LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Alec Barnes won 14 of 18 faceoffs and added one goal and two assists to lead second-seeded 3d Select National to a 10-4 win over the top-seeded Long Island Express Barracudas (N.Y.) in the gold medal game of the US Lacrosse Boys’ U15 National Championship, powered by Lacrosse Unlimited, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex here Sunday. With players mainly from Colorado and California, 3d Select became the first Western-based program to win the national championship in its five-year history.
The 3d Select defense held the Barracudas (N.Y.) scoreless for 30:31 to complete a 7-0 run through the field that included two wins over For the Love of the Game (N.Y.) and a 10-7 defeat of third-seeded Dukes HHH (Pa.) in the semifinals.
Barnes won six of eight faceoffs in the first half and eight of 10 in the second half against the Barracudas’ combination of Sam Nadjari and Kyle Portera. He added two assists in the first half, and his feed to Keaton Komatz with 2:19 left in the first quarter gave 3d Select a 2-1 lead it would not surrender. Daniel Rooney had put Express ahead 1-0 with 6:23 left in the first quarter, but 3d Select did not allow another goal until 5:52 remained in the game. Defenseman Will Weitzel joined goalie Otto Bohan on the Lacrosse Magazine All-Tournament Team (below) from 3d.
Komatz’s second goal with 25 seconds left in the second quarter gave 3d Select a 5-1 lead. Barnes scored unassisted goal at 9:07 of the third, then won the ensuing faceoff. He fed Sean O’Keefe, who fed Henry Adams for a 7-1 lead just 11 seconds later.
Matt Gavin led Express with two goals and Rooney had one goal and one assist.
3d Select 5 5 10
Express Barracudas 1 3 4
3d Select Goals: Keaton Komatz 3, Winston Palmeri 2, Henry Adams 2, Alec Barnes, Sean O’Keefe, Colin Casey.
Express Goals: Matt Gavin 2, Ryan Rogers, Daniel Rooney.
3d Select Assists: Alec Barnes 2, Sean O’Keefe 2, Winston Palmeri, Cole Boland, Henry Adams.
Express Assists: Daniel Rooney, Jared Nugent.
3d Select Goalies: Otto Bohan 20:00, 4 saves, 1 GA. Tyler Hersh 20:00, 2 saves, 3 GA.
Express Goalies: James Ranieri 20:00, 4 saves, 5 GA. Gavin Tam 20:00, 2 saves, 5 GA.
Third-Place Game: FCA (Md.) 12, Dukes HHH (Pa.) 4
Balanced scoring fueled FCA’s 12-4 defeat of Dukes HHH for the bronze medal. Christian Ford scored twice in the first half to help FCA assume a 5-1 lead. After Dukes made it 6-3 midway through the second, Forry Smith scored the second of his two goals on a pass from Cole Williams at 10:44. Cal Costa led FCA with one goal and three assists, while four players scored for Dukes. Mike Clibanoff made seven saves for Dukes, which reached the final four for the first time.
Semifinal: Long Island Express Barracudas (N.Y.) 15, FCA (Md.) 5
Matt Gavin scored the Long Island Express Barracudas’ first four goals and Daniel Rooney had three goals and three assists as the Barracudas ran away from FCA, 15-5, in a matchup of programs that met in the 2012 final. Sam Nadjari provided the Barracudas with an advantage in faceoffs, and defensemen Daniel Confort and Matthew Makowski held Maryland commit Preston Faecher scoreless and Johns Hopkins commit Forry Smith to one goal, respectively, in a game that turned in a decisive second quarter. With his team down 2-1 after one, Gavin scored three straight unassisted goals to continue a 7-0 run. Daniel Rooney handed out consecutive assists to Kyle Portera and Nigel Andrews (3g), and Andrews scored again at 3:18 to put the Barracudas up 7-2. Smith converted a feed from Sam Harnisch to stop the run with an extra-man goal, but Long Island answered with goals six seconds apart in the final minute of the half. Barracuda goalies James Ranieri and Gavin Tam split the game, and each made five saves.
Semifinal: 3d Select (Colo.) 10, Dukes HHH (Pa.) 7
3d Select had to overcome some early adversity in a 10-7 defeat of Dukes HHH to advance to its first championship game. 3d was trailing 1-0 after one quarter and then got hit with a three-minute non-releasable penalty for an illegal stick to start the second quarter. Dukes cashed in with two extra-man goals to move in front 3-0. Dukes still led 4-3 at the half, but 3d held Dukes scoreless for a span of more than 14 minutes from late in the second quarter to early in the fourth quarter to take a 7-4 lead. Dukes rallied, cutting the lead to one on two separate occasions in the final quarter, the last coming with 2:05 left on Jake Martelucci’s outside shot. Dukes won the ensuing faceoff, but a huge takeaway check and groundball by 3d’s Charlie Leonard switched the possession, and 3d’s Sean O’Keefe was able to net two empty-net goals in the final minute to seal the win for 3d. O’Keefe led 3d with five goals while Winston Palmeri and Henry Adams each added two goals. Palmeri’s third-quarter goals tied the game at 4 and gave 3d its first lead of the game at 5-4, a lead it would not relinquish. Bret Baskin led Dukes with three goals, while Mike Fay added two goals and Matt Moore had two assists.
Lacrosse Magazine All-Tournament Team
A – Henry Adams, 3d Select
A – Matt Gavin, Long Island Express Barracudas
A – Ryan Rogers, Long Island Express Barracudas
M – Alec Barnes, 3d Select
M – Steve Cuccurullo, Long Island Express Turtles
M – Tyler Will, FCA
D – Daniel Confort, Long Island Express Barracudas
D – Will Weitzel, 3d Select
D – Jordan Young, Dukes HHH
G – Otto Bohan, 3d Select