Yesterday, the first-ever Salt Shakerz Invitational kicked off on Randall’s Island in New York City. Randall’s Island hosts a huge complex of turf and grass fields that are owned and operated by the NYC Parks Dept. and the Island is located between Manhattan and Queens. I got a couple of shots of game play with bridges and skyline in the background, and it really provides an amazing backdrop for a 16-team men’s tourney!
The teams were grouped into 4 division, or boroughs, and each team played the other 3 teams in their borough. The top team from Saturday from each borough qualifed for the Semis on Sunday. I actually love this format where only a quarter of the teams play on Sunday in the playoffs. It reduces the overall number of games a little, creates some extra down time to socialize and talk lax, and allows for very easy travel (and the potential to go out and really see the City) for the out-of-towners.
The LaxAllStars.com team was very competitive, but we dropped games to Lagunitas (9am 5-3) and The Salt Shakerz (3pm 9-7 in a game where both teams were eliminated already) while beating The Machine (1pm 9-4). Our clear MVPs were midfielder Nick Saputo and goalie Bobby Whitmarsh. Saputo is off to Drexel next year and he scored a couple goals and had a couple asists over the course of the day. But where he really stood out was at the face off square. Saputo took 40 faceoffs (if my math is right) and only lost thrice… and two of those were violations. Meaning he won 37 of 40. Unreal perfromance. Bobby Whitmarsh was unreal in goal making acrobatic saves, leading the D and coming out for gbs and clears. He was a real spark for us all weekend and both of these guys were a pleasure to be around.
I’ll be back at Randall’s Island today checking out the Semifinals and Finals. Brooklyn LC/The Art Of Lax made the semis, and so did Lagunitas from LAS’ borough. I’ll have more info on the rest of the playoffs early in the week and lots of video too! For now, enjoy some of the sights from the first-ever Salt Shakerz Invitational Lacrosse Tournament in New York City!