Friday - Western Takes Central 6-5

- In one of the best games of the tournament, Western and Central played an exciting game with two equally matched teams. Both teams were in excellent form and demonstrated a high level of lacrosse skill and team strategy.

Western vs CentralWestern relied heavily on their attack, as they have over the last few years. All of their points (6 goals and 3 assists) came from five attackman. Drew Coholan and Matthew Springer demonstrated dominance and each scored two goals. Jeff Tundo added the last two, while Nick Scalzo and Matt Tobia added the assists.

Central looked to five different players to score their five goals, and looked to their midfield for their strength. Only one Central goal came from the attack, and that goal was scored in fast-break.

Special teams were also important, as the goalies, face-off men, and extra-man units all played key roles for both teams in the games. Mike Poppleton's domination of the face-off gave a significant advantage to Central as he was 9/11 at the draw. Of the four penalties that were assessed, three were converted into goals (two for Western and one for Central).

In the cage all three goalies (two for Central and one for Western) were highly successful. Steve Mahle, who played the second half for Central, finished with 3s/3ga; while Alex Fiore who started the game had 10s/3ga (77%). Jonathon Lawless played the entire game for Western and finished with 72% (13s/5ga).

Chris Nourse added two more takes to his leader board topping tallies and added five ground balls for Central. Kyle Van Thof was 4/9 at the draw and added five ground balls to his tallies. Lawless also had 5 ground balls. Overall, Western won the ground ball battle 32-27. Shots were equal with 27 for each team.

Western vs CentralThe scoring occurred in runs. Western was the first to strike when Springer drove from behind the cage and worked his way between his defender and then cage. After some fancy footwork, he put the ball into the back of the net. Central scored the next three goals to take the early two goal lead into the end of the first quarter. Matt Pratt scored on a quick pass from Zack Tingley who found him on the crease. Taylor assisted on a goal to Poppleton during an extra man attempt. The third and final Central goal of the quarter was scored by Matt Taylor, who, during a fast-break brought the ball straight in from the center of the field.

Western then held Central scoreless for all of the second quarter and half of the third quarter, all the while tying the game before the half and then retaking the lead in the third. Western's Jeff Tundo scored (unassisted) with a run straight at the goal, followed 0:13 later with a face-off fast-break engineer by Van Thof and Coholan (who connected on the goal).

Western's go ahead goal was scored by Springer with an assist from Nick Scalzo. Central then quickly scored two of their own to retake the lead. Central's first was a cross-crease pass where Ryan McConnell caught the ball on a feed from Zack Tingley. Their second goal was a fast-break by Tom Grimm. Before the quarter ended Western's Tundo scored his own goal. Kyle Van Thof picked up a ground ball during EMO and passed it on to Scalzo who found Tundo on the crease. The score still remained tied, at 5-5, after three quarters.

Western vs CentralIn the fourth quarter Western scored the lone goal. It was scored at 8:29 by Coholan from Tobia during a fast-break cross-crease feed. Western was in the lead by one and just had to hold off yet another Central comeback. With 4:44 remaining Western called their first time out of the half. It became obvious what they were told in the huddle when the game restarted. Western used the next 2:46 to keep the ball in their sticks and away from Central. They had crisp passes and ran and dodged behind the cage and Central could not retake the ball. With 1:58 remaining Central finally gained possession and called their own time-out. However, Central's success was short lived as only 0:26 later Western's Clay Del Prince stripped the ball back and cleared it into Western's territory.

Western called another time-out. Their success, much like Central's, however, was fleeting. Twenty seconds later John Storrier stripped the ball and took possession back for Central. They could not capitalize, however, and Western is able to keep the ball moving enough to not allow Central a chance back in the game.

The game was one of the best spectator games of the tournament and it showcased two of the top teams at the tournament.

Scoring for Western were Coholan (2g), Springer (2g), Tundo (2g), Scalzo (2a) and Tobia (1a).

Scoring for Central were Tingley (2a), Taylor (1g-1a), Pratt (1g), Poppleton (1g), MConnell (1g) and Grimm (1g).