Tampa, Fl. — Over the New Year’s holiday weekend, while winter is still settled over the Chesapeake region, a pair of locally based club lacrosse teams competed in the 2011 Dicks Sporting goods Tournament of Champions in Tampa, FL, both reaching Sunday’s championship game.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes National Team, a squad with strong Baltimore lacrosse ties, defeated Breakers Lacrosse of Baltimore, 6-3, in the title game of the U15 division.

The tournament is an invitational event featuring teams which qualified by winning select elite tournaments around the country. Both FCA and the Breakers went 3-0 in pool play before advancing through the medal round to the Gold Medal Game.

Breakers Lacrosse qualified the tournament by winning the Brine Summer Sizzle Tournament this past July.  The Breakers club features local high school freshmen from schools including St. Paul’s, Westminster, Loyola, North Carroll, Park, Gilman, Gerstell Academy, Liberty and Winter’s Mill.

By finishing first and second, but teams gained an automatic bid to next year’s Tournament of Champions. The Breakers team is coached by J.J. Pearl and Sam Keenan and will be entering tournament play as a 2014 (graduating year) team this coming Summer.

The FCA U15 squad was paced by strong efforts from middies Riley Peters (Georgetown Prep 2014), Sam Lynch (Landon School 2014), Brendan Collins (Georgetown Prep 2014), attackman Jake Stevens (Mount Hebron  2013), a solid defense led by Hugh Mosko (Georgetown Prep 2013) and goalie Jack Prutting (Landon School 2014).

FCA also won the title in the U17 division, defeating Team Florida, 10-9, in overtime ofthe championship game.

The FCA U17 squad went 7-0, closing with a pair of tough wins.  Prior to the final, FCA edged Native American squad, 9-7, in the semifinals.

In the Championship game FCA got off to a fast start building a 5-0 lead, but the advantage dwindled to 6-3 at the half.  Team Florida continued to battle back and actually took the lead late in the second half and went up 9-7 with approximately 3-1/2 minutes remaining in the game.  FCA then had a late run tying the game with less than a minute to play and netting the game winner in OT.

Johnny Kelly (Calvert Hall 2013) had four goals, including the game tying assist and game winning goal in OT and was named the Championship game MVP.  Stephen Kelly (Calvert Hall 2013) won 14-of-17 faceoffs and netted two goals and had four assists in the winning effort.  Brett Pearce (Calvert Hall 2012) had two goals, including the game tying goal to send the game into OT.

FCA U17FCA also got strong games from middies Zac Cooper (Boys Latin 2013), John Simms (Gilman 2013) and John Heneberry (Calvert Hall 2013), who had a big goal when FCA was two men down, as well as attackmen Matt Verderamo, one assist (Loyola 2013), Bear Altemus, one assist (Georgetown Prep 2013), Peter Laco (Landon School 2013), and defensemen Thomas Carroll (Calvert Hall 2013) and Tyler Mayes (Calvert Hall 2013), who was named the defensive player of the game.

Click on the related videos link above to watch ILacrosse’s video coverage of the U17 championship game.