By Chris Goldberg
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 7/17/22
NEW CASTLE, Del. – Goalie Zach Isaac said his focus never changed even after his FCA Upstate squad fell behind, 4-0, early in the second half of today’s Victory Events Liberty National Elite Classic 2023 AA title game against Duke’s Young Guns (PA).
“The only thing on my mind was to save every ball and that’s what I did,” said Isaac, of Webster Thomas HS. “I was relaxed – I let the game play.”
Isaac saved 7 of the 8 shots he faced and Mikey Valent (Rush Henrietta) scored the game-winner in OT to lift FCA to the title, 6-5. Conner Vaughn (2G, Lafayette) sent the game into OT by scoring his second tally with 10 seconds left in regulation on a nifty bounced shot from the right side.
“It feels great because we’ve been striving all year to win a tournament and the last two we fell one game short,” said Isaac. “We were all in on this tournament. We went 6-0, which was our goal.”
FCA scored three unanswered goals to make it 4-3, but Austin Hahn (Central Bucks West) put Dukes back up 5-3 with just over 5 minutes to play. Jacob Parzych (2G, Williamsville North) got FCA back within 6-4 a minute later.
Valent, who is committed to Hobart, is the FCA faceoff standout, and traded draws with Trent Layton (Academy of the New Church, Sacred Heart commit). Valent typically stays on if he wins the draw and in overtime he took the winning shot after a few quick passes.
“I was losing some faceoffs and getting whacked all day,” he said. “But I buckled down through it and if I didn’t get the clamp I would go get the ball. That’s what we did as a team, and this kid (Isaac) stood on his head and was absolutely outstanding.”
Makai Hillmon (Rush Henrietta) added one tally for FCA.
2024 AA – Annapolis Hawks earn 7-6 OT win over True Ohio
Annapolis Hawk attackman Tyler Stewart (Archbishop Spalding) figured his defender would think he was passing when he came from X late in overtime of the 2024 AA title game with True Ohio.
“We had the extra man and we had done the same play over and over again so I knew he’d bite on the fake pass so I faked it and took that opportunity and went for the goal,” Stewart said.
Stewart (2G, 1A) indeed used that chance to garner the game-winner with 30 seconds left in the OT. True Ohio had rebounded from a 6-3 deficit to tie the game on a goal by Xander Johnson (Dublin Jerome) with 4 minutes left in regulation.
The title was the third this summer for the Hawks, who also won the Legends Fast Break and Eastern Invitational crowns.
“It’s because of great coaching and great team chemistry,” Stewart said. “Offensively, we move the ball quick and fluently and defensively they’re physical and we work hard and hustle all the time.”
Hawks goalie Ty Spencer (Indian Creek) made several key stops in the second half. “It was a tough fight – back and forth a lot. We have tons of chemistry and hard work; we’re all committed to show we’re a strong team.”
Tanner Boone (Broadneck) added two goals for the Hawks.