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Eastview topples Edina

By MN Lax Hub and Star Tribune staff, 06/05/12, 12:27PM CDT


Ryan McNamara's passing, scoring too much for underdog Hornets in state semifinal

Edina goaltender Austin Dover finds finds some running room as he attempts to clear the ball. Photo by Helen Nelson

Sometimes, opposing defenses make life hard for Ryan McNamara. 

Like the star quarterback or the actor on the red carpet, he tends to get a lot of attention. 

When he makes a move, eyes and legs quickly follow. That’s exactly how Tanner Hamill likes it. 

The biggest beneficiary of McNamara’s magnet-like draw, Hamill scored four goals in top-seeded Eastview’s 15-6 dismantling of No. 4-seed Edina in the state tournament semifinals on Tuesday, June 5 at Chanhassen High School.

The setup went like this:

McNamara would get the ball and snap towards the net, dashing around the player guarding him. Forced to put a man on McNamara, the Hornets would slide a help defender toward the junior attackman in order to block his route the net. 

With the defenders moving, Hamill would sneak to the top of the crease and catch a laser pass from McNamara and score a "gimme" goal. 

Though simple on paper, the passing touch displayed by McNamara to beat the extra coverage was impressive, even to his coach.  

“He’s outrageous isn’t he?” Eastview coach Tim Roche said of McNamara, who finished with seven points (three goals, four assists). “He just sees the whole field. … Our guys understand spacing, not getting grouped together so there are those open looks through our offense. Ryan runs the offense to a ‘T’.”

Junior Tanner Hamill, left, scored three goals in Eastview's victory over Edina. Photo by Helen Nelson

Hamill, playing the big man in the middle, had the task of snagging the passes and sending them home.

“They know that Mac and Heppner are really good dodgers, so then I just pop open and get behind them …” Hamill said. “I try to get behind their backs so they can’t see me.

“Sometimes it’s hard to catch them, but from practicing with him since youth I am just used to the passing. I know he’ll always put them right on my shoulder.”

The way McNamara wound up to pass the ball across the field stood out. That extra bit of elbow grease has been a point of emphasis for the Lightning, according to Roche.

On a team trip out east in the offseason, Eastview was hounded not to lob the ball when running its offense.

“We were at the University of Virginia and did a film session with their coaching staff,” Roche said. “They really said, ‘Guys, you can’t throw lollipops to each other because now if you’re doing that you’re allowing the defense to recover.’ That was the number one thing we learned last summer was throw the ball hard because that’s how you create movement that’s how you create odd man situations so we’ve really tried as an entire program to throw the ball hard.”

When asked about the possibility of turnovers from hasty passing, McNamara had no concerns, displaying a confident attitude that has made him such a force for the Lightning.

“Not really, I don’t want to be worried to make mistakes, especially in these games. Just play free”

-- Walker Orenstein, MN Lax Hub staff

Eastview sidesteps upset trap

Junior Ryan McNamara scored three goals and added four assists in Eastview's state tournament semifinal victory over Edina. Photo by Helen Nelson

The scenario was very familiar to Eastview and it wasn't going to drop its guard this time.

The Lightning's only loss this season fell on a Tuesday after a big week of victories; their opponent assumed to be average.
Tuesday's MSHSL state boys lacrosse semifinal matchup at Chanhassen High School featuring 14-1 Eastview and 7-9-1 Edina had all the makings of the Lightning's previous hiccup.
Playing in its first state tournament, Edina made a late first-half rally and pulled within a goal in the third period. Eastview, however, wouldn't let a previous mistake ruin its chance at a state championship and regrouped for a 15-6 victory.
"This was definitely a similar situation," said junior Ryan McNamara, comparing it to a May 8 loss to Lakeville North. "We realized it and played to win and not to lose."
Eastview was reminded of its blemish when Edina nearly evened the score just moments into the second half. With some verbal encouragement from McNamara and coach Tim Roche, the Lightning quickly reversed any momentum the Hornets had earned. Eight consecutive goals over a 16-minute stretch were more than enough cushion for Eastview to advance.
The fancy footwork and precise passing of McNamara earned him three goals and four assists while teaming up with Tanner Hamill for quick goals throughout the night.
Hamill and Erik Gage each contributed three goals apiece for Eastview.
"I think the chemistry we have is better than any other team in the state," Hamill said. "We know what (each other) is going to do."
All season Edina had been finding ways to survive. Its 2-6 conference record and overall sub-.500 season were an afterthought once the playoffs rolled around and the Hornets earned their first ever state tournament appearance.
Survival mode kicked in once again for the group after falling behind 3-0. The Hornets scored three of the final four goals of the first half and the opening goal of the second half to cut their deficit to one, 6-5.
Then it all fell apart.
"We just lost our mental edge," said senior Danny Regan, who finished with three goals. "We overthought what we were doing and started throwing away passes."
Daniel Burke assisted three for Edina, but the scoring opportunities significantly decreased for the Hornets in the second half. They were outscored 9-2 in the final 24 minutes.
-- Jason Gonzalez, Star Tribune staff writer

Statistics, Summary

Game Recap

Ryan McNamara

Junior Ryan McNamara scored three goals and set up four more in a performance filled with highlight-reel fodder as No. 2-ranked and top-seeded Eastview thrashed unranked and No. 4 seed Edina 15-6 in the first of two state semifinals on Tuesday, June 5, at Chanhassen High School.
Eastview advances to the state championship game at 8 p.m. on Thursday at Chanhassen High against either Totino-Grace or Eden Prairie.
McNamara, a junior who was one of seven Minnesota All-American selections this season, scored three times in the third quarter as the Lightning (16-1) outscored the Hornets 5-1.
Edina (7-10-1) pulled to within 6-5 less than a minute into the third quarter on a goal by Richard McGowan, but Eastview responded by scoring eight unanswered goals, a run that that extended to the midpoint of the third quarter.
Tanner Hamill had four goals and Erik Gage added three for Eastview, and goaltender Andrew Koenen made 11 saves.
Danny Regan scored three goals and Danny Burke had three assists for the Hornets.
-- Loren Nelson, MN Lax Hub editor

1. Ryan McNamara, Eastview
What more can you say? Three goals, four assists and pure domination from the junior attackman. His passing and speed were too much to handle for the Edina defense, and it showed in the second half when it mattered most. McNamara was a wrecking ball.

2. Tanner Hamill, Eastview
Hamill made his mark playing off McNamara and scoring four goals. Hamill's positioning on top of the crease went unnoticed time and time again, and the junior made the Hornets pay. Hamill has 10 goals in the playoffs (he scored six in section play) and 32 overall on the year.

3. Danny Regan, Edina
The biggest bright spot for the Hornets, Regan netted three goals for the Hornets. The senior worked in tandem with Danny Burke, who assisted on all three goals. Regan finished the playoffs with nine goals and ended the season with 41 total points (33 goals, eight assists). 

-- Walker Orenstein, MN Lax Hub staff

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Edina | Section 5 Playoffs

Eastview | Section 3 Playoffs

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