By Chris Goldberg
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 1/3/15
Long Island closed out a perfect weekend tonight by defeating Canada, 10-8, in double overtime to win the Brogden Cup for the USA with a 2-0 series victory at the University of Tampa.
Long Island went 4-0 overall during the weekend of play, downing Maryland on Friday, 12-6, for the Brine National Lacrosse championship and then also beating Maryland, 11-8, earlier today.
The win over Canada came after the Canadians had scored two goals in the final two minutes of regulation to force OT. But USA (Long Island) capitalized on some critical Canada penalties by scoring twice with two men up to seize a lead in overtime it would never relinquish (two overtimes are played under International rules).
“It was absolutely amazing; I have been coaching 20-some years and this is as good as it gets,” said Long Island coach Jim Konen. “The kids refused to lose and this year we ended up going 10-0 in Brine play.
“This was a bunch of unheralded guys that are not going to the big schools. But they are all really good players; there were 19 kids on the team and every single one played a pivotal role.”
Long Island featured balanced scoring, air-tight defense, standout face-off work by Phil Brady (Massapequa, 2015) and brilliant goaltending by the tandem of Kevin Carbone (2015 from Chaminade, Binghamton commit) and Dylan Moser (2015 from Westminster, CT, Wesleyan commit) were strong.
“Our face-off guy, Phil Brady, was lights out,” said Konen. “He had to win 80 percent of his face-offs. The goalies were unbelievable. Moser is fantastic and Carbone was even better. He was ridiculous! He had to make 8 or 9 saves in the third quarter when the game was on the line kept. He kept it at at 4-4 going into the fourth period by making saves on five or six point blank shots.”
The offense was led by Carter Hawthorne (2015 Wesleyan commit), Ryan Tierney (2016 Hofstra commit), Griffin Konen (2015 Binghamton commit), Ryan Ozsvath (Half Hollow Hills West, 2015 Stony Brook commit), Luke Cummings (Paul D. Schreiber, 2015 Lafayette commit) and Christopher Bacotti (Massapequa, 2016 Dartmouth commit). But the team’s ability to pass and share the ball was the key.
“Last night’s game (15-12 win over Canada) was unbelievable,” said coach Konen, Griffin’s father. “It was 15-12, and it was up and down. I told our guys this was a challenge and that we were playing at the highest level. It was a great experience for our guys; they just shared the ball and really didn’t care who scored.
“It’s not often in life you get to wear the USA jersey and what an honor and a thrill.”
More comments from Long Island players:
On winning the Brogden Cup:
Carter Hawthorne: “It’s a great feeling, and really is a testament to the desire of the team to go out and get the win with only a few hours of rest in between. It was another really intense game in which we were down until the 4th quarter. It ended up going into OT and we found a way to win. We came out slow both games today, but we are a talented selfless bunch whose desire to make history was greater than being tired.”
Phil Brady: “It feels great, it was a great experience playing with a great group of guys. It was a lot of pressure for me. I had a bad start in the first half and knew I needed to change after halftime. I did and I wasn’t going to allow Canada to win that game.”
Griffin Konen: “It really was an incredible experience. The effort from all of our guys was amazing. That was a lot of fun!”
Danny DeSanti (St. Anthony’s, LSM, 2015 Army commit): “It truly is an amazing experience. It is one of the last times I will be able to play with this group of guys who I have been playing with for a long time. It is just a great way to go out. Not a lot of people can say they played for USA. It was an honor to represent my country. It feels great to be Champions!”
On representing Team USA:
Pat Cleary (Patchogue Medford, 2015 Lincoln Memorial commit): “It’s not everyday you wear a jersey with USA on it. We wore it proudly and on behalf of the boys I hope we made our country proud.”
Ryan Tierney: “It’s an amazing feeling! There’s nothing like playing for your country. The kids on the team are just an amazing group of kids and whatever mistake someone made they had their back and knowing that we kept the intensity on high all game.”
On being a part of a state, national and world championship team in one year (Konen, Brady, Hawthorne, Tierney and Bacotti all were on the team from Class A state champ Massapequa):
Tierney: “Although all of them were different, it was an amazing feeling come out victorious. The one thing they had in common was amazing goaltending.”
Konen: “I guess it’s been a pretty decent year … Haha, but all jokes aside this has been an incredible year with a lot of great guys.”