Harrow Is hot: Colorado advances to meet GMH in Shootout final
VAIL – It’s official.
Harrow is hot.
Harrow Team Colorado advanced to the 2003 Vail Lacrosse Shootout championship game with a convincing 12-7 victory over Lax.Com/Team Mercury on Saturday. Colorado faces GMH, which beat Jammin’ Salmon, 11-7, in the other semifinal Saturday, today at 2 p.m. at Ford Field.
Sealing the deal for Colorado was the spectacular goaltending of Jeff Nunziato, who shut down a potent Mercury offense time and time again.
“I was getting really good sight on the ball,” said Nunziato of a 17-save performance. “The defense played a great game. They made it easy for me.”
With the performance, Nunziato – a player with Colorado roots who started in goal for the University of Denver – has to be on track for tournament MVP.
“The key was our goalie,” said Harrow Team Colorado Coach Max Caulkins, after the match. “(Lax.Com) got frustrated when they couldn’t score and we were able to capitalize on that.”
Caulkins has to be pleased with a performance that would seem to indicate that the second-seeded Harrow is firing on all cylinders.
But while defense saves games and any coach would have to love to have a goalie as hot as Jeff Nunziato in the net, you have to score to win.
Colorado can score.
The team has a nasty habit of crushing opponents’ championship dreams in the second half of games, with an explosive offense which comes alive in the third quarter. Colorado’s Saturday semifinal win was anchored by midfielder Randy Fraser, who tallied two goals and two assists, and attackmen Geff Snider and Dudley Dixon with two goals apiece.
Goalkeeping also played a major role in GMH’s 11-7 upset victory over No. 1 Jammin’ Salmon in the afternoon fixure at Ford Park, with GMH keeper TC Behm notching 14 saves. With the win, the Pennsylvania-based team which is playing for the first time in the Shootout served notice that it is a force with which to be reckoned..
“Our goalie played great,” said GMH Coach Dave Cacciabeve. “We wanted to
hold them on defense.”
Hold them they did, as GMH conceded merely a single goal during the second half of the game while ousting the tourney favorites to set up a showdown with Harrow Team Colorado.
“They look good,” said Cacciabeve. “It should be a tough game.”
With an explosive attack anchored by John’s Hopkins standout and All-American attackman Kyle Barrie, who notched up four goals and one assist in GMH’s win and TC Behm playing at the top of his form, the today’s title game looks to be the one of the highlights of a successful 2003 tourney, which has featured some of the best lacrosse players in the world.