Rice Passes Final Test From Rival DCC

June 10, 2017

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

HOWELL – The chain remains intact for another year at Birmingham Brother Rice.

But adding a 13th straight Division 1 championship took a gallant effort over the final 14 minutes Saturday against an opponent that couldn’t be more familiar – or dangerous after a couple of close meetings earlier this spring.

Detroit Catholic Central too leads twice during the third quarter of the Division 1 Final at Howell’s Parker Middle School. But Brother Rice scored the equalizer with 1:01 to go in the third, and senior Cameron Gould netted the game-winner with 4:27 to play for an 8-7 win over the Detroit Catholic League rival Shamrocks, who finished runners-up for the fourth straight season.

“They’re always going to be a tough team. They’re always going to be our competition in the state,” Gould said of his DCC counterparts.

“(Our) streak’s a huge deal. No one wants to break the chain, but at the same time I’m overwhelmed with emotion. I’m just very happy for my team and all of my brothers.”

Brother Rice has won every Division 1 title since boys and girls lacrosse became MHSAA-sponsored sports in 2005.

The Warriors (20-4) had beaten DCC by one and five goals in their previous matchups this season after downing the Shamrocks 10-8 in last season’s Final. This was the third time during Brother Rice’s run that it was pushed to within a goal in a championship game – Catholic League mate Detroit U-D Jesuit played the Warriors to 12-11 scores in both 2005 and 2009.

For obvious reasons, it’s become expected for Brother Rice to be playing on the last day of the season. But earlier this week it had to survive an 8-6 Semifinal against Rockford – and DCC was as poised as could be to end the streak.

The Shamrocks scored first, a little more than three minutes into the game on a Peter Thompson shot. Rice twice built two-goal leads but never broke further away.

DCC scored the first three goals after halftime, with sophomore Joey Kamish delivering the first and senior Brennan Kamish the next two.

“We only have five seniors, but they work so hard,” DCC coach Dave Wilson said. “We were just trying to give them some reminders: Why are you here? What is your goal? And there was no fear. They wanted to win.”

Rice didn’t lose to an in-state opponent this season, but did go 5-4 again out-of-state competition. Seasoned seniors took over Saturday when it counted – Jack Kelly broke the DCC scoring run with a goal with 8:21 left in the third quarter and had the equalizer seven minutes later. Neither team scored during the fourth quarter until Gould netted his game winner.

The eight goals tied for Rice's second fewest in a win this season. DCC's seven goals were its second fewest in a win or loss.

“If you would’ve told me we were going to get held to eight I would’ve told you Dave (Wilson) would’ve won too,” Rice coach Ajay Chawla said. “Our defense came up big. We’ve been waiting for that game from them for a while. That’s why we go out and play tough teams, so when we get in these situations, we can bear down.

“We play tough opponents every day, whether in practice or games. That’s why we go out of town to play, so for games like this when it comes down to, barrels down to the last quarter or last goal, they’ve seen it before. They’re not afraid. They know how to handle it.”

Gould had a game-high four goals, and Kelly had three. Senior Daniel Reaume had Rice’s first goal and two assists.

DCC finished 15-6 this spring, with its only other in-state loss to East Grand Rapids.

Thompson had two goals Saturday to match Brennan Kamish’s team-leading total.

Click for the full scoring summary.

PHOTOS: (Top) Brother Rice's Daniel Reaume winds up for a shot during Saturday's Division 1 Final. (Middle) Detroit Catholic Central's defense including Liam Cunningham (12) and Brennan Kamish (9) close a gap. 

Quick 2nd-Half Strike Sparks Detroit Catholic Central to Comeback Win

By Drew Ellis
Special for MHSAA.com

June 8, 2024

ANN ARBOR – The Detroit Catholic Central offense knew what it was capable of – but just needed to show it.

After being shut out in the first period of Saturday’s MHSAA Division 1 boys lacrosse championship game at University of Michigan, and trailing 6-3 at the break, the Shamrocks needed a spark.

That spark came in the form of a Lachlan Moffatt goal just 13 seconds into the second half, which started an 11-2 run for DCC on the way to a 14-8 victory.

“Hartland was playing really well. We just weren’t capitalizing, which is really kind of strange for us. I think when we got that first goal of the third quarter, that really changed the complexion of the whole thing,” Detroit Catholic Central coach Dave Wilson said.

Even after the Moffatt goal, the Shamrocks (21-3) still didn’t take the lead until late in the third quarter. Senior midfielder Matthew Aleva would fire off a laser that found the back of the net with 4:14 to play in the period, tying the game at 7-7.

Minutes later, Aleva would take a pass from Moffatt and find the net again to give the Shamrocks their first lead – one they wouldn’t relinquish.

A Hartland player brings the ball upfield while DCC's Brody Wojcik defends.“They were big and I knew we needed to swing the energy on to our side,” Aleva said of his two goals. “We had to rally back and come out in the second half with a Game-7 mentality. We found that energy and we made sure to play the way we know we could.”

The Shamrocks won all 14 faceoffs in the second half, which allowed them to control possession most of the final two periods and take a 32-8 shot advantage over Hartland (19-4).

“Faceoffs had a lot to do with it. At the end of the day, (Catholic Central) had a couple of strong draw guys who are really talented players,” Hartland coach Nick Levanti said. “You have to come out with other ways to win, whether it is winning possessions, winning ground balls, tying it up, clearing better. Ultimately, I felt (Catholic Central) came out hungrier to do those little things.”

It was Hartland that looked hungrier during the first half. The Eagles took a 3-0 lead after a quarter of play, thanks in large part to the play of freshman goalie Nate Anderer. He made six saves in the first period and finished with 19 for the game.

“He’s always locked in, and he’s a great player,” Levanti said of Anderer. “That’s a performance you can expect him to give. He has that type of capability in any game.”

With Catholic Central not finding the net at its accustomed frequency, it relied less on its passing to score and worked individual battles. Seven of the 11 second-half goals were unassisted. 

“Every game takes on its own personality. We weren’t moving off-ball well, so guys had to really take it on their own and stick the ball in the net, and they did,” Wilson said.

The Shamrocks' Matthew Aleva (30) makes a move as Hartland's Mark Alarcon defends. Luke Zajdel led Catholic Central in scoring with five goals, four of which came in the second half. Moffatt finished with three goals and two assists, while Francisco Williams and Aleva each had two goals.

Hartland was led by Dylan Ayotte, who had two goals. Easton Culver had one goal and two assists for the Eagles.

Saturday marked the first time the Division 1 Final didn’t feature Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice. The Warriors had appeared in every D1 Final since the sport received MHSAA sponsorship in 2005.

The only two Finals Brother Rice had lost came against Catholic Central (2018) and Hartland (2022), respectively.

Catholic Central became the first program aside from Rice to win multiple MHSAA Division 1 titles.

“It’s sheer dedication to try and get to this game every year,” Wilson said. “It requires a ton of commitment and skill and unselfishness and learning how to be coachable. These guys did it. We felt that early on, that these guys had the potential to do that.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Detroit Catholic Central celebrates its Division 1 championship Saturday. (Middle) A Hartland player brings the ball upfield while DCC's Brody Wojcik defends. (Below) The Shamrocks' Matthew Aleva (30) makes a move as Hartland's Braden Streight defends.