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27th Amherst Ultimate Invitational: Hurricanes reclaim boys title in dramatic fashion

  • Cole Davis-Brand, right, of Amherst Regional, passes to Clayton Fosterweber during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. Orion Cable looks on. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Caleb Seamon, of Amherst Regional, celebrates his goal against Pennsbury during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Cole Davis-Brand, left, of Amherst Regional, catches a pass against Pennsbury during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Orion Cable, right, of Amherst Regional, passes against Matt LaBar, of Pennsbury, during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Luca Harwood, front, of Amherst Regional, passes against Pennsbury during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Clayton Fosterweber, front, of Amherst Regional, pass against Pennsbury during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Caleb Seamon, right, of Amherst Regional, passes against Brendan Cassidy, of Pennsbury, during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Cole Davis-Brand, of Amherst Regional, passes against Pennsbury during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Orion Cable, left, of Amherst Regional, scores while defended by Matt LaBar, of Pennsbury, during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Caleb Seamon, right, of Amherst Regional, passes against Brendan Cassidy, of Pennsbury, during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ben Fang, of Amherst Regional, catches against Pennsbury during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Orion Cable, of Amherst Regional, scores against Pennsbury during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zach Riley, left, of Amherst Regional, looks to pass against Matt Krauss, of Pennsbury, during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ben Fang, right, of Amherst Regional, passes to Caleb Kennedy as Mike Dzelzgalvis, of Pennsbury, looks on during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Luke Sedor Protti, of Amherst Regional, passes against Pennsbury during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Wyatt Kellman, of Amherst Regional, scores against Pennsbury during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • James Cairn, of Amherst Regional, passes against Pennsbury during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Caleb Seamon, right, of Amherst Regional, and Matt Krauss, of Pennsbury, reach for a pass during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zach Riley, right, of Amherst Regional, tries to block a pass to Evan Howe, of Pennsbury, during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Luke Sedor Protti, of Amherst Regional, catches a pass against Pennsbury during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Wyatt Kellman, of Amherst Regional, scores against Mike Dzelzgalvis, of Pennsbury, during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Luca Harwood, right, of Amherst Regional, defends Matt Shapiro, of Pennsbury, during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional players Orion Cable, left, and Zach Riley celebrate Cable's goal against Pennsbury during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • The Amherst Regional team celebrates their win against Pennsbury in the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Clayton Fosterweber, of Amherst Regional, celebrates his goal against Pennsbury during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Caleb Seamon, right, of Amherst Regional, passes against Matt Krauss, of Pennsbury, during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Caleb Seamon, right, of Amherst Regional, intercepts a pass intended for Mike Dzelzgalvis, of Pennsbury, during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Caleb Seamon, left, of Amherst Regional, passes against Pennsbury during the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • The Amherst Regional team celebrates their win against Pennsbury in the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional coach Joe Costello hugs Luca Harwood after their win against Pennsbury in the 27th annual Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Amherst Regional High School. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS



For the Gazette
Sunday, May 13, 2018

AMHERST — Luca Harwood waited for the lead pass to float into his waiting hands.

There was no time to get nervous or think about the magnitude of the pass, which was delivered during crunch time of an intense and competitive championship final.

Harwood caught the disc for the winning goal in Amherst Regional’s 15-13 triumph over Pennbury (Penn.) to capture the 27th annual Amherst Ultimate Invitational, Sunday at Community Field.

“I knew I was going to catch it,” Harwood said.

This was Amherst’s first title in its own invitational since 2016 and perhaps its most rewarding. The Hurricanes graduated 15 players from last year’s squad.

“We’ve see the fierce mentality of the teams that came before us, and we just adopted it,” Harwood said.

The word “rebuilding” is not in the Hurricanes’ vocabulary.

Tradition is, and unbeaten Amherst simply reloaded and entered the season with its usual high expectations. It helped that co-coaches Joe Costello and Leila Tunnell could build a team around two players (Orion Cable, Caleb Seamon) who are members of the U-20 national team and newcomers ready to make their own mark in a sport they grew up watching and playing.

“This means everything to our team, and we had to take it out of our mental bank and remind ourselves what good a team we are,” Harwood said. “It was such an up and down game, and there were times when we were down. We had to bring ourselves back up.”

Teams from all over the Northeast travel to Amherst for the prestigious tournament. Amherst, Northampton, Four Rivers (Greenfield) and girls Division 2 tournament champion Pioneer Valley Performing Arts School (South Hadley) were the local participants.

“We didn’t know anything about Pennbury,” Costello said. “We came into this without expectations and we knew it was going to be a hard-fought game. This was a high-level final and one of the reasons we love to host this is because we know that games like this are out there for us and the other teams.”

Costello and the Hurricanes sure found out in a hurry the caliber of their opponent. Pennbury matched Amherst’s speed and athletic ability and at times appeared to be the better team, leading by as many as three goals.

“We learned so much from this and because we will take what we learned and go on from there,” Costello said.

The turning point came shortly after the first half when Pennbury struck first to take a 9-6 lead.

The home crowd quickly got behind their ‘Canes. Shouts of “Let’s go Amherst” served as a rallying cry, and it got the players’ attention.

Amherst felt the momentum shift its way, and the Hurricanes tied the game. Several ties and lead changes saw the game deadlocked at 13-13 in the waning minutes.

Amherst needed a score and a stop to seize the title. The Hurricanes got both.

After the Hurricanes got a go-ahead goal to go up 14-13, they got the big defensive stop they needed.

Now it was up to the offense to deliver. Harwood (one goal, three assists) and the Hurricanes did just that.

Harwood clutched a beautiful lead pass from Cable in the end zone to end the contest.

“This gives us some energy,” Costello said. “We stayed diligent to the task at hand, which was just to focus on the next play.”

Seamon had a tremendous game and was involved in every Amherst point.

“He defines this team which has the ability to be resilient,” Costello said. “He dominated this game.”

No one was more pleased than Seamon, who was frustrated by missing last season due to injury and came back as strong as ever. That was something that was not lost on his teammates.

“We set the bar really high, and these players stepped up,” Costello said.

The future remains bright for Amherst, which saw its junior varsity team finish seventh. Northampton placed eighth.

The Amherst girls were edged, 12-10, by Four Rivers in a competitive semifinal. Co-captains Augusta Fricke and Leija Helling could take solace from the setback, knowing that the Hurricanes gave it everything they had.

“This has been a challenging tournament for us,” Fricke said. “We’ve had our ups and downs, and the last game was the best we played.”

Amherst could potentially get a rematch against Four Rivers this weekend during the Pioneer Valley Invitational at the Oxbow in Northampton. They will also travel to Arlington, Virginia, for another tournament.

Amherst will be a tourney-tested team once it heads south, and the Hurricanes are optimistic they will finish strong.

“We worked our tails off and we know we played our best,” Helling said.

Amherst beat Lexington in the third-place game, while Northampton beat Northfield Mount Hermon, 13-9, in the fifth-place game.

HB Woodlawn defeated Four Rivers, 12-11, in the championship.

In girls Division 2, PVPA beat Cape Elizabeth, 10-4, in the title game.

In boys Division 2, Arlington beat The Cambridge School of Weston, 15-7, in the championship.

PVPA beat Monument Mountain, 12-11, in the third-place game.