Fort Lauderdale, FL – The 25th annual Bump & Grind Lacrosse Tournament was held this past weekend January 25-27 in beautiful South Florida. Mills Pond Park in Fort Lauderdale hosted 9 Men’s Elite teams and 4 Men’s Master’s teams from across the county. Teams in both divisions were able to enjoy a weekend of highly competitive lacrosse, great spirits, and incredible 85 degree South Florida weather. The weekend was culminated with a finish in the “Elite Championship” that you had to see to believe.
The energy and intensity was ramped on Sunday for the Playoffs of the Elite Division. Team Wavedog comprised of mostly guys from Ithaca, NY was able to hand the Salt Shakerz a loss in the battle of the 4 vs. 5 seeds. Team Jesse, who has been ultra-competitive in the Elite Division of the Bump & Grind for years, got the win over Sea of Green in the 3 seed vs. 6 seed game. Team Lacrossewear and Brine Kings both won their next games in hard-fought contests against Wavedog and Team Jesse to set up an epic Championship finale between the #1 and #2 seeds.
In the Master’s Division, we had a rematch between Team Lacrossewear and The Buzzards. Both teams knew each other very well as they were comprised of mostly local Floridians. Lacrossewear jumped out to an early lead with their attack finishing on a number of nice inside goals to make it 4-1. The rode their hot start to the finish and Team Lacrossewear won the Master’s Division by a final score of 10-3.
Up next was the Elite Division Championship between Team Lacrossewear and the Brine Kings. Lacrossewear came storming out the gates hot led by excellent shooting from Ohio Machine Midfielder Matt Witko and fellow Machine teammate Mario Ventiquattro. The Brine Kings unleashed a bevy of shots on the other end of the field that were answered by Lacrossewear goalie Johnny Rodriguez. At the half, Team Lacrossewear had the Kings on the ropes with a 6-0 lead. The Brine Kings rallied at the half and came out on fire behind the sharp shooting of Buggs Combs, Josh Amidon, and Justin Smith.
Team Lacrossewear had control of the game when they called a timeout having a 10-9 lead with just under a minute left. Lacrossewear controlled the ball behind the cage when the Kings began to furiously double the ball. This led to an open net goal scored by Lacrossewear to take an 11-9 lead with 21 seconds to go. Seemingly, the game was over barring the unthinkable, then…..the unthinkable happened. Greg “The Beast” Gurenlian won the faceoff easily and fed the ball to Ryan Cranston of the Charlotte Hounds who fired a blast over the shoulder of Lacrossewear goalie Stefan Schroder beyond the 2 point arc. The game was tied 11-11 with 8 seconds remaining setting the stage for one of the craziest finishes to a game ever.
Gurenlian proceeded to win the next draw cleanly and sprinted down the field as the clocked ticked away. The always crafty Liam Banks flashed to the crease, Gurenlian forced the feed inside, and Liam somehow caught the ball and went “Tim Desko” between the legs shot for the game winner with 1 second remaining. Elation poured out of the Brine Kings sideline while Team Lacrossewear was stunned. The Brine Kings had won the Elite Championship by a final score of 12-11 and MVP was awarded to Greg Gurenlian. The game capped off an amazing weekend in beautiful South Florida for the annual Bump & Grind Tournament. It’s going to be hard to top the 2013 edition of the tournament, but we are already looking forward to see what 2014 has in store.
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