Boston High School: Morgan Cheek

South Hadley's Fitzell takes MVP in All-American game

June, 17, 2014
Jun 17
2:35
AM ET
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.”

Recap: Governor's Academy 6, Nobles 4

May, 15, 2013
5/15/13
1:54
AM ET
BYFIELD, Mass. – Governor’s Academy lost their first game of the season on Saturday to a St. Sebastian’s team who has been playing its best lacrosse in the second half of the season.

Gov’s midfielder Tate Jozokos knew that they needed to come out strong on Tuesday against fellow top ISL opponent, Noble and Greenough.

“We were down coming off that big loss but with the one practice he had in between we knew that it was going to make us better in the long run,” Jozokos said after the game.

In a defensively charged game, it was Governor’s Academy (12-1, 11-1 in ISL) who would come out on top as they held Nobles (11-4, 9-3 in ISL) to a season-low four goals to earn a 6-4 victory and remain tied at the top of the ISL with Belmont Hill.

“This was a big game and an important game for both teams,” Gov’s head coach Peter Bidstrup said. “We knew we were facing an excellent team today.”

Nobles would jump out to an early 1-0 lead as star middie Morgan Cheek scored in transition at the 7:29 mark in the first quarter.

Gov’s would net two goals in the final three minutes of the first quarter on scores from Jozokos and Teddy Bettencourt to take a 2-1 lead into the second quarter.

With both teams struggling to execute possessions early it was the work of both team’s defenses that kept each opposing offense at bay.

“We defended very well but they also defended very well,” Bidstrup said. “Toward the end of the season these games can get a little defensive between these good teams.”

Gov’s middie Drew Pirie would give the home team some minor breathing room as he scored with 7:10 remaining in the second quarter on a dodge from the top. He would also add another two minutes later on a man-up strike assisted from attack Larsen Bidstrup.

Nobles middie P.J. Bell would score a crucial goal on a beautiful dodge, with 24 seconds remaining in the half, to cut the Gov’s lead to 4-2 and give Nobles some much needed momentum headed into the half.

The third quarter would begin with a burst of rare offense as Gov’s would get goals from middie Jesse Gwozdz and attack Ben Stafford and Nobles would get one back on a strike from middie Parker McKee.

Gov’s goalie Eddie Gilman would do his best work in net in the second half and neither team would score in the final 15 minutes of the game as Gov’s would hold on for the narrow win.

Despite the loss the Nobles defense, led by sophomore goalie Teddy Strzetelski (14 saves), stood tall all evening. Strzetelski made numerous big saves to help keep Nobles in the game throughout.

Gov’s has three ISL games remaining on their schedule. They will take on Thayer, Brooks and Middlesex to conclude the season. Despite defeating Belmont Hill, 12-7, earlier in the season, Gov’s shares the top spot with BH as both squads head into the final stretch run of their schedules.

D-Middie Dominance: Gov’s controlled the possession edge in the game, winning 7-of-8 draws in the first half and 11-of-14 in the game.

Gov’s long-stick middies Andy “Bug” Carper and Eli Morrissey were instrumental in both the midfield defense and the faceoff edge.

“We definitely focused on our defense today,” Jozokos said. “On the faceoffs, we had our double poles going and wanted to put pressure on whoever was taking the faceoff for them. We were strong with the checks today.”

Jozokos, Bettancourt, Gwozdz and the rest of the Gov’s middies also did a great job of playing two-way midfield as they helped neutralize one of New England’s top midfield units of juniors Cheek (1 Goal, 1 Assist), Bell (1G, 1A), and McKee (1G) throughout the game.

“We are really athletic in the midfield,” Bidstrup said. “We are a group of guys who can play hard, tough defense and we did that today against a team that has a group of very good dodgers.”

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