Ridley, PA - Today was the 2nd annual Nick Colleluori Headstrong Lacrosse Classic in Ridley, PA. The tournament is honor of Nick Colleluori a former Ridley High School and Hofstra standout defenseman who was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when he was a member of the Hofstra Pride. Thirteen teams from Division I and III took part: Bellarmine, Cabrini, Villanova, Haverford, Hofstra, Lehigh, Loyola, Maryland, UPenn, Penn State, Princeton, St. Joe's and Widener.
For the second year in a row, a bunch of motivated people involved with Ridley High School, Hofstra University and the Headstrong Foundation again came together to put together a great fall tournament. The name of the tournament was a fundraiser for Headstrong’s battle against cancers of the blood. To learn more about the organization or to lend your support visit: http://www.headstrongfoundation.org/
Every player on the field for all teams sported the Headstrong Laces, which have been seen on lacrosse fields across the world for the last year.
On to the action on the field…since it’s fall ball and some freshman haven’t officially made the team yet, the comments will be kept brief. The weather couldn’t have been better for a day of lacrosse that had the perfect feel of the brotherhood of lacrosse. When the whistles blew, however, the games were intense.
With no official scoreboard, the fans couldn’t tell who the winners and losers were. Princeton looked impressive in their game against Villanova as they jumped out to an early lead with a bunch of new faces on the field, and some familiar ones missing: namely Dan Cocoziello and Alex Hewitt their stalwarts on the defensive side of the field over the last four years.
Maryland played pretty much all of their backups against Penn State, except on man-up where their top offensive players checked in. When their EMO unit stepped on the field, they were crisp and looked dangerous. On the whole, Maryland’s backups looked athletic getting up and down the field in a relatively even battle with Penn State. As they refine their skills in College Park, hopefully they’ll help the Terps play later into May.
The player that stood out the most on the day had to be Penn State’s keeper Drew Adams. While not a new face on the college lacrosse scene, the two-time honorable mention All-American hasn’t had quite the national notoriety as Penn State has failed to make the NCAA Tournament in his three seasons at State College. However, if the young talented PA recruits Penn State has secured over the past couple of years live up to their billing in the spring, Adams will be the rock behind their success. Time and again today he made saves on high-percentage shots that he few other goalies in college lacrosse make. When Adams was in goal against Maryland and UPenn, the Nittany Lions were a much, much different team from when he wasn’t in the game, frustrating shooters all day.
UPenn seemed to play everyone on the sidelines in competitive games against Penn State and Hofstra. Loyola looked really sharp on offense against Hofstra. The Greyhounds welcomed back former starting goalie Alex Peaty, who didn’t play last year. Hofstra was a bit rusty in certain aspects, which can be expected for October, but overall solid against Loyola.
All-in-all, it was a great day of lacrosse. Coaches and teams played most of their roster and had a chance to see what awaits in the spring, while figuring out some things that need to be fixed in those frigid winter workouts.