Local Lacrosse team wins Legends National CupJan 28, 2020 01:48PM ● By Catherine Garrett
The 212 Lacrosse team won the Legends National Cup in Del Mar, Calif. in December. Corner Canyon’s Blaze DeGrazie, Mason Esplin, John King, Mason Quick, Ayden Santi and Trace White and Juan Diego’s Jacob Anderson are part of the 20-member squad that won the prestigious California tournament. (Photos courtesy 212 Lacrosse)
by Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
The 212 Lacrosse team, led by seven local players, won the Legends National Cup recently in Del Mar, California in the Ravens Elite Division against older teams made up of several future Division I players. Corner Canyon’s Blaze DeGrazie, Mason Esplin, John King, Mason Quick, Ayden Santi and Trace White along with Juan Diego’s Jacob Anderson help make up the squad that has been playing with extra motivation this season in honor of 212 Lacrosse founder Mike Acee’s college teammate Graham Harden, who is battling ALS.
“I’m very proud of all the 2022 boys for their gritty performance in Del Mar,” founder and head coach Mike Acee said. “Our team of all sophomores and two freshmen won in an elite division against teams of juniors with DI college-committed players.”
During pool play, 212 Lacrosse defeated True MN 2021 8-5 with key play from faceoff specialist Coleman Kraske, attackman Luke Lemus — who scored three goals — and midfielder Quick, who helped offensively and defensively.
Against the Flying Pigs Elite and Evolve Elite Orange, 212 won by a combined score of 25 to 9 with strong defense, particularly from Chris Caldwell, who caused multiple turnovers.
Moving on to tournament play as the first seed, they face the eighth-seeded Vegas Starz Open and
dominated 11-2 with Acee noting the play of his defensemen Mason Esplin, Trace White, Justin Egan and Jacob Anderson and goalies Ayden Santi and Drew Tyson.
In the semifinals, 212 Lacrosse played the Flying Pigs Elite and again won handily, this time 13 to 4 with strong showings from DeGracie, King, Thomas Vandenburg, Makai Todd, Briggs Ballard, David Wright, Dillon Bush, Jackson Archibald, Ethan Hartsfield and Ace Nichols.
The championship game pitted the 212 against the “team to beat” SoCal Bulls 2021, according to Acee, and they proved to be a tough competitor. 212 found themselves down 2-0 early and then 5-4 at halftime before getting their first lead at 6-5 with 12 minutes left in the game. The 212 Lacrosse squad won the championship 9-7.
“In true David versus Goliath fashion, the smaller, younger team prevailed and hoisted the trophy as champions of Legends National Cup 2019,” Acee said. “I’ve been coaching the 2022 [AC1] [EW2] team for one year now and they have put on a tremendous performance considering a short time training together.”
Acee credits the 212 parents for their “tremendous support” and his assistant coach Christian Pompco for his “tireless work” in helping the program bring home their 31st championship.