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Florida Clubs Look Great at T.O.C. – Xtreme U11 to Play for National Championship Tomorrow

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in .
Florida Elite's Dawson Allen shoots on Michigan Team Total Lax
Florida Elite’s Dawson Allen shoots on Michigan Team Total Lax
The last two Florida clubs still sanding this afternoon were both playing in the U11 division.  The Palm Beach Storm and the Florida Xtreme had been setting the pace in the division up to the semi finals. Unfortunately, only one could advance to the finals because they had to play each other in the semi’s. Christian Tomei has been stellar between the pipes for the Storm.  Ryan Conforti has been pushing the transition game at the midfield and Evan Quattelbaum has anchored a very stingy defense. The XTreme have gotten a ton of points from Brock Gonzalez.   Mike Lizzio has been a standout at the midfield and teams have found it difficult to score on Spencer Tobin in the goal backing up a defense featuring fantastic play from Brice Naibridge. But the semi final game tonight was all Xtreme.  Connor Davies scored a pile of goals for the Xtreme who will go onto play Long Island’s Team 91 who won the division last year after
Harrison Rodormer from Boca High playing for Florida Elite
Harrison Rodormer from Boca High playing for Florida Elite
defeating the Xtreme.   One bright spot for the Storm in the semi-final loss was the shooting of James Dorsey.  This kid can flat out shoot!! Tomorrow morning’s championship game for the U11 national championship is a toss-up.  This will be a very good match up.  We have never seen two teams this young who can move the ball like these guys can.  These are two good teams. The U15 Palm Beach Storm had been on a roll until they ran into the Six Nations team.  PB looked to be in control throughout the first half.  But in a second half that got a little chippy (OK, the Six Nations team just got plain dirty.  There, I said it) Six Nations crawled back into the game and pulled it out by a single goal in the end, 9-8.  The Storm had earned the 3rd seed for the play-off round before getting eliminated in the round of eight.  They will face the Militia Lacrosse Club tomorrow morning in the 5th place bracket. The Storm had a great tournament with an excellent trio at attack with Andrew Packer, Nicklaus Calabria and Max Moran.  Collin O’Hare showed great speed at the midfield and Brian Chapman was solid at close “D”.
Lake Brantley's Tim Gehlbach playing for Sweetlax
Lake Brantley’s Tim Gehlbach playing for Sweetlax
The Florida Elite U15 team was looking good until they faced the Hampton Roads Ironclads.  They dropped a tough 7-4 game but overall had a great tournament making it to the round of eight after earning a 5th seed for the playoffs.  They will face Team Long Island in the 5th place bracket tomorrow morning. The Elite has had some great play from Keith Fernandez and the Diamond twins, Davis and Nick.  A newcomer on the scene to keep an eye on is a kid from Pope named Antonio Cartegena.  This kid can fly! He just picked up the game last year.  We watched him score two goals for Elite just driving to the pipes and letting go of a very impressive shot. The Florida Elite Rising Stars Team was also moving through the brackets until they faced the Michigan Team Total Lacrosse for the second time in the tournament.  After winning a 9-5 game on Saturday, Sunday’s game went a little different.   Elite, who had the 3rd seed ended up dropping a the game after letting Total Lacrosse (11th seed) get out to a fast start and could never overcome a 7-1 first half deficit.
Will Nicklaus of PB Storm playing tough D on Tenacious Turtles Taylor Strough
Will Nicklaus of PB Storm playing tough D on Tenacious Turtles Taylor Strough
Elite Rising Stars were led offensively by Mikey Urso, Patrick Oporto, and Dawson Allen.  I’m sure we will be hearing quite a bit from those three guys this spring.  The defensive standout for Elite was Evan Kalish.  Evan is a Vero Beach resident who attends Hebron Academy in Maine. The Tampa Bay Fire Rising Stars earned the 7th seed for the play-off round.  The beat the Atlanta Copperheads for the second time in the tournament and the faced the tournaments number 2 seed – FCA National Team.  The Fire looked to be in control at the half with a 5-2 lead.  But as the game wound down to the final eight minutes the experience of a national team full of kids who have played in countless big games proved to be too much.  FCA scored three back to back goals to pull off an 8-6 win. We were very impressed with the play of Nate Bleckley from Wharton.  He seemed to be on the field the entire game.  He is not big but he is totally fearless.  He is solid in the transition and plays great defense.  He is used on both the man down and man up teams. Nate’s Wharton teammate, James Davison, made some huge saves down the stretch to keep
St. Andrew's Grant Mahler (Cornell) playing for Sweetlax
St. Andrew’s Grant Mahler (Cornell) playing for Sweetlax
the Fire in contention.  Davison is a very impressive goalie.  IMG Academy’s Jonathan Thelen did a bunch of the scoring this weekend for the fire.  He is a big fast kid with a good lax I.Q. and a fast, accurate shot. Although there are no Florida teams left in the Elite division (Tampa Tribe was the only Florida team in the division) there are four Florida players still in the hunt for a national championship.  The NY Sweetlax team features St. Andrews’ Conor Whipple (Georgetown) and Grant Mahler (Cornell) and Lake Brantley’s Tim Gehlbach (North Carolina.)  Sweetlax is a solid team with lots of D1 talent.  They will play Canada’s Burnaby Mountain Selects at 10:30 tomorrow.  Those two teams played to an OT tie in pool play.  Conor Whipple hit about a dozen posts in the first meeting.  We give the edge to Sweetlax in that game. Boca High’s Calder Alfano (pictured above) is playing in the semi-finals for FCA National team who earned the number five seed.  They meet the top seeded Team Long Island in the morning.  FCA will have their work cut out for them.