Quaker Valley’s Eubanks aids in gold medal winning effort at Keystone Games
In dramatic fashion, the Allegheny County U15 topped the Lehigh Valley County U15 team, 6-5, thanks to a tiebreaking goal in the waning moments of regulation to secure the gold medal at the Keystone Games Boys Lacrosse Tournament.
In order to defeat the Lehigh Valley County team that defeated them, 8-4, just 24 hours prior to their finals game match up, the Allegheny County team needed every contribution it could get from its 25-player roster.
One player that answered the call for the title-winning squad was Quaker Valley rising freshman Trip Eubanks, who tallied one goal and one assist in the climactic victory. According to the attackman, his success in the championship game, as well as the team’s, was due in large part to the adjustments that Allegheny County made in the short period of time between its two games against Lehigh Valley.
“We lost by a couple of goals the first time we played them but we knew they weren’t unbeatable. We just made adjustments the next day to our offensive and defensive plans, and then we just went out and beat them,” Eubanks said, “Winning that game was one of the greatest feelings. It was tied with 30 seconds left and then we just tossed a long bomb pass down the field and scored. It was crazy.”
One specific adjustment that helped lead to the Allegheny County U15 team’s second straight Keystone Games Boys Lacrosse gold medal involved moving Eubanks from attack to midfield. The adjustment, according to team head coach Matt Oxenreiter, reflected the Quaker Valley product’s versatility and unselfish nature.
“Most of these players are used to having their team center an offense on them. In our system, we asked offensive players to work within the system, trust their teammates and perhaps be a little less aggressive then they were used to being,” Oxenreiter said.
“Trip, in particular, in the championship game we made an adjustment in the second half and actually moved him to midfield. The move helped to catch our opponent off-guard a little bit by stacking up our midfield. It was an adjustment that was made on the fly and Trip certainly was one of the players that was able to do it without much difficulty.”
In a tournament that forced him to step his game up from both a physical and mental aspect, Eubanks says he was able to gather valuable experience that should help him prepare for the jump up to the high school level this upcoming season.
Kevin Lohman is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.