Tuesday, June 17, 2014
South Hadley's Fitzell takes MVP in All-American game
By Phil Garceau
BOSTON – Two days after the best teams in the state took to Boston University’s Nickerson Field, the best individuals took to the same field in the second annual Bostonlax.net All-American game.
Behind T.J. Fitzell’s (South Hadley) MVP performance (two goals, assist) and four goals a piece from Hunter Arnold (Acton-Boxborough) and Jay Drapeau (Westford Academy), Team Under Armour shook off the early rust and cruised to a 20-14 win over Team Cascade.
But when the final horn sounded, it wasn’t about the final score or the individual performances, but rather soaking in the environment and partaking in a great cause.
All proceeds generated from admission were donated to the Wounded Warrior project.
“It’s for a great cause, it was a great thing to be a apart of and it was at a great venue like BU,” Fitzell said. “To be able to come out and perform it’s quite exciting.”
“It’s a lot of fun, I met a lot of guys, I only knew three or four guys coming down here so I met a lot of guys from the area that have been playing lacrosse so it was a good time, I had a lot of fun.”
Team Cascade jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first quarter behind a pair of goals from James Burr (Middlesex) to go along with tallies from Danny Seibel (Belmont Hill) and Needham’s Mike Panepinto.
With 31 seconds remaining in the opening quarter, Kevin Bletzer (Catholic Memorial) scored the second Team Under Armour goal that was the front end of a 7-0 run, keeping Team Cascade off the scoreboard for nearly 12 minutes.
Bridgewater-Raynham’s Travis Reid scored back-to-back goals to end the drought and Team Cascade went into the half trailing by three.
Team Cascade cut the lead down to one with a 3-0 run on goals from Morgan Cheek (Nobles), Seibel and Panepinto but pulled away throughout the second half, and igniting an all-star game feel.
With time winding down, Drapeau scored the goal of the night going behind the back to beat Tyler Blaisdell (Thayer Academy) over his right shoulder for the score.
Arnold’s monster weekend: Hunter Arnold was one of three members of the Div. 1 Champion Acton-Boxborough Div. 1 championship team that took to the field Monday night, joining LSM Austin Wolf (Team Under Armour) and midfielder J.T. Kelly.
Arnold scored a goal in the Colonials’ 5-4 double overtime win over Duxbury and went off for another four goals Monday night on the same field.
“Overall the weekend was awesome,” Arnold recalled. “First the state championship game, there is nothing better, nothing better than beating Duxbury. Double-overtime and then today it was fun a lot of great guys out here.”
Arnold wasn’t the only one who took to the Nickerson Field again, as did Division 2 champion Medfield’s John MacLean, Brian Bissell, Blake Frasca, Matt Crowell and goalie Robert Treiber and Division 3 champion Cohasset’s LSM Tim Gillis.
Jelling together: It was the first time that many of these players had met, let alone played on the same team together. Before the game the players got a 20-minute warm-up to find their rhythm.
It didn’t take Team Cascade long to find their offensive stroke scoring four of the first five goals.
“We gelled together pretty quick after passing and catching drills we all came together,” B-R’s Reid said.
It took Team Under Armour a little longer to figure it out, but once they did, they were too much to handle.
“Well we were a little sloppy on offense so we slowed it down a little but got better shots and pumped in some goals,” Fitzell said.
Arnold added: “It was pretty easy to get along with these guys out here everyone knows how to play. We all know how to move the ball well, it was just a bit rusty to begin.”