After a great night of team bonding, we all woke up, stopped for the last time at Wawa and headed over to the field to prepare for our playoff game. Wasatch LC played so well in our first games, that the team was awarded the No. 3 seed heading into the playoffs in a pool of 25. However, due to our lack of knowledge of when the championship game was at for this tournament, our team had to leave by 2pm to make it back in time for everyone’s flights, which meant we had to forfeit either way. Although that was disappointing for our team, everyone understood, and we accepted the #11 seed so we could play an earlier game against #6 Team Florida. The players’ spirits were high when our playoff game began, and they came out hard!
Team Florida did score the first goal, but Connor Meyer (2014 Syracuse, Midfield) again was dominating at the face off X, where he went six for seven and picked up four groundballs. Matthew West (2014 Waterford, Attack) was able to get the scoring going with a strong dodge from behind the goal. Once the first goal was scored, our team never looked back. The defense held Team Florida to only two goals due to a stingy defense that was led by Tanner Duryea (2014 Sky View, Defense) and Sam Pugh (2014 Alta, Defense) with five and three caused turnovers, respectively. The offense was led by Matthew West, who had two goals and two assists, and a team-high five ground balls. Our team also got two goals apiece from Ryan Green (2014 Juan Diego, Midfield), Ian Hullinger (2014 Lehi, Attack), Casey Rose (2014 Juan Diego, Midfield), and Connor Clay (2014 Viewmont, Midfield). Mario Garcia (2014 Brighton, Midfield), Tanner Duryea, and Gabe Rechsteiner (2014 Judge, Midfield) each had one assist to round out the scoring. The game ended with a 10-2 victory for Wasatch LC.
Leaving the field hungry for more victories, our team reflected on how well we did in the Tri-State National Lacrosse Festival. The fact of knowing that we had gone undefeated (3-0) up to that point, and not having a very close game, the team was confident that they could have and would have walked away as champions of our bracket. Wasatch LC truly represented Utah well, and made many people from various hotbed lacrosse areas (Long Island, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Jersey) respect the talent that Utah is producing.
“Other than the fact that we had to leave early, there is no doubt that we would have won the tournament. That is a good feeling that we can go home with, and we can take some pride back to Utah.” Carter Bean (2015 Desert Hills, Midfield)
“It’s a disappointment that we got rained out at the tournament. It was still a good tournament. All of the games we did play, we pretty much killed our opponents. I liked it!” Connor Meyer (2014 Syracuse, Midfield)
“The tournament has been such a blast! It was so great! I had a great had time in Philly. I had a fantastic time, the experience was amazing.” Gabe Rechsteiner (2014 Judge, Midfield)
“This whole trip has been the best lacrosse trip I have ever been on. Just how our whole team came together was so special. A bunch of guys that have never played together, never practiced together, came together and made it something special. I thought it was great, the level of competition that we played. You can’t match that. It sucks that we got rained out, but we kept our heads up and made the best out of a bad situation. We went undefeated at Tri-State and that was awesome. Overall, best lacrosse trip I have ever been on, and a great experience!” Tanner Duryea (2014 Sky View, Defense)
“This trip was one of the best trips I have ever been on! It gave us all Utah kids some awesome experience to bring back to Utah.” Brody Bolerjack (2014 Brighton, Defense)
“The trip was unreal! It was really fun just to come out, hangout with the team, and play lax against some really good competition.” Sam Pugh (2014 Alta, Defense)
“It was a great experience overall, being able to come out to the East Coast and play against higher competition, and to show everyone that Utah can play with everyone. It was a great trip overall.” Luke Pyper (2014 Waterford, Midfield/Attack)
“The trip was so much fun, and I loved getting to know all of the guys on the team. We learned how to play together, which was good. It was really nice to come out here and prove that Utah can actually play lacrosse.” Matthew West (2014 Waterford, Attack)
“It was a pretty sick tournament. It was a bummer we didn’t get to play all of our games, but it was still a great experience and we still have a lot more tournaments ahead.” Mario Garcia (2014 Brighton, Midfield)
“Probably the best tournament I have been to yet. We had a lot of fun playing on the field, and we won all of our games. Our team kind of became a family, and we all got close. Now we are just waiting till the next time we get to play together again.” Ian Hullinger (2014 Lehi, Attack)
“Fantastic tournament. Definitely made my summer! Greatest group of guys I could imagine playing with.” Thomas Stockham (2014 Phillips Exeter, Goalie)
“It was really probably the lacrosse trip I have ever been on. It really changed my perspective of the game, just seeing this level of play out here. It’s been a sick, sick, sick trip!” Kade Patterson (2015 Alta, Defense)
“Philadelphia was sick. Overall, a great experience there. Chestnut Hill’s dorms were awesome. Our scrimmages were great experiences, wins and losses. Overall I’m glad we got to play the games that we did, I wish we could have played a couple more games, but we showed up some teams that didn’t think we could win.” Dalon Hampshire (2014 Bountiful, Goalie)