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NOVI, Mich. -- Saturday, May 11 I took a drive to see Round 2 of Brother Rice (Mich.) versus Detroit Catholic Central (Mich.).
Round 1 was on March 26 at DCC, which was the first game between these heated rivals since DCC ended Brother Rice's 13-year state championship run. Brother Rice dominated that game and won 16-5. They obviously had something to prove and came out with bad intentions.
The Warriors have gone on to win 15-straight games, earning the No. 1 ranking in Michigan, the No. 2 ranking in the Midwest, and the No. 24 ranking in the country.
The Shamrocks have won 11 straight after the Brother Rice loss, earning a No. 3 ranking in Michigan and the No. 4 ranking in the Midwest.
This game had the makings of something great, the added bonus of it being for The Catholic League lacrosse championship made it more special. Typical of the games I have attended all Spring, this game got down into the low 50's with light rain, but that didn't dampen the atmosphere in the stadium.
Detroit Catholic Central's Connor Baratta won the faceoff and took control. The Shamrocks looked more poised already and immediately attacked, but were stopped right off-the-bat by Brother Rice goalie Dom Dadabbo. The Warriors moved the ball into their end. The Shamrocks defense appeared ready, but some crisp Warrior passing found an open Jordan Hyde for the first goal of the game.
I'm not going to lie, I was nervous that this would start a Brother Rice roll. I couldn't have been more wrong, The strong faceoff play by Baratta gave possession to DCC again. The Shamrocks were in attack mode. They weren't planning on spinning the ball around, they were looking to score. It was Joey Kammish who struck first for the Shamrocks. Another faceoff win and another Shamrock possession. Attackman Ryan Sullivan scored on a beautiful question mark jump shot to put DCC up 2-1. Sullivan was feeling it, from behind the cage he drove to the front and scored his second of the game to increase the lead to 3-1.
The Shamrocks added two more goals - one from Jacob Sposita and one from Patrick Lee. Detroit Catholic Central was up 5-1 and proved they came to play.
Brother Rice Head Coach Ajay Chawla called a time out and whatever he said must have worked.
Brother Rice came out with impressive ball movement, and DJ Dixon found Hyde on a backdoor cut for a goal to cut the lead to 5-2. Brother Rice's continued great ball movement was working, and Dixon found Hyde for his third goal of the game and cut the lead to 5-3.
Time for Detroit Catholic Central's Coach Dave Wilson to call a time out. Coming out of the timeout, DCC continued with their attacking style, and Kammish buried an absolute laser for a 6-3 lead. With time expiring, Dixon found Hyde for his fourth of the game with one second left in the first quarter. DCC held onto a 6-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Sullivan opened the second quarter by scoring his third goal of the game, but Patrick O'Hara answered for Brother Rice with a low snipe to make the score 7-5. Sposita scored his second, and Jakob Hemme made a huge save for the Shamrocks, that led to quick transition play and a shot on Brother Rice's goal.
The shot was rebuffed by Dadabbo, and Brother Rice took possession. A great ride by Detroit Catholic Central took the ball back, and Kammish scored his third of the game to extend the lead to 9-5.
On Brother Rice's next possession a tremendous individual effort by O'Hara made it a 9-6 game. A Brother Rice goal by Justin Glod and a Detroit Catholic Central answer by Jake Petro made the score 10-7 DCC at halftime.
This game was all I was hoping it would be. There were great scoring plays, strong goaltending and excellent faceoff play for DCC. Watching one-on-one matchups between Kammish and James Donaldson was a treat. Justin Petouhoff seemed to be everywhere for the Shamrocks.
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The second half didn't seem to slow down Sullivan as he scored his fourth.
I said at halftime I didn't think Glod looked like the player I had seen a few times before. He was an early LaxRecords Player of the Game, so I kept a close eye on him. It was like he heard me talking as he scored, and then added another for his third goal of the game to bring Brother Rice within two at 11-9
The Shamrocks had a very long possession with lots of shots. The Brother Rice defense was stepping up big time. This was the moment. Brother Rice's defense was gassed, but they never gave up.
A huge Dadabbo save, outlet and transition goal by Michael Cosgrove, made it an 11-10, but the momentum shift was palpable.
It was all Brother Rice after this.
O'Hara tied it up with his third of the game. Brother Rice took a 12-11 lead on Cosgrove's second of the game. To end the third Glod scored his fourth goal of the game on an absolute cannon of a shot, with one second remaining.
The teams headed into the fourth quarter with Brother Rice leading 13-11.
O'Hara took over the game in the fourth. He scored three-straight goals and extended the lead to 16-11. Sullivan scored his fifth to end the scoring and the game with a 16 - 12 final and a Brother Rice Catholic League Championship.
The LaxRecords Player of the Game was O'Hara with six goals.
O'Hara was just one player who stuck out.
Brother Rice's Glod, Hyde, Dixon, and Cosgrove all had massive games on offense. Donaldson, Mason Everly, and Dadabbo played strong defense, especially in the second half.
The Shamrocks also had some great play. Kammish did his thing. Sullivan wasn't going to be stopped, and Baratta was strong at the dot. Petouhoff was everywhere in the first half, and Hemme was strong in the cage. I expect these two teams may be playing again this year.
I think Detroit Catholic Central has a lot to build on they are loaded with talent and are very well coached. Brother Rice seems to be on a mission this year, wanting to get back that championship trophy and I wouldn't bet against them. If it's these two teams again for the championship though, the phrase the third time's the charm comes to mind. You can also bet that I'll be there to see it.
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