The SLA Boys Ultimate team traveled to Arlington, VA for the YULA Invitational this weekend! The boys went 6-0 against teams from up and down the East Coast to win their division! SLA started Saturday with two quick wins against Catonsville 13-2 and Yorktown B 13-1 to set up a match-up versus New York City's Stuyvesant High School. SLA and Stuyvesant have had some epic battles over the years, but Stuy was no match for SLA on this day, with SLA storming to a 13-2 victory. SLA was led by junior Eli Zimmerman's five assists and senior Nate Little's four goals. This win put SLA into the quarterfinals for Sunday with a match-up against New Jersey's West Windsor-Plainsboro North.
Sunday morning saw the Rockets dominance continue with another 13-2 win. Junior James Adams paced the Rockets with three goals, and Zimmerman contributed another four assists, but the real hallmark of the game was how much the entire team contributed with seven different players scoring goals to push the Rockets into the semi-finals.
The semi-finals saw SLA match up against nationally ranked Chapel Hill HS. Chapel Hill came in ranked 21st in the nation, and the Rockets came out with a strong man-to-man defense to set the tone and take a 2-0 lead. Chapel Hill hung tough, eventually tying the game at 7-7, but the Rockets reasserted themselves and went on a 5-0 scoring run to end the game 12-7. Senior co-captain Eli Block threw three goals and senior Malachi Johnson scored three goals to put SLA into the finals against Washington & Lee High School.
The finals was perhaps SLA's sloppiest game of the weekend as the Rockets' legs showed the weariness of a six game weekend, but again, the Rockets came out strong, scoring the first two points of the game, and this time, their opponents could not come all the way back. The SLA defense made up for offensive miscues, and the team held on for a 8-6 victory to win their division! Block again led the way with four assists, and Little had two goals and five blocks as SLA played one of its best weekends of Ultimate in team history.
The weekend was a team success with so many players contributing to the success of the team. Senior co-captain Saamir Baker contributed four blocks and four assists, senior Jori Gerveni had eight goals, four assists and three blocks, and sophomore Elijah Afrifa had four blocks and and three goals to help fuel the Rocket!
Next up for SLA is a home game against Masterman on Friday, March 23rd at the Highline Field at 31st and Chestnut! Come out and see the team! Go Rockets!