Team 21, for No. 21, wins title
VAIL, Colorado ” Team 21 poured the beer ” Coors Light, of course ” Sunday afternoon. The current members of the Cornell lacrosse team and its alumni posed for the pictures and accepted their awards.
But more importantly, coach David Coors made a phone call and everyone on the squad signed a ball.
Winning the men’s elite division of the Vail Lacrosse Shootout is great ” and the Big Red likely celebrated late into the wee hours ” after all, its patron is Pete Coors ” but the greater meaning was lost on no one.”
Team 21 was formed four years ago to memorialize George Boiardi, a Cornell lacrosse player who died in 2004, who wore the number, and Cornell brought finally brought home the crown by beating Reebok, the defending champ, 12-7.
“It’s just thrilling,” David Coors said. “I just got off the phone with Mr. and Mrs. Boiardi. They were up here all weekend. They had to leave early to catch a flight. I got off the phone and they were just trilled and so happy for us. They’ve just been a great support and created a family atmosphere around this team.”
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
“We came out here and played our hardest,” Team 21’s John Glynn said. “That’s something we take pride in, especially when we put that No. 21 on our chest representing George Boiardi. Hopefully, we can keep this continuing in the spring at Cornell.”
The lacrosse equivalent of a game ball was signed by all the members of Team 21 and will go to Boiardi’s parents.
Last year, the two teams met in the Shootout semifinals with Reebok (then known as Go Fast) winning, 10-9 on a goal by Rocco Romero, who attended Cornell who attended of all places.
“We had a lot of motivation,” Team 21 goalie Jake Meyers said. “We actually got scored on by our own Rocco Romero to take us out. It was kind of a bummer on that. It’s very exciting to get back here.”
Both teams came flying out of the gate in the first period with Reebok leading, 3-2, but then Cornell started to dictate the flow. Team 21 shut down the high-powered Reebok offense, limiting the defending champions to just two goals from the start of the second period until things were well-decided midway through the fourth.
“I would give most of the credit to our goalie, Jake Meyers,” Coors said. “He played out of his mind. He was stopping everything. He really got them frustrated shooting. I think that was the difference. He was seeing the ball. The ball was a beach ball to him today.”
Meyers was named the Defensive MVP of the tournament for his work.
“I think it was 50 percent seeing the ball well,” Meyers said. “I think it was 50 percent I got hit a couple of times or was lucky. I think I got a couple of pipes to help me out.”
Either way, Reebok got frustrated and Team 21 started to click.
With an impending penalty, David Mitchell ripped the twine to tie the game at three. Shortly afterward, Christian Pastirik struck from behind the 2-point arc, giving Cornell the lead for good at 5-3.
Glynn got his second of the day, and by the time he got his hat trick, Team 21 was up 9-5 at the end of the third. Glynn ended up as the tourney’s Offensive MVP.
“We felt good in transition, he said. “We pushed the ball a lot. We did well on faceoffs. I wouldn’t have got this without my teammates, but it’s a great honor.”
Or as Reebok goalie Doc Schneider said, “John Glynn’s a beast.”
As Cornell’s defense continued to clamp down, Reebok lost a bit of composure, taking penalties which eliminated much chance of a comeback. Nonetheless, Reebok played well all week, attempting to defend its title.
“It’s extremely hard. Cornell’s a great team,” said Schneider, who was named the tournament’s best goalie. “They all play together, so I feel like they have a little bit more chemistry than all of us coming together. It’s fun tournament. We had some great games coming up to this, and they played well and they deserve it.”
Meanwhile, assorted members of Cornell likely needed to call their travel agents.
“We’re going to have a little fun tonight,” Meyers said. “I was actually supposed to get on a flight at 5:30 (p.m. Sunday), but there’s no way I’ll be making that flight. I think we’ll hang out and spend the night here and enjoy it, and get back to work on Tuesday, instead of Monday.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.