Recap from Adrenaline Lacrosse Sun Devil Sizzler Tournament at Grande Sports World

Adrenaline Lacrosse: Sun Devil Sizzler Tournament Recap

From Press Releases November 16th, 2010 1

The Adrenaline Tournament Series kicked off last Saturday with the Sun Devil Sizzler in Phoenix, Arizona. This three part series combines top competition with the highly regarded Irish Coaching Clinic Series presented by the coaching staff from the University ofNotre Dame. In addition, MCLA programs Arizona State University, Chapman University, and UNLV are on hand for some preseason action at the Francisco Grande Hotel and Golf Resort, the former spring training facility of the San Francisco Giants.

Day 1

Out of the 27 teams in attendance, the program breakdown at the Sizzler includes:

Elite Programs (12 Teams):
-ADRLN (free-agent squad)
-AZ Burn; Phoenix, AZ
-Brady’s Bunch; Mesa, AZ
-LaxDawgs; San Diego, CA
-Nor Cal Braves; Northern CA
-OC Crush; Orange County, CA
-South Sound Starz; Seattle, WA
-Tucson Varsity; Tucson, AZ
-Vegas Starz; Las Vegas, NV

High School Programs (8 Teams):
-ADRLN (free-agent squad)
-AZ Burn; Phoenix, AZ
-LaxDawgs; San Diego, CA
-South Sound Starz; Seattle, WA
-Vegas Starz; Las Vegas, NV

Middle School Programs (7 Teams):
-3D Lacrosse; Littleton, CO
-ADRLN (free-agent squad)
-AZ Burn; Phoenix, AZ
-LaxDawgs; San Diego, CA
-RC Starz; San Diego, CA
-Sawtooth; Boise, ID

The Sizzler presents a unique venue, as the Francisco Grande hotel literally overlooks the lighted field complex. Upon arriving late Friday afternoon, I was excited to see the Adrenaline field staff putting the finishing touches on the 6 field spread. As the sun began to set and players began to arrive, it was obvious that the excitement surrounding the venue was a common emotion. Teams staying at the hotel were holding impromptu practices under the lights, and flocks of players with their sticks in tow could be seen scurrying across the empty lot to check out the scene.

Games commenced at 9 a.m. with a host of highly anticipated matchups. Mike Wein’s squad, Brady’s Bunch, that was crowned Champions at the Adrenaline Shootout this summer, faced off against 2010 Shootout Runners Up, Vegas Starz. Vegas Elite, led by Gary Caampo, jumped ahead early 3-1. After a period of unsuccessful transition attempts by either team, the Bunch settled down and was able to work its offense to pull ahead 5-3 at half. The Bunch came out hot at the start of the second half, pulling ahead 10-3. Despite their 7 goal deficit, Vegas was able to climb back in it with some quick goals in transition. Despite their efforts, Caampo’s squad had dug themselves too deep, and ended losing 11-9.

On the other side of the Elite Division, LaxDawgs Brown, headed by Dan Meehan and John Chrismer, finished undefeated on the day with 3 wins over: South Sound Elite, AZ Burn, and the local Tucson Varsity squad. Citing superior goaltending and a solid defensive front, the LaxDawgs were successful in limiting the opponent’s goal scoring opportunities. The LaxDawgs’ speed and impressive transition game provided most of their goals on the attacking end of the field.

In the high School Division, in their first weekend of competition for LaxDawgs White squad, the Dawgs faced a talented Arizona Burn squad on home turf. In a back and forth game, the Laxdawgs showed toughness battling back to win in the last minute from a clutch goal from Kingston Delaurentis. In game two, the Laxdawgs faced a tougher Arizona Burn squad falling in a 7-2 bout. Under the lights the final game of the day was played against a highly talented Vegas squad who simply outgunned the young Laxdawg roster, exposing the Dawgs to the highest level of play yet.

In the Middle School Division, the LaxDawgs squad, led by Jon Gagnon, came out strong against Sawtooth from Boise, Idaho, ultimately winning 9-2. In their 3 pm game, the Dawgs faced off against the RC middle school squad. Despite a hard fought game, the cohesiveness of RC ultimately proved too strong, and the LaxDawgs fell 15-7. In their 4 pm game, the LaxDawgs faced off against 3D Lax. A short bench proved to be the Achilles’ hell of the bunch, dropping to 1-2 after a 5-0 loss to the Colorado based squad.

Also in the Middle School Division, 3D Lax from Colorado arrived at the Sizzler a bit apprehensive about their chances. An extremely young squad comprised of mostly 7th graders and a few 6thgraders, felt as though they were outsized, and perhaps a bit inexperienced. However, once their games got underway, the 3D coaching staff noted that the boys were really gelling and playing like a team. 3D coach, Dave Pratt explains, “The boys were having a lot of fun. I think the tournament spirit has really got them playing at a special level.”

With the end of the first day of tournament games, ASU Head Coach and Tournament Director Chris Malone began to prepare for an evening of top MCLA competition at the complex. Malone and his players, who dedicated their time and effort to make the tournament a great success, were set to face off against both University of Nevada Las Vegas and Chapman University. A fantastic day one ended with these rivals battling it out for bragging rights. A close first game presented a victory for Chapman over UNLV, 8-7. The battle continued with defending champion Arizona State holding their rank and defeating UNLV, 8- 2. The evening wrapped up with a long awaited rematch of Arizona and Chapman, both playoff finalists in the 2010 season and after sixty minutes of grueling competition it came to an end with a tie, 8-8, keeping the rivalry live for the spring. All in all some great lacrosse and an exciting opportunity for young players attending this weekend to watch high level college athletes in action.

Day 2

Day 2 of the Sizzler came quickly with the playoff games beginning again at 9 am. Rankings in each division were determined by the following criteria:

1. Points (win=2, tie=1, loss=0)
2. Head to Head record
3. Goals Against

After the first day of games, the seeds were as follows:

Elite Division
1. LaxDawgs Brown
2. Brady’s Bunch
3. Az Burn 1 Elite
4. NorthCal Braves
5. South Sound
6. Vegas Elite
7. LaxDawgs Royal
8. OC Crush
9. Tuscon Varsity
AZ Burn 2 Elite
AZ Burn 3 Elite

High School Division
1. Vegas Silver
2. Vegas Blue
3. South Sound
5. AZ Burn 2
6. LaxDawgs White
7. AZ Burn 3
8. AZ Burn 1

Middle School Division
1. 3D Lax
2. RC MS 2
3. Sawtooth
5. LaxDawgs MS
6. RC MS 1
7. AZ Burn MS

In the Middle School Division, the second seed, RC MS 2 based out of San Diego, set the tone early with an 8 goal victory over the local AZ Burn middle school squad. In their second game of the day vs. Sawtooth, the RC bunch came out on fire, putting away the Boise natives early and ultimately winning 10-0. At 3 pm that afternoon, RC faced off against 3D Lax to determine the champions of the Middle School Division. RC got off to a fast start, going ahead 4-0 early. 3D was able to pull within 2 goals by halftime to make the score 4-2; however, RC came out fired up the second half, ultimately laying the hammer and winning the Middle School Division 9-3.

In the High School Division, both of the Vegas squads were seeded at the top of the bracket. Vegas Silver squeaked out a victory over the AZ Burn 1 squad and moved on to play AZ 2. The Silver group won by a safe margin of 5 goals, catapulting them into the Championship Game. Coincidentally, the Vegas Blue squad also took care of their first 2 games of the day, setting up a Championship between 2 teams from the very same program. Due to circumstances, the Vegas teams chose to forgo an inter-program duel and are currently determining the charity of which they will donate their winnings.

The Elite Division Championship Game was a battle between familiar rivals, Brady’s Bunch and LaxDawgs Brown. Brady’s Bunch, a team made up of elite players from California, Arizona, Utah, and other western states, competes together in an effort to bring more attention to children’s cancer. LaxDawgs Brown based out of San Diego has gone head to head with the Bunch many times, the majority of which have come down to the final minutes. This game exceeded previous hype, ending with a last second goal.

The highly anticipated matchup between these perennial powerhouses was a gritty, tough exhibition of lacrosse. The LaxDawgs fell behind 2-0 early, but their tenacious riding continued to provide them with second chances on offense, and more importantly, kept them off of their defensive end of the field. A late first half goal by Jacob Lujan brought the LaxDawgs within one at the break.

A back and forth contest full of momentum swings, big saves,and end to end action, the second half of this contest was impressive on both ends. Kyle Runyon, who has already committed to play at the University of Notre Dame, displayed an epic second half that hekicked off with an early tally to bring the score to even, at 2-2. Over the next twenty minutes, the teams would trade goals and eventually Brady’s Bunch would jump out to a 5-4 lead after two quick strikes in the span of a minute.

With just under a minute remaining, Matt Ohara finished a shot from 8 meters out to tie the game at 5. The remaining 90 seconds were intense. With fewer than 20 seconds remaining, Runyon found himself in position to become a hero. Despite the three defenders draped all over him, Runyon was able to stick it into the back of the net just as he hit the ground to secure the Championship for the LaxDawgs. Runyon’s 3 goals highlighted a great overall performance during the tournament and his final second score was truly something special.

After the emotional battle between these two teams, the LaxDawgs made a unanimous decision to donate their 500 dollar winnings to the Baby Brady Foundation through to help promote the same cause Brady’s Bunch supportsevery time they hit the field.


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