2010 NCJLA Playoffs

Re: 2010 NCJLA Playoffs

Postby picknroll » Sun May 16, 2010 9:46 pm

The RV goalie had 13 saves against Pleasanton on Saturday so he had quite a weekend. We had several point blank shots that he stopped on us. Frustrating. Brownie helps coach that RV team so I guess you'd expect good goalie play for sure. He's listed on the scoresheet as "Madison". Big props for his play down the stretch. The RV X attack, Patrick Tracy, is also very good. He has a killer inside roll. Outsanding player.

Scorpions vs So Marin will be a great matchup. The Scorpions won the first game, but this So Marin team has consistently came up big in the playoffs so I think this one could go either way. Great game.
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Re: 2010 NCJLA Playoffs

Postby frieders3 » Mon May 17, 2010 12:00 pm

Anyone know who won the U15B1 semi between Napa and Monterey Sunday afternoon? Nothing posted in the NCJLA that I could find.
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Re: 2010 NCJLA Playoffs

Postby bay.bird » Mon May 17, 2010 12:50 pm

Nice to see the feedback on the U15A RV goalie. Oliver Madison stepped up last year as a 7th grader when the U15A team needed a goalie. He had never played the position before and took to it quickly. He did well last year and had a great season this year. He's a good example of a kid that took a chance on something he'd never done before and worked very hard to improve. There are a ton of examples like this in our great game. Add Oliver to the list.
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Re: 2010 NCJLA Playoffs

Postby picknroll » Mon May 17, 2010 3:44 pm

bay.bird wrote:Nice to see the feedback on the U15A RV goalie. Oliver Madison stepped up last year as a 7th grader when the U15A team needed a goalie. He had never played the position before and took to it quickly. He did well last year and had a great season this year. He's a good example of a kid that took a chance on something he'd never done before and worked very hard to improve. There are a ton of examples like this in our great game. Add Oliver to the list.


Thanks! That's a great story - "a kid ... took a chance on something he'd never done before and worked very hard to improve". That really sums up what we're trying to do accomplish in youth lacrosse, doesn't it. That should be the NCJLA tag line or motto or something. Great stuff and great perspective!
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Re: 2010 NCJLA Playoffs

Postby picknroll » Tue May 18, 2010 3:10 pm

Treasure Island this weekend ...

Championship Games (Sat, May 22nd)
9:00 AM U11A - So Marin vs Ross Valley
11:00 AM U13B1 - Pleasanton vs Diablo Scorpions
1:00 PM U13A - Pleasanton vs Novato
3:00 PM U15B1 - Fair Oaks vs Monterey
5:00 PM U15A - So Marin vs Diablo Scorpions

Third Place Games (Sun, May 23rd)
9:00 AM U13A - Crusaders vs Diablo Scorpions
10:45 AM U15B1 - Santa Cruz vs Napa
12:30 PM U15A - Ross Valley vs Firehawks
4:15 PM U11A - Firehawks vs Diablo Scorpions
5:30 PM U13B1- Town vs South Valley

Scorpions, So Marin, and Pleasanton all have two teams in championship games. Great job by those clubs!

Good luck to all. Looks like some good games.
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Re: 2010 NCJLA Playoffs

Postby picknroll » Fri May 21, 2010 3:46 pm

It's Championship Saturday! Here are some game previews.

U15A - Diabo Scorpions vs So Marin Wolfpack

The Firehawks vs Scorpions showdown that has been widely predicted will not happen. So Marin knocked off the Firehwaks 10-9 in the semifinals. The Firehawks and Scorpions split regular season games.

It is altogether fitting that So Marin is playing in this championship game. The Wolfpack were the 5A champions in 2007 and 6A champions in 2008. In 2009 the team was split between U15 and U13. Many of this year's So Marin U15A team played on last year's So Marin U15A team that finished with the 3rd place bronze medal.

The Scorpions have been dominant this year except for one loss to the Firehawks. This is a very deep and balanced Scorpion team. The strength of the team is probably their defense. The long poles on this Scorpion team are bigger and faster than most high school JV teams, creating match up problems for most youth attack players. Aran Roberts, Doug Strazza, Niko Souza, and Mitch Olinger are all star caliber players at long pole and are all 6 footers as 8th graders! Quite menacing. On the offensive side the Scorpions have many weapons with attacks Steven Wilm and Rick Emerson and middies Peter Tagliaferi and Hunter Hedegaard. There's also another half dozen guys who can really play. The Scorpions, as expected, play great team ball both on offense and defense. It's hard to run a shut off on anyone becauser there are just too many guns. There's a great coaching staff with Mike Emerson (former Monte Vista Head Coach) and Todd French (current SRV Assistant Coach). The level of coaching sophistication on this Scorpion team matces many top varsity HS programs. Big kudos to this Scorpion staff. They've really rasied the bar for us all.

So Marin has only two losses - to the Scorpions and the Firehawks. I watched their first loss to the Firehawks. That was a very close game. There were two 4th quarter So Marin goals that were waived off that really made the difference in that game. Otherwise it was pretty even. So Marin found a way to avenge that earlier loss to beat the Firehawks 10-9 in the semifinals. So Marin has one of the most recognizable names in youth lacrosse at attack in Joe Lang, little brother of Cornell star Roy Lang. If you've ever seen big strapping Roy Lang you would expect little bro' to be a big guy. That's not quite true - yet. Joe Lang is average size for an 8th grader, but possess superior lacrosse skills. He's a huge weapon from the lefty attack spot, although So Marin also likes to bring him up top for the iso dodge. So Marin is far from being a one-man team though. There are a talented group of middies led by Dexter Eichorst, who has long been one of my favorite players to watch. Dexter is one of those work horse middies who just owns ground balls and plays as hard on the defensive end as the offensive end. I understand that the Firehawks shut off Lang in the semifinal and the middies really stepped up their scoring. They are definitely a quality group. If the Scorpion D can neutralize Lang this game might become a battle of the middies, and there's some really good ones on both sides. So Marin has Cyrus Scott at goalie who seems like he's been playing goalie for So Marin as long as there was a club. Cyrus is a fixture and every camp and offseason opportunity to play. He's really honed his skill. I understand he came up huge in the Firehawks game. Cyrus is one of those goalies that is good enough to keep his team in a game against top-level offenses. So Marin is coached by Michael Mindel who is one of the really good guys of youth lacrosse. Coach Mindel has put a team with superior skills and outstanding team play for years and years. These guys could play even back in the 4th or 5th grade. We should all be appreciative of Coach Mindel's contribution to youth lacrosse.

This should be an outstanding game to culminate an outstanding group of 8th graders. I'll have to admit I'm a bit jealous of these guys that we are not in this championship game, but I can't think of two better teams to be there if I can't be there myself.

U13A - Novato vs Pleasanton Hurricanes

Last year's quarterfinal featured these same two teams with Pleasanton winning 8-3. Last year the Pleasanton U13A team was deep in 7th grades and were big and fast. Novato was a young team with many 6th graders but highly skilled. For 2010 you can just flip those descriptions of the teams. Pleasanton only returned two players to U13A while Novato returned some outstanding players that are now back for a championship game. Novato has some deep talent with Team Talon players Angelo Logomarsino at attack, Quinn McKone at midfield, and defenders Juan Carlos O'Neil and Greg Carroll. Novato is coached by Marty Jayne who also coaches at San Marin High and has been a big part of building lacrosse in Novato in general. Coach Jayne always manages to get the most out of his talent and this year he has a talented crew. They will be a force to be reckoned with in this championship game. Pleasanton is the surprise team in this U13A championship. They were the 5th seed but have upset #4 seed Walnut Creek and #1 seed Scorpions. This is an extremely young Pleasanton team with only 2 players returning from last year's U13A Siver Medal squad. Both of those returning players; however, make a big impact. Middie Daniel Payne (Team Talon) is extremely fast and is truly of the top talents at the U13 level. Daniel can play with anyone at the U13 level. The other returning player is Eric Carrolan who is one of those "worm hole" attack players that DlaxDad talks about. He has the capability of just magically appearing wide open on the crease at the most opportune times. Pleasanton also has big crease attack Tristan Baylor who has a nice touch around the goal. The Pleasanton goalie is Trey Cranney who is on the U13 Festival team. He's a good stopper. There's a whole lot of 6th graders on this team that can really throw and catch well, although they lack some in size. Mark Cranney is the coach, who is also the JV Coach at Amador Valley HS. Mark has done a tremendous job of getting this young team to play team ball down the stretch. They are really on a roll now with wins of So Marin, Ross Valley, Walnut Creek, and the Scorpions all in a row. That's no small feat there. Novato won the first game 9-5 back in March. This young Pleasanton team has matured a lot since then. I expect this one to be a nail biter.

U15B1 - Monterey Tribe vs Fair Oaks

There's interesting demographics on this championship with teams from the outskirts of the NCJLA region coming together to play. This confirms one of my ongoing themes that the footprint of quality lacrosse is expanding. Although I've never seen Monterey play in field lacrosse, I did have the pleasure of coaching against them in box lacrosse last fall. There are several really quality players on this Monterey team. Eli Tils, Troy Loper, and Martin are players that would start on any top-level U15A teams so I can easily see how this team ended up in the finals. Monterey is coached by Dale Tils who has also been a great ambassador for lacrosse as an NCJLA Board member. I'm happy to see Dale's team in this final. The last time I saw a Fair Oaks team was four years ago, so I don't know much about this team. I did get a scouting report from a coaching friend who says this Fair Oaks team has the best stick skills from any Sacramento-area team that he's seen. For years the Sacramento area teams have been branded as athletic, but lacking somewhat with the stick. Apparently this Fair Oaks team may be a breakthrough for Sacramento area team, as the scouting report that I hear is that they can really move the ball well offensively. Fair Oaks put up 15 and 14 goals respectively in their two playoff game. Wow! This should also be another exciting game. With the Tribe in the U15B1 final, my only lingering question is how good this Tribe team would have been at the U15A level if Kodiak stayed. I guess we'll never know.

U13B1 - Diablo Scorpions vs Pleasanton Monsoon

A classic dual of future EBAL'ers. Bring out the steel cage for this one :) This Pleasanton U13B1 team is interestingly larger (physically) than their brethren U13A team which is also in the finals. This is one tough defensive team for Pleasanton. The highest amount of goals they've given up in a game this year is 6 and most games they only give up 1 or 2 goals. I really like Canadian transplant Thomas Hankins at goalie on this team. He's a good stopper back there and is a big reason for the low goal production from the opponents, along with some nice poles. Whereas the Pleasanton U13A team really moves the ball, this Pleasanton U13B1 is a group of scrappers. Each style has been equally effective as this U13B1 team only has one defeat this season - in there opener to the Scorpions. I am sure that they are looking to avenge that loss here. I have not seen the Scorpion U13B1 team, but I've seen enough Scorpion teams to know that they'll be good for sure. I think it's a great testament to both the Scorpion and Pleasanton clubs to have a true "B" team in the U13B1 finals. Usually these B team championships are won by clubs that do not field A teams. It takes great coaching to beat the opponents top teams (playing B1) with their true "B" teams. Great job coaches!

U11A - Southern Marin vs Ross Valley

I don't know a thing about these teams so someone else will need to fill in here. I am not surprised at all to see these two clubs in the final for U11 championship. These clubs long ago set the standard with their bobblehead programs, which ultimately turned into U9 for all of the NCJLA last year. Both So Marin and Ross Valley have some of the best programs around for teaching skills to young players. I think these clubs even have U7 now.

One of my general themes has been the strength of the North. Of the 6 teams in A level championships 4 are from the North: So Marin U15A, Novato U13A, Ross Valley U11A, and So Marin U11A. What is really impressive there is that there are teams from three different clubs that are all right down the road from each other. Central Marin and Petaluma are also just a step behind those three and are also fielding quality teams. Watch out for the North in years to come!
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Re: 2010 NCJLA Playoffs

Postby LowtoHigh » Sat May 22, 2010 2:15 pm

Ross Valley won the U11A game 8 to 5 over a tough Southern Marin team. Ross Valley Coach Mark Blake deserves a lot of credit for taking this team back to the U11A championship -- there were only five returning players from last year's Ross Valley U11A championship team. With the young talent on display this morning for both Southern Marin and Ross Valley it's clear that there will be some exciting lacrosse to look forward to in the North Bay over the next several years. Congratulations to both Southern Marin and Ross Valley on a terrific year.
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Re: 2010 NCJLA Playoffs

Postby picknroll » Sat May 22, 2010 3:49 pm

There were two really exciting U13 games at Treasure Island today!

In the U13B1 Championship the Scorpions defeated Pleasanton 7-6 on a last minute EMO goal. Pleasanton opened up a 4-1 lead in the first half, only to see the Scorpions come all the way back to take a 6-5 lead late in the game. Pleasanton tied it up late in the fourth quarter 6-6, but gave up a late penalty. The Scorpions converted on a bounce shot to win it with just a few seconds left for the ensuing face off. Great game! Everything you would expect in a Pleasanton vs Scorpions championship game.

Pleasanton beat Novato by the same 7-6 score for the U13A championship. Hugely entertaining and well played game. Full write up to follow later.
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U13A Championshp - Pleasanton 7 Novato 6

Postby picknroll » Sat May 22, 2010 5:25 pm

The Pleasanton Hurricanes and Novato met today at Treasure Island for the 2010 U13A NCJLA Championship. Pleasanton returned to the U13A championship game again after losing to Ross Valley for the 2009 U13A championship; however, this is a whole new group of Pleasanton players as middie Daniel Payne and attack Eric Carrolan were the only returning players.

Note: Novato has no published rosters with numbers so my game recap below only has numbers for the Novato players. If anyone can tell me the names of the players I will edit and add them. I would love to give credit where credit is due.

Pleasanton sent the smallest guy from either team, Ryan Racer, out for the opening face off. Racer gave up a good 6 inches to #21 for Novato, but more than held his own on the face offs winning more than half on the day. Pleasanton got on the scoreboard first as Racer found middie Mike Grozier for the first score. A few minutes later Grozier connected to big crease attack Tristan Baylor for Pleasanton to take a 2-0 lead. Novato middie/attack #22 made a nice move from X for an unassisted goal to bring the game to 2-1. Pleasanton middie Daniel Payne made a nice dodge and drew the slide to feed attack Bryce Veit for their third goal of the first quarter. The first quarter ended with the score 3-1 Pleasanton.

Pleasanton found the goal first in the second quarter. Pleasanton has nice perimeter ball movement with the ever-present pressure of big crease attack Tristan Baylor. Pleasanton found an opening to Baylor on the crease and the defense collapsed on him as Baylor niftily dished off to lefty attack Jevon Holland who found the back of the net to take Pleasanton to a 4-1 lead. Young Holland is only a fourth grader playing way up against seventh graders at the U13 level. He will be a force in youth lacrosse for years to come. At this point the game looked like it could turn into a blowout, but the strong play of #22 from Novato brought them right back into it. First #22 made a strong dodge and fed to #2 who finished on the crease. Quickly thereafter #22 took it straight to the goal himself to close the Pleasanton lead to 4-3. Finally #22 got loose on a dodge again and found #1, but the goal was waved off giving Pleasanton the 4-3 lead going into half time. At that point the momentum definitely moved to Novato.

Novato’s late first half momentum carried into the second half as #22 made his hat trick off an assist from #10 to tie the score at 4-4. At this point it looked like the game would swing to Novato, but Max G. came up with a big goal to tie the game. One of the Pleasanton parents told me that it was the first goal of the season for Max. If that is true he couldn’t have found a better time to score as Pleasanton really needed this goal to keep them in the game. Novato finished the quarter with the second score of the day from #2 who was assisted yet again from #22. The third quarter ended all tied at 5-5. This was a classic dual between evenly matched championship caliber teams!

Novato struck first in the fourth quarter to break the tie with #20 scoring from yet another assist from #22. With time running out in the fourth quarter and Novato in the lead, the two returning players from last year’s U13A championship game stepped up big time. Pleasanton middie Daniel Payne took the ball strong to the goal from a top dodge, blew by the slide, scoring a goal that can only be attributed to pure determination and force of will. Pleasanton took possession after the face off. In nice half field offense middie Mike Grozier found attack Eric Carrolan open about 10 yards above the crease. Carrolyn ripped a perfect bounce shot that nipped the top pipe before falling into the back of the net. After the face off time expired without Novato getting a real threat. It was a storybook ending for the two returning players from last year’s U13A championship game (Payne and Carrolyn) to score the tying and winning goals.

It was a strong defensive effort for Pleasanton to hold an extremely talented Novato team to six goals. Collin Roeder, Brody West, and Griffin O all had big days. Trey Cranney came up big in goal with 11 saves.

This Pleasanton team has been on a tremendous run into this championship. After thirteen games the Hurricanes were 8-5. While a good team they would have been no one’s pick to win a championship. In the final regular season games, the Hurricanes defeated So Marin, Granite Bay, and Ross Valley (in OT). That strong finish pushed the Hurricanes to 11-5 and gained them the #5 seed. They pulled off back to back upsets of Walnut Creek (#4 seed) and the Scorpions (#1 seed) before finishing out the season with this championship win. Big congratulation to coaches Mark Cranney and Carl Baylor for continuing to believe in their boys and getting them to believe in themselves . I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team improve so much from beginning to end, which is really a bigger accomplishment in youth lacrosse than the championship. In a preseason game with the Scorpions this same Hurricanes team went down about 10 goals in the first half. What a turnaround! Nothing short of remarkable.

Now the bad news for the rest of the NCJLA is that this is a very young U13A team, consisting mostly of 6th graders. Most of this team is coming back next year to attempt to defend their championship. This will be a very interesting team to watch.

For Novato #22 is really good. One of the best U13 players I’ve ever seen.

Lastly kudos to the NCJLA for a nice event at the Treasure Island venue. Everything was well run and TI is a beautiful place to go play lacrosse.
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Re: 2010 NCJLA Playoffs

Postby picknroll » Sat May 22, 2010 5:31 pm

LowtoHigh wrote:Ross Valley won the U11A game 8 to 5 over a tough Southern Marin team. Ross Valley Coach Mark Blake deserves a lot of credit for taking this team back to the U11A championship -- there were only five returning players from last year's Ross Valley U11A championship team. With the young talent on display this morning for both Southern Marin and Ross Valley it's clear that there will be some exciting lacrosse to look forward to in the North Bay over the next several years. Congratulations to both Southern Marin and Ross Valley on a terrific year.


Congratulations on your U11A Championship! Lots of good things happening in that Ross Valley program these days with U11A champs this year and U13A and U11A champs last year - along with many other fine teams. There's a difference in putting together a team versus putting together a program. RV definitely has become a top program with the ability to field quality teams in multiple divisions. Great work!
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