The first annual Brooklyn Brawl was held on Sunday, September 25th, 2011, and although the weathermen predicted rain, the event stayed dry and went really well for a first year tourney. Jagermeister, Team Jesse, the TailGators and the Brooklyn Dodgers were the four teams in attendance and the talent level in the games was quite good for a first time event. The most notable names in attendance were probably Greg Downing (Boston Cannons/Blazers, Minnesota Swarm), Chris Massey (Princeton legend and former MLL star), Andrew Wasik (Pace, NJ Pride, NLL), Tom Burke (Cortland, Boston Cannons), Jerry Ragonese (RIT, ProAthletics, Rochester Rattlers) and Ryan Heath (Sacred Heart/Cortland). Video Highlights at the end!
But there were also some lesser known guys on these teams that could straight up ball. James Synowiez (Manhattan, box baller), Jim Kappler (Denver soccer), Kevin Owens (Butler), John Meade (Hartwick), Anthony Katagas (WNEC) and Nick Kammerman (Union) were just a few of the other guys out there tearing it up, and I had a blast just being out there on the field with them. The games were not particularly physical, in that bodies weren’t flying all over the place… but the sticks certainly were. Good old fashioned club ball. Just the way we like it! You can still get up for work on Monday, but you have bruises all over your arms. It’s a good balance.
Each team played 2 games to determine seeding. I played for Team Jesse alongside Matty Corry, Kevin Owens, and all of the other regulars, and it was a great bunch of guys. We took on the TailGators and Brooklyn Dodgers, and won both games relatively comfortably. Jagermeister did the same, but in an even more dominating fashion, so it was Team Jesse vs. Jagermeister for the Finals.
The Brooklyn Dodgers were actually light on numbers, so all day guys from other teams would jump on and help them out. Considering a lot of the guys were 30 and over, this was especially cool to see. The desire to go out and get in a ton of lax never dies, I guess! But with all the interest I got after the preview post went up, I’m pretty sure all the teams will be full up next year… this could definitely be a popular fall lax tourney.
The finals turned out to be a really great game. It was back and forth all game long, and neither team ever had a firm grip on the game. It was high-scoring, had a ton of up and down action, and saw some great saves by both keepers. The face off battles were great, and Chris Strycharz (ECSU) and Kevin Owens both had great days for Team Jesse, although “Robo” definitely won his fair share for Jagermeister. Andy Wasik must have had 4 or 5 goals in the finals for Jagermeister and Greg Downing was one of the main offensive catalysts for Team Jesse. He’s the one in the white box lid for the team in white in the highlight video (below).
Video is best if viewed on full screen mode.
In the end, it was Team Jesse that would come back from a 12-11 deficit with 8 minutes left to take the game 13-12. And believe it or not, this was Team Jesse’s first tournament championship ever! So congrats again fellas and thanks for having me! Aviator Sports complex was a great venue (as long as you have a car) and although I don’t have a car, it was still only a $30 livery car drive from Bed-Stuy. Not too shabby! They have two turf field next to each other, separated by bleachers and the facility will easily be able to accommodate at least four more teams in 2012. If the play were extended to grass field, even more teams might be able to play. We’ll see how that shakes out next year!
Thanks to all who came out for some lacrosse in Brooklyn! Thanks to the guys (and Kevin’s wife) that took photos and video! And thanks for letting LAS be a small part of it! For more photos, courtesy of Kevin Owens and his wife, check out our Facebook page!