By Frank Richards
TAMPA – It was the American team from Rochester New York, who, for the second time in three years, won the Brogden Cup, sweeping a feisty Canadian team from Ontario in the first two games. The University of Tampa NCAA Division 2 Men’s Lacrosse program played host last week to this meaningful and historic North American competition.
Rochester qualified to represent the United States by winning the National Lacrosse Classic this past summer in Maryland. The Ontario team is comprised of the top players from the Ontario Junior Men’s Field Lacrosse League.
Rochester won the first game 15-7 under the lights behind a stingy defense led by college bound Nathan Gowen (Rutgers), Jay McDermott (Syracuse), Victor Petrrone (Army), Justin Rehm (Siena) and Derek Jamison (Mercyhurst). Net minders Eric Fischer (Binghamton) and Blaze Riorden (Albany) allowed only 7 goals on 34 Ontario shots.
Eight Rochester players shared game one scoring honors including Connor Whipple (Saint Andrews FL- Georgetown 3g, 1a), Connor Enright (Mercyhurst, 2g), Derek DeJoe (Syracuse, 2g,1a), Gunnar Miller (Army, 2g,2a), Maximus Maxwell (2g), Nick Weston (Syracuse, 2g), (Tyler Aycock (Albany, 1g), John Maloney (Albany, 1g)
Joe French (Georgetown) tallied 5 goals in game one as the Ontario offense struggled to find the back of the net. Nicholas Beaudoin (Notre Dame College School) contributed 2 goals while Chris Robertson, Justin DeMarchi (Denison), Kyle Jackson (Michigan) and Dan Lomas (High Point) each chipped in a goal apiece.
Rochester, coached by brothers Andrew and Craig Whipple (Pittsford and Irondequoit High School respectively) have now won the Brogden Cup for a second time. Craig Whipple comments, “We are proud to bring the Brogden Cup back to American soil. It means a lot!” Last year, the Brogden Cup resided in Canada after Ontario defeated a talented Maryland Prep team to capture the U19 North American Championship. “Any time you wear the USA on your chest and represent your country is an honor and privilege. Playing for and winning the Brogden Cup is extremely heartwarming and exciting.”, says Coach Andrew Whipple.
The Brogden Cup is a best of three game series. Ontario jumped to a one goal lead at the end of the first quarter in game two by a score of 3-2. A one goal margin separated the score at the half, 8-7 in favor of Rochester. An Ontario win would push a third and final game the next day.
Ten players distributed the goal scoring for Rochester in the second game to sweep the series two games to nill. The scoring effort was led by Connor Enright (3g), Matt Bilak, Derek DeJoe and Chris Williams each added 2 goals apiece while Tyler Aycock, MJ Lorenzo, John Maloney, Gunnar Miller, Marc Pettrone and Conor Whipple added one goal each to nail the 15-7 win for the USA team.
Dan Lomas contributed 4 goals to Ontario’s losing effort while Nicholas Beaudoin, Chris Robertson and Daryl Robertson each tallied a goal.
Both teams played exceptionally well between the restraining lines. Loose balls controlled (USA 52gb, Canada 43gb) and face offs were just about event. Canada struggled to find the back of the net on the offensive side and played man-down for 15.5 minutes on a total of 19 penalties.
The Brogden Cup, presented by Gatorade and organized by Level 2 Sports aims to celebrate the excitement, diversity and excellence that high school lacrosse has to offer by bringing together the finest players and coaches from International locations.
Historically, the Brogden Cup was played between the top post-collegiate lacrosse players in the USA and Canada to determine the top region in North America for lacrosse. Prior to Major League Lacrosse, the Brogden Cup has seen such greats as Gary and Paul Gait, Sid Smith, Tom Marechek and Dave Pietramala just to name a few.
Today, the Brogden Cup International Field Lacrosse Series is geared for pre-collegiate teams and players at the U19 level that qualify to play by winning the National Lacrosse Classic in the USA. The competition enables players to experience International Field Lacrosse competition, bridge communities and fosters fellowship through the sport of lacrosse.
The University of Tampa will begin competition in men’s lacrosse at the NCAA Division II level this season. UT becomes the first college in the city of Tampa to add varsity intercollegiate lacrosse.
For more information go to http://www.nationallacrosseclassic.com