On Saturday and Sunday, over 120 lacrosse teams from across the state of Florida competed in the 2015 Summer Faceoff held at Austin Tindall Park and Omni ChampionsGate Resort. Sponsored by Orlando Lacrosse and the Central Florida Sports Commission, the event ran very smoothly and it was a fun couple of days for all those involved. The teams in the U13 through U19 divisions were playing for a little more than fun as the tournament was a regional qualifier for the 2015 IMG National Lacrosse Championship. As such, the winners and runner-ups in those divisions will be invited to Bradenton, Florida in November to compete for the title of IMG National Champions.
There was some great lacrosse on both days, especially in the high school divisions which were split into one U19 grouping and two U17 groupings. It was exciting to see not only the great talent our state has, but also the growth of the game that is visible from the wide breadth and great number of teams.
On Saturday, every team played three games of pool play to determine where they would stand for Sunday’s bracket and championship play. After the first day, ten teams from the high school divisions remained undefeated. Stealth Lacrosse Club and Bold City had teams from both the U17 and U19 divisions win all three games. The other undefeated teams were West Florida LC and LCO Black at the U19 level and Team Maverick, Apopka, Xtreme, and Palm Beach Revolution at the U17 level.
On Sunday, the weather was beautiful and sunny for most of the day, but, right as the first U17 final game between Stealth LC and the Naples Rhinos began, lightning in the area caused a near two-hour delay. This was a rematch from the day before when Stealth won a close one 5-7. After the delay, the tournament directors decided to finish this game with a 3v3 braveheart overtime. It was a very exciting and even match-up, lasting over five minutes. Both goalies made several saves and, after saving a point-blank shot, Stealth goalkeeper Tyler DeVita sprinted coast-to-coast to score the game-winner and give Stealth LC one of the two U17 championships. (Tyler posted the video of his goal on twitter. You can see it here.) Stealth Lacrosse Club is comprised primarily of players from Stoneman Douglas and West Boca.
The other U17 final started after the delay and was a hard fought game between Team Maverick and Xtreme. Ultimately, Team Maverick came out with a 5-2 win.
The U19 final was thrilling. It was a great match-up between Stealth LC and West Florida. Most of the Stealth players were from Stoneman Douglas and West Boca High Schools, while West Florida had a variety of players mostly from the Tampa area. Early in the game, West Florida was dominating the face off and controlling possession. As a result, West Florida scored the first three goals and then held a 6-1 advantage in the second half. Then, the tables turned, Stealth began winning the faceoffs and causing turnovers on the ride. Stealth scored the games final five goals to end regulation tied 6-6 and take the game to 3v3 braveheart overtime. Despite the amazing comeback, the Stealth Lacrosse Club was unable to capture their second championship of the day, as West Florida scored shortly into the overtime period.
For the younger age levels, Palm Beach Revolution won both U15 groups, one of the two U13 groups, and the U9 group. Venom won the other U13 group and the Ponte Vedra Patriots won the U11 group. Congratulations to all winners and thank you to all involved for a wonderful event!