GMH, Go Fast make the finals
VAIL – The boys from Philly are rolling at this year’s Men’s Elite Vail Lacrosse Shootout.GMH is in today’s final for the third straight year after racking up three wins by a combined score of 34-7, giving rise to the question, “Can anyone stop these guys?””I think Go Fast might be able to give them a little bit of a run,” said Rock-It Pocket coach Flip Naumburg after his team was routed by GMH, 11-2, in Sunday’s first semifinal.Well, Coach, we’re going to find out. Team Go Fast showed it belonged in the final with an impressive 11-5 win in the other semifinal against Team 21, who had knocked out the No. 1 seed, Mammoth, on Saturday.GMH and Go Fast butt heads today at 2 p.m. at Ford Park.While conceding that the top half of the bracket with Go Fast, Team 21 and Rock-It Pocket was likely a bit tougher than his team’s draw, GMH coach Mike Busza wasn’t too surprised that his charges are playing on the Fourth of July.”We have a real nice squad,” he said. “Our defense is probably our strength and our offense has just played great. We’re actually playing very well together. No, I’m not surprised. We have a quality team out here and we’re just happy to be here. There’s great competition. But, we’re looking to do some nice things tomorrow in the championship game.”The aforementioned championship is a ticklish point for GMH. The team’s got there the last two Shootouts, only to lose Harrow Team Colorado in 2003 and Mammoth in 2004.
“We’re focused, ” Busza said. “… We really want to win it this year. We have the personnel to do it … Our owner is Gary Holloway and he treats us first class, so we really want to do it not only for us, but for him, too.”Before the trophy is simply handed to GMH, Go Fast displayed a rock solid defense against Team 21, has a strong goalie in Jesse Schwartzman and likely one of the best attackers in the tourney in Mike Law.Emphasizing the need for possession to keep the ball out of the hands of GMH’s potent offense, Go Fast coach Jon Barocas thinks his team can match up well.”Same way we approach any other team,” he said. “We’re going to have fun on the field. My guys are here to have fun and win and we plan to accomplish both.”GMH 13 Rocket-It Pocket 2GMH’s Sean Morris poured in four goals and added an assist as his team breezed past Rock-It Pocket, a squad composed mostly of players from Colorado State, 13-2.GMH led, 7-0, at the half and never looked back.
“They’re awful good. They have more talent than us, for sure,” Naumburg said. “They’re all club players, mostly college players. Every player is talented. Faceoffs, we couldn’t get them. We didn’t have possession enough.”Morris had the ball quite a bit for GMH and used it wisely.”I was feeling good this morning,” Morris said. “We’ve got a great offense. Sometimes, it’s a product of the offense, guys moving the ball around, getting open spots and putting the ball in.”Brian Jacovina also had no problem putting it in, ringing up a hat trick. GMH teammate Marc Morely also had two.GMH was equally proficient in keeping the ball out of its own net. Busza was effusive in praising his defense of Tony Frick, Mark Young, Jack Reid, Mark Shaeffer, Chris Bryan, Jesse Tarr, DJ Driscoll and Matt McMillen as well as goalies Kevin Keenan and Joe Canuso.GMH allowed only 20 shots, but the most telling stat for the team’s defense was extra man opportunities. Rocket-It Pocket was 0-for-7 when up a man.Lance Vitt and Craig Nolan scored for Rock-It Pocket.
Go Fast 11Team 21 5After Go Fast’s tight win in the quarterfinals Saturday, Barocas said he wasn’t a fan of routs.That having been said, he’s probably not going to throw back his team’s convincing 11-5 win over Team 21 in Sunday’s semifinals.”Team 21 is a good team,” Barocas said. “I’ve got to give them a lot of credit for what they’re doing. I respect them a lot. They’re pretty damn good. We just brought it today. We played really, really well.”Like GMH, Go Fast did it with defense, holding down an explosive Team 21, a group of recent Cornell alumni. D-men Jon Urbana, Cory Van, Chris Watson and Spencer Stenmark got the job done in Go Fast’s zone and when it got by them, Schwartzman was there between the pipes.”The defense made it happen today,” Law said. “Our goalie is a wall.”Speaking of Law, all he did was put five in the Big Red’s net.”The kid is just unbelievable, Colorado kid, real team player. He’s just gives it all,” Barocas said. “I think he’s the best attack man out here right now. No doubt.”
Kip Malo added two and Adam Stifel scored once and added a helper.For Team 21, the loss was disappointing after knocking off No. 1 Mammoth Saturday.”We were just excited about yesterday and we’ve been enjoying ourselves up here and enjoying everybody’s company. We went out there and played and couldn’t come together today,” Team 21 coach David Coors said. “I think the guys were a little worn down, tired from the altitude and everything. But, we played hard. I’m happy with it. I would have like to have won.”Scott Lee led the Big Red with two goals.Ground ballsRock-It-Pocket and Team 21 meet in the third-place game at Ford Park today at 9 a.m. In other Men’s Elite championship-bracket action, Mammoth beat Merrill Lynch, 11-9, and Jammin’ Salmon topped the Rocky Mountain Oysters, 14-9. Mammoth faces the Fish for fifth place at Edwards at 1 p.m. Merrill Lynch and the Oysters play for seventh at 11 a.m., also at Edwards. … David Coors’s dad, Pete, was in the crowd Sunday. “It’s great,” the younger Coors said. “It’s been a dream of mine. I always wanted him to come out to Cornell to watch us and now we brought the team to him.”Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 614, or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado