LAKE PLACID - The Baltimore Crabs won the U-19 boys division at the 24th annual Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Classic with a 9-6 victory over Liberty from Central New York Wednesday afternoon at the North Elba Athletic Fields.
Justin Guterding, who is committed to play at Duke University after a post-graduate year at the Salisbury School, led the team's offense with a goal and four assists in the final.
"It was a great time," said Guterding, who helped Garden City (Long Island) win its second consecutive New York State Class B championship in the spring. Last summer, Guterding was a member of the FCA National High School Team that won the U-18 Gold title. "Just a bunch of great dudes. Guys from all over. It was awesome to play with the older kids. It made me realize I have stuff to work on. They taught me things."
Players from FCA, based in Maryland, and Be the Best, Long Island, attempt to collect an airborne ball Tuesday at the 24th annual Summit Lacrosse Tournament.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
The Baltimore Crabs roster included players from Cornell, Virginia, Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Ohio State, Villanova, Bucknell, Towson, Quinnipiac and other elite lacrosse programs.
The Crabs led by as many as five goals in putting on a fantastic showing against Liberty, at one point holding an 8-3 advantage.
Gutderding credited Crabs coach Duncan Booth for assembling a powerful team that seemed to improve throughout the tournament.
"Coach Booth did a great job with our guys," Guterding said. "He basically just put together what he thought was going to be the best group of guys at the right time and he did a good job with that."
Guterding was named the Crabs most valuable player after the championship win. Also honored after the game was Connor Cannizzaro, who just graduated from Cazenovia and will join the Maryland Terrapins. Cannizzaro, who led the Liberty team with four unassisted goals in the title game, was presented with the first Paul Schimoler Spirit Award by Lyn Reitenbach.
Paul Schimoler was a standout goaltender at Cornell University in the late 1980s and later with Team USA at the world games. Schimoler, a regular at the Summit Classic and a leading coach for the VTribe Lax program out of Vermont, passed away in February shortly after learning he had brain cancer.
"This is awarded to a player in the scholastic division who shares Paul's passion for the game," said Reitenbach, who coached the Ithaca varsity girls program for 15 years and now brings multiple Star Riders teams to compete in the Summit Classic's girls' and women's divisions. "The last conversation I had with Paul, he was excited about his plans for the scholiastic division. I just wanted to do something. I miss him."
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes 2015 team won the U-18 silver boys championship with a dominating 11-2 win over New Hampshire-based Bar Down Lacrosse.
"It was close through the first half and their defense was tough," said Dean Curtis, who has coached the FCA 2015 squad that last two summers at the Summit Classic. "But we started to figure things out and made some offensive chance and started to push the field a bit, which gave us opportunities."
Leading the way for FCA was Grant Ament (Haverford School/Penn State), Alec Orazietti (Mountain Lakes), Colton Rupp (Landon/Cornell) and Henry Grass (Bronxville/Johns Hopkins). Ament and Rupp finished with two goals and an assist, while Orazietti finished with two goals and Grass registered a goal and an assist.
Tri-Lakes, a team, comprised of players from Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, the North Country and beyond, wrapped up action with a three-game win streak and a 3-2 overall record. After beginning the tournament with two losses Monday, Tri-Lakes won both its games Tuesday and finished Wednesday morning with a 7-6 win over Niners Select. In that game, Tri-Lakes rallied from a 5-0 deficit in the second half and then broke a 6-6 deadlock with the final goal of the game to claim the victory.
The FCA National High School Team won its third consecutive U-18 Gold boys division championship with a hard-fought 9-7 victory over the Buffalo Soldiers, a team made up of players from Buffalo and Rochester.
Joel Tinney, a midfielder at the Culver Academy in Indiana who hails from Guelph, Ont., led the FCA squad with four goals in the win, capping his outstanding performance this week by earning MVP honors after the title matchup.
Glen Miles, who has coached the FCA National HS team that has traveled to Lake Placid for the past six summers, had high praise for Tinney, who will attend Johns Hopkins in the fall of 2014.
"First and foremost, being around him for three days, he's extremely humble and from what I witnessed over the three days, he has impeccable character," Miles said. "His off the field personality in this world of 'me, me, me' is awesome. He's very likely the best high school player I've ever seen."
The FCA squad had to overcome its first deficit of the tournament to defeat the Buffalo Soldiers, a team with highly-touted college-bound players, including Bishop Timon-St. Jude standouts Adam DiMillo (Maryland) and Connor Fields (Albany), who led the way for the Soldiers with three goals.
"The Buffalo Soliders were not intimidated by any stretch of the imagination and came out ready to play," said Miles, who is the head coach at St. Margaret's Episcopal in California. "From not having any close games throughout the tournament, it was cool for me to see how we reacted to the adversity of being down. I think we were down 5-4 and then 6-5. We really bonded and came together and more importantly we stayed together."
Miles said he believes the players performed better because of the quality time they spent together in Lake Placid.
"One of the neatest things about FCA and the Lake Placid tournament is that the players have so much fun off the field and that contributes to how we play together because we bond so well off the field. It's almost like the cliff jumping and putt-putt golf is better than practice, because it brings them together and helps them play really well together."
The Long Island Outlaws 2016 team won the boys U-16 championship at the Summit Classic Wednesday with a 6-3 victory over Academy Mortgage out of Annapolis, Md. Leading the way for the Outlaws was Jack Hannigan, who scored three times and assisted on another goal in the title matchup.
"Today I just thought we played good all around," said Pat Brennan, the co-founder and director of the Huntington-based Outlaws program. "We're a very, very good team, but we've had a so-so summer. I actually felt like we'd underperformed a bit this summer. So to win this at the end like this, I thought that was great.
Brennan credited several of his players for helping the team to an undefeated 5-0 run to the championship. Shane Brennan (Walt Whitman/Binghamton) had a terrific showing in the cage throughout the tournament, while Hannigan, Matt Stockfedder, Josh Goldblatt, Scott Manning and Chris Abbey all made key contributions this week. Face-off man Jack Brewer was better than 60 percent at the X throughout the week and was named co-MVP along with goalie Christian Carlino.
"I personally so much look forward it's lacrosse and a vacation," Brennan said. "It's great up here the kids are fired up."