(WE ARE HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE THAT BEN MARINI HAS AGREED TO WRITE OUR BLOG FOR US. AS WE HAVE SAID BEFORE – GHOST WRITERS HERE AND THERE ARE TOTALLY WELCOME! THANK YOU BEN – CONSIDERING YOU WROTE THIS WITH ONLY THE TEXT MESSAGES SOME OF US WERE SENDING YOU!
Those who traveled to Seattle, the Emerald City, were treated to a gem. Most arrived in the Great Northwest on Friday, with parents from all classes represented. The 3rd Annual Seatown Classic got underway Saturday, with a thrilling lacrosse game and an ND football game-watching/networking event. Sunday included tours, some by land, others by sea. The team also mixed it up with one of the area’s youth teams in a sun-drenched clinic. They visited two iconic businesses on Monday, with red-eye flights bringing them home for Fall break. Scenery, weather and camaraderie were outstanding.
Facing The US National team for the second time in three years, the Irish came out strong – one, two, three, four, five, six, seven unanswered goals. Freshman Mikey Wynne began the fireworks, with fellow attackman Connor Doyle following suit within the game’s first minute. Sergio Perkovic, who had six assists, scored next. By now, the local ND Alumni Band was more than warmed up. Junior Matt Kavanaugh scored his first, followed by Ben Pridemore. In between the offensive onslaught, were outstanding face-off wins from sophomore PJ Finley and freshman John Travisano. Irish goalie Connor Kelly was active and acrobatic, turning away each US effort. He made a key stop in tight, that would lead to a possession and goal by junior Cole Ricardi. The record crowd of 3,657 were rather stunned. Team USA, featuring two Tewaaraton winners and several Tewaaraton finalists, was rich in talent and experience. The first quarter ended with Team USA getting on the board courtesy of goals from Ryan Young and Brett Schmidt. While shots on goal favored the Irish 10-9, the scoreboard reflected ND leading 7-2.
The second quarter began with two more US goals, despite some stellar defense by Hank Williams and freshman John Sexton. With both teams showing a willingness to make this a track meet, Matt Kavanaugh scored again, breaking a string of four consecutive US goals. After Irish goaltender Kelly posted a couple of nifty saves, Mikey Wynne added his second goal of the game. The Irish were not backing down from this very talented US team, Junior Eddy Lubowicki would tally a man-up goal to close out the Irish scoring for the half. Despite being outshout and outscored for the quarter, the Irish led at halftime 10-6.
Smiles from parents were abundant and for good reasons. The boys had won the half and showed strength at both ends of the field. Newcomers were contributing as were veterans. And the weather began to show promise. The third quarter began with both teams making some changes. Shane Doss manned the Irish goal and immediately benefited from a defensive gem turned in by Ed Glazener. But the US continued the pressure, with Tewaaraton finalist Jordan Wolf scoring consecutive goals. We remember Wolf , who put the NCAA Championship Game on ice for Duke, late in the game to secure the 2014 title. Despite some outstanding defense, the US would score nine consecutive goals, aided by a non-releasable, two-minute man advantage. With just under three minutes remaining in the third quarter, the US took their first lead of the game, outshooting the Irish 13-7. After a blazing start and solid second quarter, we trailed after three 15-10.
Half-time pleasantries and joy were replaced with anxiety. But we’ve been here before and responded – see Maryland, Syracuse, Albany and Duke. So when Cole Ricardi scored his second of the game, followed by a highlight goal by Kavanaugh and sweeeet goal by Jack Near, smiles returned as the Irish flashed their resolve. Cue the bagpipes. The defense tightened, with sophomore Garrett Epple turning in another fine performance and Doss steady between the pipes. With time dwindling, sophomore Anthony Marini got us closer with a goal in tight. It would be our final tally. The Irish would win the fourth quarter 4-2, but lose the game 17-14. An experience we’ll build from.
Post-game dinner was provided by the ND Club of Seattle. The boys took in the ND/Florida State football game at McCrory’s, while having the opportunity to network with alums fron Nintendo, Microsoft, Cisco and Amazon. Sunday’s sightseeing would include Pike Place Market, Snoqualmie Falls, Seattle’s Fisherman’s Terminal. CitySide Lax is a local youth club whom the Irish spent time teaching and joking with in the afternoon. Monday featured visits to Microsoft and Amazon, before the team would head to the airport for departure and Fall Break.
Many thanks to Steve and Lynnea Osello for organizing the intimate pre-game tailgate. Liza and John Near also made the trip, as did Lis Corrigan, Sue and Dan Runyon, Rob Kelly, Ann and Chris Glazener, Jane Marlatt, Jack Travisano, Valerie Sexton,
Mike Carter, Chris Molloy, Todd Healy, Tracy and Rory Byrne and alumni parents Mary and GW Mix, who have donated much of their time and effort on behalf of Irish lacrosse.
Fall Ball completion will bring spring closer. Of course there’s a winter in there. Remember to buy your Irish apparel and stay tuned for announcements for the regular season! Til then….