The final day at the Langkammerer saw three teams trying to protect their undefeated records at the tournament. Brophy Prep, Corona Del Mar, and St. Ignatius entered the third day with 2-0 records. The #1 team in the Southern Section of California, Corona Del Mar, faced a rapidly improving Bellarmine team - perennial power of the Central Coast Section of CA - and St. Ignatius faced the #1 team in Arizona - Brophy Prep in what everyone knew would be quite the battle. The SI vs BP battle was particularly heady, since both teams entered this game undefeated.
Let's get the scores behind us. Corona Del Mar (CDM) defeated Bellarmine 7-4, while St. Ignatius (SI) defeated Brophy Prep, 8-6. Both were sensational games to watch, with speed, skill, and will to win evident on both sides of the field! Bellarmine held the lead 1-0 and 2-1 before CDM went on a big run led by Michael Keasey, but Bellarmine fought every minute of the game and CDM knew they'd been in a big-time battle. SI smoothly pulled out to a 4-1 halftime lead, only to see Brophy close the gap to end the game at 8-6. Brock Ghelfi was one of two "Players of the Game," in my opinion, with 4 goals and an assist in the game with SI. Will McKee, SI's exceptional Face-off guys was the other. Will has been dominant in every game but one this season and yesterday was no exception. All those extra possessions made a big difference in this game.
Two teams ended up undefeated – Corona Del Mar and St. Ignatius – with Brophy Prep hard on the heels of CDM and SI.
In a non-scientific – and alphabetic – way, the teams I most enjoyed watching were:
Bellarmine – most improved team over early season form
Brophy Prep – willful, never-say-die team with a stud carrying them. Very impressive group of young men.
Corona Del Mar – in my opinion the most athletic team at the Langkammerer
Marin Catholic – not the best record in the tourney, but one of two teams with great grit and tenacity. One of two teams I found myself unexpectedly rooting for!
San Clemente – the other team with amazing grit and tenacity that I rooted for through most of the tournament!
St. Ignatius - I liked the Wildcats because their combination of skill, speed, and balance allowed them to make it look easy on numerous occasions. Making it look easy, I've found, is almost always because of near-infinite practice. They were the smoothest team at the Langkammerer.