When Team USA rolled into Seattle for the Seatown Classic, it was made up of an entirely new group of professional lacrosse players. Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish arrived all decked out in new fall ball gear, and prepared to embrace a once-in-a-lifetime Notre Dame experience.
Out with the old and in with the new… Team USA was not made up of the same guys who competed in Denver, and that’s to be expected. This team was significantly younger, full of energy, and looking for leadership.
Team veterans, Kyle Harrison and Paul Rabil were both present on the sidelines, as both players are in the midst of rehabilitating injuries. Their knowledge and expertise were not confined within the bench as Paul ran the box, discussed rulings with officials and stayed animated to keep U.S. spirits high. Harrison’s role seemed more calculated as he used his veteran experience to help guide the youngsters on the roster, often speaking with them one-on-one.
Saturday’s event saw a record crowd at the Starfire Sports Complex, which sits in Tukwila, a town just south of Seattle. A total of 3,657 Northwest lacrosse fans packed the stadium for a roller coaster ride of a lacrosse game.
The intimate venue brought an amazing dynamic to the game as it was a struggle to find an empty seat in the house. The constant yelling for Team USA and its local Pacific Northwest heroes Drew Snider and Peter Baum was complemented by cheering from the proud alumni, supporters, family members, and girlfriends of Notre Dame.
The crowd was locked in and focused on the game in front of them, cheering for any action from either side. “U-S-A” chants and screams for “Drew!” were matched by the clapping along to the Notre Dame fight song, each and every time it was played that afternoon by the Pacific Northwest Alumni Band of Notre Dame. It couldn’t be more apparent that the Seattle loves lacrosse and their fans were serious, but leave it to Seattle to have no problem watching the world’s best compete through constant precipitation.
Entering the matchup, both teams had finished up successful runs in their respective 2014 seasons. Both making it to, then falling short in their championship games. Notre Dame finished as NCAA Division I runners up to the Duke Blue Devils in Spring 2014, and Team USA lost a heartbreaker to Canada in the 2014 World Championship game.
The young bucks of Notre Dame took full advantage of Team USA’s unfamiliarity with one another by kicking off the game with a flurry of scoring, tallying seven straight goals before a timeout from the U.S. served its purpose with Ryan Young and Peter Baum finding the first U.S. goals to finally stop the bleeding.
The United States didn’t stop there, they kept the run going through the second quarter and brought the score up to a close 7-6, before Notre Dame punched in three more to close the half at a 10-6 lead over Team USA.
Halfway through the third quarter, Irish defenseman Eddy Glazener lowered his helmet, blowing up John Locascio in front of the Notre Dame goal that warranted a 3-minute non-releasable call which opened the floodgates for the United States to take off on an eight goal run.
It was clear that the powerful north-south offense of the Fighting Irish was hard to match for the United States. But no matter how one-sided the game had started, it turned out nearly impossible for the Irish to slow down their professional counterparts. Notre Dame was man down for what seemed like an eternity.
Kieran McArdle and Marcus Holman both found the back of the net, and then Jordan Wolf put in two of his three goals in under one minute to knot the game at 10-10. Garrett Thul, John Locascio, Ryan Young and Will Manny all contributed during the long man-up session, and Team USA capped off the third quarter with with a healthy 15-10 lead.
The Fighting Irish entered the fourth quarter rejuvenated and ready to win the day, but even the team’s 4-1 run in the next 15 minutes was not nearly enough to overcome the detrimental effects of the non-releasable penalty. Team USA won with 17 goals over Notre Dame’s 14.
What It All Means
The explosive nature of the Notre Dame squad and its ability to make the best players in the country look like deer in headlights is going to serve as defining characteristic of the Fighting Irish in 2015. The team plays as one, and they can push the ball at a world-class tempo. If this author’s spidey senses tell him anything, Notre Dame will be back on top come Memorial Day.
Team USA’s youthfulness was the dawn of new life after what some considered one of the most disappointing losses in United States lacrosse history. Led on-field by young guns Marcus Holman and Jordan Wolf, the team benefitted greatly from the addition of Peter Baum, Ryan Young, Kieran McArdle, and Wolf.
Team USA’s win leaves us with the promise of a bright, re-energized, and possibly electric future that many American lacrosse fans are ready and willing to embrace.
The overall vibe of the 2014 Seatown Classic was positively Grow The Game-tastic. Each member of each squad signed every autograph requested and connected with the fans until the very end, and the players associated with each other with respect and in some cases, a lot of admiration too.
For those in tune with the spirituality of lacrosse, it was clear that The Creator was delighted with how the lacrosse community came together on Saturday. Thousands of people from the greater Seattle, Washington area flocked together to celebrate the game and enjoy watching high-level lacrosse.
And as if that wasn’t good enough, it all concluded with sunshine and bright blue sky.
For video highlights & game photos, see The Seatown Comeback.
– TEAM USA –
Marcus Holman – 2 goals, 4 assists
Jordan Wolf – 2 goals, 3 assists
Ryan Young – 3 goals
Kieran McArdle – 2 goals, 1 assist
Peter Baum – 2 goals
Will Manny – 2 goals
Garrett Thul – 1 goal, 1 assist
Drew Snider – 1 goal
Brett Schmidt – 1 goal
Jeff Reynolds – 1 assist
John Locascio – 1 goal
– NOTRE DAME –
Matt Kavanagh – 3 goals, 2 assists
Sergio Perkovic – 1 goal, 6 assists
Mikey Wynne – 3 goals
Ben Pridemore – 1 goal, 2 assists
Cole Riccardi – 2 goals
Jack Near – 1 goal, 1 assist
Conor Doyle – 1 goal, 1 assist
Eddy Lubowicki – 1 goal
Anthony Marini – 1 goal
Will Corrigan – 1 assist
For video highlights & more game photos, see The Seatown Comeback.