By Chris Goldberg, Posted 6/19/22

    WEST CHESTER, Pa – Aidan Naughton believes Duke’s Elite (PA) 2023 plays lacrosse like a typical Philly team: gritty and hard-nosed.

    That, he says, is what led to today’s 5-1 win over White Rose (PA) in the 2023 AA Victory Events Boys’ Summer Slam championship at West Chester East HS.

    “It really just takes hard Philly lacrosse,” said the defenseman from Malvern Prep. “Most of us are born and bred from here and one thing we do every day is get after it on offense and defense; we go get the groundballs and we like to scrap.”

    The Duke’s suffocating defense was a key to the title win, blanking White Rose in the second half as the attack broke loose in the final 10 minutes with four unanswered goals by Aidan Kreydt (Springfield-Delco), Andrew Heubeck (Hun School-NJ)) and Ricky Savage (St. Edward’s-FL) Anthony Laber (St. Joseph’s Prep). Sean Donaldson (Springfield-Delco) scored in the first half to give Duke’s a 1-0 lead.

    “Defensively, we got after it and forced them to play at our level, we forced them to play fast,” said Naughton. “Our goalies, Brian (May, Malvern Prep) and Seamus (Deviney, Malvern Prep) played out of their minds with some doorstep stops and overall the defense did well and communicated well.”

    Defensive midfielder Michael Hoey (Springfield-Delco) said Duke’s began to meshed after its first game Saturday of the new club season.

    “I think in the first day we had to figure it out communication-wise,” he said. “We came out in the second day and made sure no cutters were getting the ball.

    “Once we got everything down, we looked good. The goalies were huge and we always know the offense is star studded and that once they get it going, they really get it going. We’re all good friends, making jokes and enjoying time with each other. We’re just a bunch of Delco (Delaware County) kids. It makes it easier to win.”

    2023 AA champion Duke’s Elite

    2024AA – SouthShore (NJ) 6, Brotherly Love (PA) 5

    Austin Exley (St. Augustine Prep) scored off a feed from Nathan Bialy (Cherokee) with 15 seconds to play, giving SouthShore the title.

    SouthShore rallied from a 5-3 second-half deficit and tied it with 10 minutes left on a tally by Charles Schutta (Ocean City). SouthShore had dropped a 7-5 decision to Brotherly Love on Saturday in tourney play.

    SouthShore pulled off a double-revenge day, by also topping Brotherhood (NJ), 4-3 in the semifinals after bowing to Brotherhood, 8-3, earlier in the day in tourney play. Both Brotherhood and Brotherly Love were undefeated (4-0) entering the playoffs.

    “Losing in the first game today gave us energy,” said Exley. “And we came back and worked harder against (Brotherly Love) today. It’s all about teamwork and energy – if you don’t have that you can’t win a game. We have the chemistry.”

    Exley was thrilled to get the game-winner.

    “I put the work in every day and that’s what I look for so it’s really exciting to win the tournament for the team,” he said. “We brought more energy and we wanted it more so we took it today.”

    2024 AA champion SouthShore