On an absolute gorgeous day in Philadelphia, the 2nd annual University City Classic was played. Drexel University, University of Pennsylvania and John Hopkins Unversity all took part on this day. All the proceeds from this event went to benefit the HEADstrong Foundation.
Game 1 Drexel 6 Penn 6.
In the first game we had a rematch of the first round in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Both teams came out and played very strong defense. Goaltenders Will Gabrielssen (Drexel) and Jimmy Sestilio played outstanding in the first half. Drexel senior Ryan Belka had three goals in the game and sophomore Jake Gonzales had a pair.
But the story here was the defense on both sides of the ball. Drexel’s defense was outstanding in this game, and it had to be. In the first half a couple one minute penalties along with off ball violations kept them in defense mode. Penn also had a number of chances on a few give and go’s along with a couple quick sticks, but Gabrielsen was standing tall for the Dragons. For Penn, their defense was just as good as the Drexel offense continued putting pressure and showed that even though MacIntosh and Trizano have graduated, their offense is still to be respected.
In the second half, Jr. Cal Winkelman (Drexel) and Fr. Brian Zappala took their time between the pipes and it looked like a carbon copy as the second half was just as intense and strong on both sides as it was in the first half. But with only six seconds remaining in the game Jr. David Kalin tied the game for Penn with a beauty of a shot out in front of the goal. Game ended in a 6-6.
Game 2 John Hopkins 14 Drexel 3
John Hopkins came out firing on all cylinders scoring three times in the first 2:20 and taking a 3-0 lead just five minutes into the first quarter. The next 10 minutes Drexel did pull the defense together and managed a few scoring chances. But after that it was all Hopkins outscoring Drexel 11-3 giving them a 14-3 win.
During this game the officials proceeded to lose control of the game. There were some high hits, slashes, etc.. which almost resulted in a few fights. Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala was very vocal about his displeasure of the officiating along with Brian Voelker Drexel’s head coach.
Sr. Wells Stanwick, Jr. Liam Giblin, Jr. Connor Reed and Fr. Brinton Valis each scored twice for John Hopkins. Hopkins used all four goaltenders. Eric Schneider (1), Will Ryan (2), Ryan Feit (3), Jack Connelly (4). The Hopkins defense was on lockdown for the full 60 minutes. If this is any indication of what to expect from this team, they may be back in Philadelphia come Memorial Day wekend.
Game 3 John Hopkins 11 Penn 8
In almost an exact duplicate of their game versus Drexel, Hopkins took control of the game early then mixed up the matchups so the coaches can see what they have going into the 2015 season and held on for an 11-8 win.
So. Kieran Eissler had a hat trick for Hopkins, while Jr. Connor Reed chipped in with another two goals.
Both teams had strong defense, while the offensive pressure was very strong from both teams, which led to a fair amount of scoring chances. But the highlight goal of the game came from Penn Jr. Mark Leonhard. The 6’5″ middie came off a pick and took a pass in stride and put a behind the back shot in the top right corner.
After the first game the Nick Colleluori Award was given to a member of each team.
The Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award recognizes the accomplishments of student-athletes who help their respective teams achieve success in ways that may not always be measured by statistics.
Univ. of Penn Senior Midfielder Joe McCallion
Drexel Senior Midfielder Nick Saputo
John Hopkins Senior Goaltender Eric Schneider
John Hopkins 2-0 25 GF/11 GA
Penn 0-1-1 14 GF/17 GA
Drexel 0-1-1 9 GF/20 GA