LAKE PLACID - After two days of round-robin and semifinal action in the six scholastic tournaments at the 24th annual Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Classic, the finals day's schedule is set. Here's a look at how things have shaped up in each of the scholastic divisions and the championships on tap for today at the Summit Classic.
James Murnane of the Tri-Lakes under-18 team defends behind the net during Tuesday’s game against the Blaze Rising Juniors in action at the 24th Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Tournament. Tri-Lakes won the match 8-6 to even its record at 2-2. Play in the junior divisions wraps up today, with the adults taking the field Thursday. The event runs through Sunday at the North Elba Athletic Fields.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
The Baltimore Crabs and the Central New York-based Liberty were each still undefeated with 4-0 records as of Tuesday evening. The Crabs earned wins over the CNY Roadhawks and the Long Island Express on Tuesday, while Liberty took victories over the Buffalo Soldiers and Lax World.
The Crabs and Liberty will meet each other in the U-19 boys title game on North Elba Field 1 at 1:30 p.m. today.
The Crabs scored 47 goals and allowed only 13 in their first four contests. The Liberty put up 55 goals and gave up 23.
Four teams finished round-robin play and the semifinals at 3-1: the Coldbrook Laxers, the Buffalo Soldiers, the Long Island Express and Lax World (comprised of players from Buffalo and Rochester).
U-18 Gold Boys
The defending champion FCA National High School Team remained undefeated at 4-0 Tuesday along with the Buffalo Soldiers with a record of 5-0. The FCA squad took wins over Be The Best from New York City/Long Island and Shoreham-Wading River from Suffolk County on Long Island, while the Buffalo Soldiers earned victories over VTribe Gold of Vermont and two against the Coldbrook Laxers from Central New York.
Those wins set up a championship between the FCA National squad and the Buffalo Soldiers, which is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today on North Elba Field 5. The FCA team has scored 51 goals and allowed only 10, while the Buffalo Soldiers have scored 54 and allowed 25 through five games.
The Baltimore Crabs 2014 team, Be The Best, a New York City/Long Island team, and the Coldbrook Laxers head into Wednesday at 3-1.
U-18 Silver Boys
A second FCA team - a team of players from the 2015 high school class - and Bar Down Lacrosse from New Hampshire were atop the U-18 silver standings Tuesday evening with 4-0 records.
FCA defeated North Country Lax, a team from Upstate New York, and the Fighting Four 2014 squad out of New York's Southern Tier. Bar Down Lacrosse earned a pair of hard-fought two-goal victories against the Rocky Point Swag from Long Island and the Western Royals from Rochester, to remain unbeaten heading into the today's playoffs. FCA and Bar Down Lacrosse will meet in Wednesday's U-18 silver boys title game, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on North Elba Field 4. Through Tuesday, the FCA 2015 team had scored 62 times and given up only 18 tallies, while Bar Down Lacrosse had put up 37 goals and allowed 20.
The Tri-Lakes team won both its games Tuesday, capped off by an 8-6 victory over Blaze Rising Juniors. Tri-Lakes returns to action today against Niners Select S at 9:45 a.m.
The Long Island Outlaws 2016 team and the Academy Mortgage squad, an Annapolis, Md.-based program, won two more games to remain 4-0 Tuesday. The Outlaws beat the Fighting 4 2016 team and later the Flyers team out of Rochester, while Academy Mortgage earned victories over the Battenkill Blazers from Greenwich, and the Long Island Express 2017 team. The Outlaws 2016 squad and Academy Mortgage are set to face off for the U-16 boys championship on North Elba Field 3 at 1:30 p.m.
The Outlaws scored 39 goals and gave up 15 through the first four games, and Academy Mortgage scored 50 and allowed only 11 through round-robin and semifinal play.
Mass Elite Red and the FCA 2014-2016 girls squad made it through Tuesday's action with no losses to keep their perfect records, sitting at 4-0 heading into today. To get there, Mass Elite Red got past the Star Riders from Central New York and later BLA Team Buffalo, while FCA earned wins over BLA Team Buffalo 2 and Ballston Spa from New York's Capital Region.
Through Tuesday, Mass Elite Red has outscored the competition 74-14 and FCA has scored 72 goals and allowed only six. These two teams meet in the 2014-2016 girls championship on North Elba Field 6 at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The Dazzling Divas from Long Island were the only undefeated squad left in the 2017-2018 girls division after Tuesday's action. The Divas earned wins against the Star Riders Red team and Bethlehem from near Albany, to earn their spot in the first 2017-2018 girls championship at the Lake Placid Summit Classic.
The victory also sets up a Long Island showdown, as the Dazzling Divas will face the Lady Eagles (3-1) of Rocky Point on North Elba Field 6 at 12:15 p.m. today in the title matchup. The Lady Eagles' only loss was a 9-8 decision to the Outlaws from Central New York, a team the Divas edged 11-10 on Monday.
The Dazzling Divas gave up just 18 goals while scoring 49 in round-robin play, while the Eagles scored 48 and allowed 26.
IAS well-represented with 11 teams
Jeff Coulson has been coming to Lake Placid since 1995, right around the time he founded Indoor Action Sports in Greenfield, Mass. Soon after creating IAS, Coulson began bringing youth teams to the Lake Placid Summit Classic.
Nearly 20 years later, Coulson - a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University who now has more than 30 years of coaching and playing experience - has organized a record 11 teams that have traveled to Lake Placid to compete this week in the 24th annual Lake Placid Summit Classic.
"IAS is located in Western Massachusetts, and the irony is that there's really not any lacrosse in our county, in that part of Mass," said Coulson, who still takes the field at the Summit Classic, set this year to compete in the men's grand masters 3 division. "We draw players from all over New England and all over the country. I have players up here right now now from St. Louis, Georgia and Ohio. I have men coming in from California and women from Virginia."
Coulson, through IAS, was able to field more teams at this year's Summit Classic than any single organization has ever brought to the tournament. IAS has teams competing in numerous scholastic tournaments: two Team IAS Breakaway squads (one competing in the U-19 boys bracket and one in the U-18 Gold boys division), the Team IAS Catamounts in the boys U-18 gold bracket, the Team IAS Cougars in the U-18 silver boys division, the IAS Jaguars in the U-16 boys division, the IAS Lady Catamounts and the IAS Lady Jaguars, both competing in the girls 2014-2016 bracket.
And in the adult tournament, Team IAS is competing in the men's open 1 division, the Team IAS Catamounts are in the men's open 2 division, the IAS Women Catamounts are in the women's open 1 bracket and the IAS Women Jaguars are competing in the women's open 2 division.
"I get so many kids who want to play, and Lake Placid is at the end of our season," Coulson said. "When (Lake Placid) added the scholastic division, we put in teams. And then they added the U-16 boys, so we put in a team. They added the girls divisions, so we put in a team. It's just kept growing."
Coulson and his staff have had no problem putting together an increasing number of teams. Coulson pointed out that some of the players on his men's squads have bee involved with IAS for 15 to 17 years.
"We're to a point where players find us. We have a website, but we're not actively recruiting players. I want players come to us because they want to play."
Coulson said he's committed to continue the Lake Placid tradition, and as long as he can get a team into one of the growing number of scholastic and adult brackets, he plans to guide players and their families to the Summit Classic.
"I tout this as the most prestigious tournament to attend," Coulson said. "I've been to Vail, I've been to them all, and they are good. But to me, this is the one."
Two of the most talked about brackets at the Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Classic, this year's U-19 boys and U-18 gold boys divisions feature a long list of elite players who have traveled from all over the country to compete in the increasingly competitive scholastic tournament.
The U-19 division, in just its second year, features a number of teams stacked with players who have just completed their first season of college lacrosse or are about to enter college and are still young enough to compete in the bracket. That includes the Baltimore Crabs, a team founded and operated by Ryan McClernan, which stood at 4-0 Tuesday evening along with the Central New York-based Liberty U-19 squad.
"The location helps in attracting quality players who can get here to play together on good fields and be able to do something more than lacrosse," McClernan said. "Because we are a full-on scholastic club starting at under-13 and going all the way through high school, what we get here are some of our college kids and then some of their friends. If you can't get a full reunion team, they'll get some of their friends from Hopkins or Maryland or Carolina or Cornell. You can put together a good group of guys who want to come up and play."
The Crabs U-19 team features the likes of Villanova midfielder John Kluh, Quinnipiac goalie Jack Brust, and a collection of players from Loyola, Johns Hopkins and other elite programs. Also undefeated as of Tuesday night, Liberty's U-19 roster includes names like Maryland-bound Connor Cannizzaro and North Carolina-bound Luke Goldstock, to name a few.
Featuring some of the very best college-bound high school players in the country, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes National High School Team is a two-time defending champion in the U-18 gold boys bracket and as of Tuesday night held a 4-0 record. Drew Wardlow, director of the FCA Lacrosse Ministry, said the FCA team is always motivated to travel to the Adirondacks to take on what the players expect to be outstanding competition.
"George Leveille does a great job of getting the Upstate talent," Wardlow said. "You really see a lot of teams you don't see at other tournaments and you see a lot of players who don't get a lot of pub. You come up here and it's not just the Baltimore kids you hear about."
Wardlow said some teams have emerged as powerful squads in recent seasons at Lake Placid, mentioning the Coldbrook Laxers out of Homer, New York, and the Rochester-based Blaze team, which has helped create a very competitive setting.
Wardlow said the FCA National squad is able to consistently put a solid team together, crediting the Kelly family from Baltimore for their influence on the program, helping direct several talented players to the FCA organization over the years.
"For our team, we've been doing this so long that we really have a strong network around the country," Wardlow said. "Our biggest strength is word of mouth. Kids have a good time here and just want to come play. It's nothing magical we do. When we asked some of the players what they wanted to do here, a number of players said they want come here to win a championship."