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O2 National wins the Upstate Winter Shootout

By Dylan Ferrier, 02/05/19, 1:45PM EST


O2 National wins the Upstate Winter Shootout


Rochester,NY -On the same weekend that saw legendary player John Grant JR have his number retired into the rafters by the Rochester Knighthawks the 02 Midget team ( 9/10th )took home the title at the Blue Cross Arena. 
     The tournament started a bit slow on Saturday morning as the boys lost to the Jr Knighthawks 10-5. Knighthawks goalie  Will Dempsey was stellar and O2’s offense was neutralized. It was the boys only loss of the tournament as they won their second game on Saturday 7-5 versus a 3D Upstate/road warriors team. Sunday morning in the final pool play game O2 beat Harvest 9-5.  
O2 found themselves entering the playoffs as the #4 seed and it was no easy task as they had to play Edge in the quarters. Edge is an Ontario based club so there was plenty of box experience on their roster however the combination of draw man Max Thomas and the lethal scoring threats of Koleton Marquis, Trevor Hill, and Caiden Padelford gave the boys a 5-1 halftime lead. With lockdown play on defense the boys were able to hold off a late Edge run to win the game 9-7. The semi finals were set and it was a match up versus local rival Penn lax who entered undefeated as the #1 seed. O2 was hitting on all cylinders and capitalized in some early Penn lax penalties. Righty forward Trevor Hill was determined as he scored the first three goals on his first three shots. The offense would follow his lead and finish the game with 13 goals by six different goal scorers including goals by lefties Connor Gorman ,Caiden Padelford and righties Koleton Marquis , Billy O’Neill , Max Thomas and Watha Diabo. 
The game ended 13-3 thanks to outstanding goalie play by Justin Gold and steady defense from Aiden Groves, Jonah Nadius , Wakon Cross , and Zach Wroblewski

As many were preparing for the Super bowl O2 was prepping for the 3:30 pm Champion game versus Hardcor another Ontario based club with several team Ontario buckets on the floor a battle would be expected. Early goals by Koleton Marquis and Connor Gorman turned a 1-0 deficit into a lead that O2 would maintain the remainder of the game. Thanks to the consistent goalie play of Connor Waller. Watha Diabo’s late goal gave O2 the 8-5 lead and the game would end that way. “ I was extremely happy for the boys they have been working so hard and battling all season, to win this title versus the competition they faced is a testament to their commitment and efforts “ said Head Coach Brendan Gorman. “ U.S. box lacrosse is certainly on the rise it wasn’t to long ago that U.S. teams would get smoked by Canadian based clubs it’s a very exciting time “ said Gorman. 

O2 is a North New Jersey based club that fields a national team with regional players from New Jersey, Albany,N.Y. and Syracuse, N.Y.