National Cham­pi­ons

Cam­bridge-SD grads win lacrosse ti­tle at Sal­is­bury

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By DAVID INSLEY dins­ley@star­dem.com

PHILADEL­PHIA — Hav­ing been on a team that made the Di­vi­sion III national cham­pi­onship but lost two years ago, Bren­dan Bromwell didn’t want to feel that way ever again.

Sun­day at Lin­coln Fi­nan­cial Field, the ju­nior mid­fielder notched a goal and an as­sist, as the Sal­is­bury Uni­ver­sity men’s lacrosse team de­feated two-time de­fend­ing cham­pion Tufts (Mass.) Uni­ver­sity, 14-13, for its 11th national ti­tle.

Sal­is­bury (22-1) fell be­hind 2-0 in the game’s first three min­utes, and nearly blew an eight-goal lead when the Jum­bos (20-3) put to­gether a huge third-quar­ter rally, nearly eras­ing a seem­ingly in­sur­mount­able 12-4 lead.

“The feel­ing of this is a thou­sand times bet­ter,” Bromwell said. “I just can’t even de­scribe it.”

Fresh­man mid­die Tyler Wright, a Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester High alum­nus along with Bromwell and sopho­more long-stick mid­fielder Pax Howard, didn’t have a good feel­ing dur­ing the early deficit.

“Through­out the year ... we kinda get that first goal scored on us pretty early, but the team comes back and re­sponds re­ally fast,” Wright said. “We run the plays right; we talk it up on D. Our goalie is just phe­nom­e­nal. ... Our team just came to­gether to­day in the fourth quar­ter, and it just showed.”

Win­ning the fist face­off, Tufts lost the ball on a turnover, but got it back af­ter goal­keeper Alex Salazar (eight saves) stopped Nathan Blondino’s shot. The en­su­ing ground ball went to Tufts de­fender John Sax with 13 min­utes, 34 sec­onds to go.

Forty sec­onds later, the Jum­bos got on the board first on a Chris Sawyer blast, com­ing off a Jake Gille­spie feed.

The Jum­bos added a goal by John Upp­gren (four goals) just 33 sec­onds af­ter that. In an im­pres­sive dis­play of con­cen­tra­tion and ath­leti­cism, Upp­gren, fall­ing back­ward, still man­aged to launch the ball over

his shoul­der and be­yond Sea Gull goalie Colin Rey­mann (15 saves), skip­ping it into make it 2-0.

But then the Sea Gulls de­fense punched the clock and went to work. De­spite los­ing first-quar­ter face­offs, 4-3, the Sea Gulls grabbed seven ground balls af­ter the first pair of Tufts goals, and went 4 for 4 on clears that pe­riod, while the of­fense stayed even in shots at 10-10.

Nick Gar­barino, who fin­ished with a hat trick and a pair of as­sists, scored Sal­is­bury’s first goal with 7:02 left in the first.

Tufts got it right back just over a minute later, though, Upp­gren feed­ing Gille­spie to make it 3-1.

Sal­is­bury’s of­fense picked up the pace as the first wound down, be­gin­ning a run that would give it the lead for good.

Though Tom Cir­illo, one of Sal­is­bury’s big­gest of­fen­sive pro­duc­ers on the sea­son, got knocked flat on a hard, but le­gal check as he worked near the crease, just in­side the 3-minute mark, he was there in the clutch.

Af­ter goals by Gar­rett Reynolds and Bromwell tied the game 3-3 in the final minute of the first, Cir­illo, a se­nior at­tacker with 52 goals this sea­son, scored to give the Gulls the lead, 4-3, as the first quar­ter ex­pired.

“Tom Cir­illo, I tell you what,” Bromwell said, “if there’s one guy that you want to give the ball to, it’s him . ... You give that guy the ball, and you know he’s go­ing to make it count.”

Tufts tied the game 4-4 on Austin Car­bone’s goal not quite three min­utes into the sec­ond, but the Gulls an­swered — five times — as the half wound down. James Bur­ton (three goals, two as­sists), Car­son Kalama, Nick Gar­barino twice, and then Blondino — whose shot, like Cir­illo’s in the first, came as the final sec­ond ticked off — found the net, putting Sal­is­bury up 9-4 at half.

The rout seemed on as the third quar­ter moved along.

Bromwell as­sisted Bur­ton on a goal 2½ min­utes af­ter the break, and goals by Blondino and Kalama made it 12-4 with 9:12 re­main­ing in the third.

But more glar­ing than the Sea Gulls’ scor­ing run was the Jum­bos’ drought. Af­ter Car­bone’s goal in the sec­ond pe­riod, Tufts went more than 20 min­utes with­out a score, pos­si­bly the long­est stretch of the sea­son.

It ended, though, around the 7-minute mark, and the Jum­bos went on a thirdquar­ter tear. Gille­spie, Zach Rich­man, Upp­gren, and Car­bone each scored within the next five min­utes, cut­ting the eight-goal deficit in half and putting the Sal­is­bury de­fense on its heels.

It came as no sur­prise to Howard, who saw in­creas­ingly more time as team­mate An­drew Ter­na­han, a ju­nior long-stick and Stephen De­catur alum­nus, cramped up.

“[As­sis­tant] Coach [Justin] Axel said, ‘Eight’s not gonna shut this team down. They still have hope,’” Howard said. “our of­fense was get­ting it done, and our de­fense was get­ting it done un­til the mid­dle of the third.

“But we knew they were go­ing to go on runs, and then they went on a run,” Howard added. “That’s why they’re here. They’re the two-time champs. [But] when the time came, we re­sponded. When the time came to get­ting a few more goals we re­sponded, and that’s what we’ve done all year. We’ve re­sponded. We’ve an­swered the bell.”

The an­swer didn’t come, though, un­til the Jum­bos were much closer. Ben An­dr­ey­cak’s goal in the final minute of the third, and then scores by Tucker Mathers and Upp­gren made it 12-11.

Cir­illo re­sponded for Sal­is­bury.

Af­ter Rich­man drew a one­minute penalty for an il­le­gal body check, the Gulls cap­i­tal­ized as Bur­ton fed Cir­illo, who made it 13-11, Sal­is­bury, with 11:38 to play.

But that in­sur­ance got cashed in just over a minute later, as Upp­gren, who fin­ished the sea­son with 73 goals in 23 games, scored to pull Tufts back within one.

Bur­ton scored unas­sisted with 6:06 to go, to make it 14-12. But down the stretch, Tufts kept com­ing.

The Sea Gulls were out­shot 50-31, and Tufts also dom­i­nated face­offs, 21-8. Keep­ing pos­ses­sion, the Jum­bos fired four shots as the clock wound down. Rich­man, in front of the crease, was in the per­fect place to pick up the re­bound of a shot by Car­bone, which Rey­mann had de­flected, but not caught.

Rich­man scooped it, and twirled, fir­ing past the off­bal­ance Gulls goalie to make it 14-13.

Need­ing to kill clock to cap­ture the ti­tle, Sal­is­bury man­aged to do so un­til the final minute, when they could not con­vert un­der the 30-sec­ond clock.

With 45 ticks left, Tufts got the ball back and moved down­field. Even­tu­ally, Upp­gren, a first-team All-Amer­i­can, got the ball, and, per­haps three paces in front of Rey­mann, sent in a shot, with four sec­onds to go.

Rey­mann net­ted it, and with a crowd of Tufts play­ers near, launched high clear down­field to no one in par­tic­u­lar.

The final sec­onds ticked off as the ball flew through the air, and the cel­e­bra­tion was on for Sal­is­bury.

“They’re a third-quar­ter team — ob­vi­ously,” Bromwell said, “but we were able to hold them off be­cause of what we had done in the first half.

“We had a cou­ple goals in the third quar­ter and the fourth quar­ter, too,” Bromwell added. “And we were able to hang on . ... My heart was beat­ing very fast, I can tell you that. I just can’t de­scribe it.”

“It’s great, just great; I don’t have the words to de­scribe it,” Howard said. “It’s just amazing to be here, hav­ing done this, right now.”

Wright agreed. “I just can’t tell you how good this feels,” he said. “But, we cel­e­brate tonight, and then we get back to work to­mor­row.”

“Yeah,” Howard said. “This sea­son’s over. It’s been great. We en­joy this mo­ment — but next sea­son starts to­mor­row.”

Notes: Rey­mann’s 15 saves tied a ca­reer-high, set on mid-April in a win over York (Pa.); in early May, dur­ing the Cap­i­tal Ath­letic Con­fer­ence’s an­nual tour­na­ment, York handed the Sea Gulls their only de­feat of the sea­son, 109. Rey­mann was named Most Out­stand­ing Player for his ef­forts in the net on Sun­day . ... The ti­tle was Sal­is­bury’s 11th, all com­ing un­der head coach Jim Berk­man; his 11 ti­tles is the most in Di­vi­sion III his­tory . ... The vic­tory by the Gulls avenged a 2014 loss to the Jum­bos in the national cham­pi­onship at M&T Bank Sta­dium in Bal­ti­more . ... Head-to­head, the teams are now 2-2 in the national ti­tle game.

PHOTO BY CHARLES BILCONISH/ CAM­ERA ONE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

Sal­is­bury Uni­ver­sity play­ers, and Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester High School grad­u­ates Pax Howard, left, Bren­dan Bromwell and Tyler Wright show off their national cham­pi­onship tro­phy.

PHOTO BY CHARLES BILCONISH

Sal­is­bury’s Bren­dan Bromwell (6) cel­e­brates his first-quar­ter goal Sun­day in the Di­vi­sion III national cham­pi­onship game.

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