Towson State's Rob Shek scored three quick, unassisted goals to get the South started on its way to a 15-12 victory in the Hall of Fame Lacrosse Classic Men's Division I North-South All-Star Game last night at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field.
After Shek's scores in the first six minutes, the South picked up on the attack on North goalie Ted Kelleman from Massachusetts, bombarding him for 10 first-half goals. But the South had to withstand a North comeback.
Shek was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
"I was just excited to be out here playing with guys I had been playing against all season," said Shek. "I can't really say I did anything special. I just got the ball and there were openings, so I took them."
The South also had splendid performances from Virginia's Andy Kraus (four goals) and Pennsylvania's Chris Conforti (two goals, two assists).
In other all-star games yesterday, the South won, 22-12, over the North in the men's junior college game and the North defeated the South, 12-9, in the women's Division I game. Pimlico beat Lombard, 6-2, to win the Baltimore City Middle School Lacrosse League championship.
Rob Schumacher of Nassau had two goals and two assists to lead the South in the junior college game.
Though the South dominated the first half in the men's game, outshooting the North, 30-15, and winning 12 of 16 faceoffs, the North didn't fold. But the South, with Andy Piazza (10 saves) and John Schmunk (13 saves) solid in goal and with its attackman firing away on the other end of the field, didn't allow the North to build much early momentum.
"We're a real talented team, and, during practice, we got to know each other well," said North Carolina's Piazza.
Rutgers' Schmunk, who played the second half in goal, had to stand up to the North comeback. Trailing, 15-8, the North rallied with a vengeance, blasting three goals past Schmunk in four minutes to pull within 15-11.
"We came out with such a fast start, but any all-star team that's good only needs a little break and they got the momentum going," said Schmunk. "But we stopped them when we needed to. I was hoping that they wouldn't have enough time and luckily it turned out that way because they were looking good.
"But all-star games are really just for fun, and it's great that there was a comeback because that made it more exciting."
Hofstra's Gary Rinaldi and Massachusetts' Jim McAleavey led the North in scoring with three goals apiece.
Yale's Brian Walter scored off a beautiful assist from McAleavey less than a minute into the fourth period to bring the North within 12-8. However, as was the case throughout the game, the South responded. Penn State's Jim Laverty scored off an assist from Johns Hopkins' Matt Panetta to keep the North at bay.
North 3 1 3 5 -- 12
South 7 3 2 3 -- 15
Goals: N--Cahill 3, McAleavey 2, Kurshner 2, Botnick, Laudenslager, Snow, Walter; S--Kraus 4, Shek 3, Conforti 2, Colbeck 2, Douglas, Panetta, S. Smith, Voelker. Assists: N--McMahan 2, McAleavey 2, Botnick, Snow, Dunn; S--Conforti 2, Douglas, Cain, Goldstein, Quinn, Voelker. Saves: N--Kelleman 10, Millhous 8; S--Piazza 10, Schmunk 13.