Lacrosse: Local team fourth at national tourney
by Special to woodlandsonline
Jan 04, 2013
THE WOODLANDS, Texas - This past summer head coach Mike Newton (memorial) and assistant coach Nick Huckins (Guilford College Defenseman of the Year and former The Woodlands all-state defensman) took a u13 team and won the Southern Summer Sizzle lacrosse tournament in Charlotte, NC.
Summer Sizzle is a nationally recognized qualifying tournament. The tournament winners are granted an invitation to the Dick's Tournament of Champions held Dec. 28-30 in Tampa, Fla.
The Houlaguns, facing competition from all across North America advanced to the final four. They opened the Dick’s Tournament of Champions on a cold and rainy morning with an impressive 16-0 shutout over the former champions Oneida Braves from Canada. The “Guns” then set their sights on Team Latitude from Tampa, beating them 7-3, earning a No. 3 seed and first-round bye in the national tournament featuring 27 u13 teams.
Coach Peter Marins’ (Seven Lakes) attack rotation of Braden Hovermale (Outlaws), and The Woodlands’ Nick Rouchle, Jacob Moore and Mitch Williams helped the Houlaguns rack up 23 goals in the first two games.
The Woodlands-laden midfield featured Austin Finta facing off, Jacob Piekielniak and Quinn Binney charging hard from the wings. The line of Ramsey McCreary (The Woodlands), Clayton Nugent (Cy-Fair) and Reese Sullivan (Outlaws) provided transition help. Jack Weithman (Cavaliers), Dylan Poynter (Outlaws) and James McDowell (The Woodlands) were slashing to the goal but the “Houla” team went down 3-0 early in the first game on day 2.
The “Guns” hunkered down and battled back to defeat the Skyhawks from Allentown, Pa., 6-5. In their second game of the day the Houlaguns spotted the Grand River Ironmen, from Canada, three goals and rallied back with the help of a behind-the-back goal from Williams, Offensive MVP. The game winning goal was scored by Sullivan with two minutes left securing the 6-5 victory to earn them a spot in the semi-finals.
The defense, coached by Al Christopher (The Woodlands) and led by Defensive MVP Grant Murphy (The Woodlands) only gave up 13 goals in the first 4 games.
The defense also included all-stars Brent Bishop (St. Francis), Sean Cordill (Outlaws), Ryan
Crouch (Outlaws), Jackson Shearer and Greg Hill (both The Woodlands) and the outstanding goal-stopping ability between the pipes of goalie Parker Browne (St. Francis).
In thier third game of the day, the Houlaguns went up early 2-0 over the Denver Elite squad and battled a see-saw game ultimately losing to the runner-ups, 9-6.
The Houlaguns eventually lost the third-place game to the Baltimore Breakers on the last day of the tournament to finish fourth in the nation.