credit. Keenan, a lefty, and Canuso, a righty, kept opposing attackers offguard with their differing styles. They also worked together well as a tandem, essentially serving as each other’s coaches.”Those two were awesome,” Reid said.Ground ballsGo Fast’s Mike Law was the tourney’s top point scorer with 17 goals and five assists. “This is the best tournament I’ve had,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of fun from the beginning of the week. Every time we walked out, we had a good time.” … Rock-It Pocket beat Team 21, 12-10, for third place. City Grille/Flying Dog defeated the A-Team for the consolation championship. … So, Mike Busza, you’ve just won the Vail Lacrosse Shootout. Now, what are you going to do? “We’re going to have Vail’s biggest party in 33 years,” he said. Doubtless, GMH lit up Bridge Street Monday night.Men’s Elite all-tournament teamAttackersSean Morris, GMH

Mike Law, Go FastLance Vitt, Rock-It PocketFaceoffDan Spinella, Merrill LynchMidfieldBill McGlone, GMHPaul Rabil, Go FastScott Lee, Team 21DefenseJon Urbana, Go FastJack Reid, GMH

Troy Ergenbright, Rock-It PocketGoalieKevin Keenan, GMHMVPSean Morris, GMHHigh scorerMike Law, Go FastCoachesMike Busza, Jeff Murray and Mike Holloway, GMHSports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 614, or Colorado

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