The Adrenaline All-American Game, played Saturday night in Mission Viejo, had everything you’d expect from an all-star game — highlight-reel finishes, slick stickwork, tremendous athletic ability and plenty of determination. In the end, the balance tipped in favor of the South squad, which surged ahead late in the third period and held off a North rally to post a 20-15 victory at Capistrano Valley HS.
Midfielder Justin Anderson (Centennial HS, Nev./North Carolina) was named the game’s MVP after scoring three goals and feeding two assists. Two of those goals and both assists came in the second half, when the South outscored the North 14-5. Attack Jack Beare (Dallas Episcopal/Notre Dame) scored four goals for the South and also had an assist, and midfielder Jake Seau (Bishop’s School/Duke) had two goals and two assists.
The North got three goals from attack Carlo Castaneda (Westlake/Franklin & Marshall) and two each from midfielder Colton McCaffrey (Chaparral, Colo./Denver) and attack Cody Graden (Central Memorial, Alberta/Merrimack).
In all, 22 players from the two squads found the net, a testament to the depth of talent on both rosters. Combined, the two rosters had 53 NCAA Division I players and four NCAA D-II and D-III players. There certainly were individuals who stood out, but it was clear everyone in the game was there for a reason.
The earliest standout had to be North faceoff specialist Jace Thomas (Bountiful, Utah/Air Force), who helped North own possession through much of the first quarter. That possession led to an early 7-1 lead and what looked like the makings of a blowout.
But the South recovered as the first quarter wound down, scoring three times in the last six minutes of the 20-minute running-clock period to make it 8-4 heading to the second. The South pulled within 9-6 with six minutes left in the second period on Anderson’s second goal, assisted by Ryder Gamsey (Brewster Academy, Calif./Notre Dame).
The North restored it’s four-goal lead with two minutes left in the half when Sean Mayle (Sacred Heart Prep, Calif./Denver) dodged the right alley and fed a cutting Castaneda on the crease to make it 10-6 North at halftime.
The second half was all South.
In a 7-1 third-quarter eruption, the South got goals from six different players who scored all sorts of ways — transition, man-up, behind-the-back, unassisted. Anderson tied it 11-11 with 4:46 left in the third when Mitch Kingsley (JSerra/Hofstra) caught the North napping on a quick restart from X and fed Anderson at the edge of the crease. A few minutes later, a sidearm rip from Michael Kay (Cathedral Catholic/Drexel) gave the South its first lead, and Anderson capped the quarter with his third goal, scoring in transition off a turnover for a 13-11 South lead entering the fourth.
The South’s Gamsey and North’s Castaneda traded goals early in the fourth, with Castaneda keeping the North close with creative finishes on the crease. Both times he managed to get underneath his defender along goal-line extended, but both times he found himself with no angle. No problem. Castaneda shoveled the ball underhanded between the goalie and the near post and into the net. The first one was so unexpected and unorthodox that it took a few second for anyone besides Castaneda to realize it had gone in.
It was a big night for Castaneda, who missed all but a few seconds of Westlake’s season to injury but was healthy enough to play Saturday. He also was honored at halftime with the presentation of the TL17 Scholarship Award, named for former Adrenaline player Tyler Lucas from Issaquah, Wash.
Castaneda’s second shovel-shot goal cut the South’s lead to 15-13, and Andrew Gresham (Pitt Meadows, B.C./Manhattan) scored moments later on an assist from fellow Canadian Graden to make make it 15-14. But the South got goals from Beare and midfielder Spencer Beyer (Carlsbad/Wagner) to essentially wrap things up.
• LSM Trent Schulte (Coronado, Calif./Bellarmine) was all over the field, but he was especially noticeable in transition. He picked up an assist in the third quarter, and he often stayed in the 6-on-6 offensive set rather than head to the box.
• Midfielder Jake Seau (6-foot-2, 180 pounds) strapped a GoPro camera to his helmet in the third quarter but quickly lost it when he dropped his shoulder on a dodging midfielder. The hit drew a penalty, but the footage should be epic.
• Other Southland players in the game besides Castaneda and Kingsley included midfielder Hunter Edington (St. Margaret’s/Manhattan); midfielder Peyton Garrett (San Clemente/High Point); defenseman Tucker Guyot (JSerra/Jacksonville); midfielder Hayden Ruiz (Santa Margarita/Boston University); and midfielder Austin Streeter (San Clemente/Bellarmine).
• The San Diego area was well represented, in addition to Seau, Kay and Beyer, with goalie Bryce Cady (Torrey Pines/Bryant), defenseman Connor Landsdale (Torrey Pines/Tufts), midfielder Eli Suhadolnik (Torrey Pines/Colorado Mesa), defenseman Max Thiele (Bishop’s/Drexel), FOGO Owen Weselak (Torrey Pines/Marquette), LSM Kenan Yates (Cathedral Catholic/Middlebury), and attack Cameron Ziegler (La Costa Canyon/Bryant). Attack Andrew Tien (Bishop’s/Air Force) was selected for the game but was unable to attend.
Watch the full game replay from The Lacrosse Network:
South 20, North 15
North … 8 2 1 4 — 15
South … 4 2 7 7 — 20
North: Castaneda 3, McCaffrey 2, Graden 2, Tagliaferi, Lang, Reid, Gravitt, Rodrigues, Bourke, Gresham, Runberg.
South: Anderson 3, Beare 4, Seau 2, Gamsey 2, Suhadolnik2, Kay 2, Kingsley, Loftus, Streeter, Beyer, Abbadessa.