Penguins 2021 squad off to great start this summer with two championships

Two tournaments completed, two championships for the 2021 Penguins.

The Penguins 2021 squad has opened the summer with two championships. The first came at the PrimeTime Shootout at Babson College and then it followed it up with another the following weekend at the Bulldog Brawl at Bryant University.

In the Shootout, the Penguins stormed pool play by going 4-0 with wins over Connecticut Valley, LC Mountain, Houlagans and 4Leaf, which set up a championship game against RI Bulldogs. The Penguins were able to come out on top with a thrilling 6-5 win.

Tom Barker and Will Specht were standouts over the two days of play.

“We won what felt like 80 percent of the face-offs,” head coach Marco Barbone said. “It’s hard for the other team to score when you start with the ball every time. We played a real solid team game. Got scoring from everywhere, not one player had to be the hero. Defensively, we played sound lacrosse and clear exceptionally well.”

The next weekend at Bryant for the Brawl was equally as impressive.

Once again the team was perfect in pool play with wins over LC CT River, Coyotes and 4 Leaf. This set up a semi-final matchup with FCLC Bucks and the Penguins rolled to a 11-5 win to force a rematch with Coyotes in the championship.

After being them 6-5 in pool play, the Penguins once again came out on top in a one-goal game, taking the championship by a 5-4 score.

Jonah Austin had a great tournament at LSM, while Luke Dias, Nick Merages and Marty Barrett held it down on defense. In addition, Chase Wesley had a great weekend between the pipes.

“These five did an amazing job picking up our offense after a turn over and shut down all the other teams,” Barbone said. “Shane McDonough was our top goal scorer. He had seven or eight just in the semi-final game. He was a man possessed. Every time the ball touched his stick it ended up in the back of the net.”

Added Barbone: “Everyone did their job. They did not try to be the hero or think they were bigger than the team. We trusted each other.”

While the team had two great weekends of play, it wouldn’t have happened without the work it put in during the few practices its had.

“The players want to be their best,” said Barbone. “They push each other at practice. On the sidelines during games, they chat about what happened and work through issues together.”

Even though the team has two championships under its belt, the work is far from over as the team is looking forward to the upcoming tournaments.

“Lake George will be battle, but I am really looking forward to Trilogy the weekend after because the 2021 did not perform well there last year,” Barbone said.

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