Lacrossewear repeats as Shootout champs
VAIL — It was worth the wait for Lacrossewear.
The champs defended their men’s elite Vail Lacrosse Shootout title on Sunday, over coming both a lightning delay and a persistent Brine Elite squad, 10-8, at Ford Park in Vail.
“The reason we bring all these guys together is that it is so much fun,” Lacrossewear coach Paul Ladaiche said. “It’s a phenomenal tournament run by a great group of people. It’s just an amazing experience.”
This is Lacrossewear’s second Shootout crown in a row and fourth in the 10 years it has competed in the tournament. So it’s a bit of a dynasty, which works because the team’s full name is Lacrossewear/Dynasty.
Whatever one calls them, the champs are made primarily made up of former and current Big East players, be they from St. John’s, Georgetown, Marquette, Villanova and Syracuse, the last now in the ACC, but a founding school of Dave Gavit’s creation.
“It’s awesome,” said Eric DeJohn of St. John’s. “We’ve got a team full of studs from all over the country. It’s cool. The guys I play against in the Big East, they put us in a room for a week. You get to know them.”
And everyone seemed to make friends. DeJohn got the first marker of the game as part of his hat trick. Lacrossewear looked like it was going to win in a rout with first-quarter goals from Alex Zomerfeld and two from Nick Mariano to build a 4-1 lead.
Brine Elite pulled itself back into the game with a Ryan Denehy 2-pointer. For the uninitiated, men’s college lacrosse has an arc at 16 yards from the goal, somewhat akin to the 3-point line in the NBA.
Lacrossewear and Brine Elite were tied a four and five and then Zomerfeld, Mike O’Neill put Lacrossewear up 7-5 in the third quarter.
Lacrossewear had an 8-5 lead with 8:40 left in the fourth quarter, when the skies opened up. Rain is fine. Lightning is not, particularly when the participants are using metal sticks.
Both teams adjourned for 35 minutes before the skies cleared.
“We sat around and talked and hoped we’d come out as soon as possible,” DeJohn said. “We were all really tight. We got a good stretch in. It’s tough to start running again, but we had to get it done.”
DeJohn all but closed the door with two scoring strikes upping Lacrossewear’s lead to 10-6. Riley Seidel ripped a two pointer for Brine with 9.6 seconds remaining. Brine Elite won the ensuing faceoff, but could not get off a Hail Mary shot to force overtime.