Reporting, Recording and Relaying - But Always Telling It As I See It

Sunday, May 16, 2010

USA vs. Russia 1980, Seneca Valley vs. PYLAX 2010

Herb Brooks would have said before the boy’s lacrosse game today, “If we play PYLAX ten times they might beat us nine. But not today. “ About a month ago, in the sleet and wind we travelled to Fox Chapel Middle School, the apparent training ground for the team known as Pittsburgh Youth Lacrosse (PYLAX). PYLAX is a well coached, fast, fundamentally sound group of athletes who on that day pasted our team 11-2. We were on our heels all day…pass, pass, score. It was brutal. The ride home across the PA Turnpike produced one excuse after another. The solution was just this simple, that PYLAX squad was some wicked good players.

My best hope today and the hope of many parents was that we would play hard and not be embarrassed. We didn’t take into account the fact that at twelve years old, boys have long memories, and were not about to be hounded again. On the field yesterday, after their thrashing of Mars, they were all talking about PYLAX. They were pissed.

Not long after the opening face-off, PYLAX came down and scored. A sinking feeling crept across the stands. PYLAX, undefeated, seemed on the brink of taking this one to the bank. Our team felt otherwise. From that point forward, the game turned. The boys played the most physical, inspired lacrosse of the season. What they lacked in finesse, they made up for with big hits, stifling defense and grinding, hard work. They ran down PYLAX players like lions on the Serengeti.

In the fourth quarter, PYLAX went ahead by one, 5-4. SV battled back to tie the game, followed shortly by the end of regulation. A four minute, sudden death overtime saw PYLAX gain control of the face off and move into our end. A blocked shot ended in a scrum in front of our net. Our mid-fielder scooped the ball, dashed down field and passed to another advancing mid-fielder who thundered a perfect, bouncing shot passed the goaltender and into the net. Game over.

Our boys were beyond elated as they gang tackled the goal scorer and handed PYLAX its first defeat of the year. I would paraphrase another Herb Brooks line, “I am sick and tired of hearing about what a great team PYLAX is.” Actually, it could be summed up better by a member of the winning team, “Undefeated my butt!”

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