By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/2/08
While the last Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association (EPSLA) playoffs have featured some memorable games, teams in the western and central regions also have produced exciting lacrosse the past few weeks.
At the same time La Salle was edging Haverford School in a memorable overtime victory in the EPSLA semifinals Friday, championship games in each of the other regions also were decided in the final minutes.
In the Central Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association (CPSLA) title game Friday, Manheim Township (18-8) defeated Cumberland Valley, 6-5, on an overtime goal by freshman Quint Miller.
Manheim Township, which has won three straight CPSLA titles, had tied the game with just 23 seconds left in regulation. What’s more, the Blue Streaks scored twice in the final 24 seconds of the first half to seize a 4-3 halftime lead. The latter goal of the two came with 1.5 seconds left in the half – that one also scored by Miller.
Meanwhile, in the Western Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association (WPSLA) final, Mt. Lebanon (15-5) won its third straight crown by edging Seneca Valley, 9-8. Mt. Lebanon trailed, 5-4, at halftime and then ran off four unanswered goals before Seneca Valley made a late rush.
Mt. Lebanon won its sixth WPSLA title since 2000.
Manheim and Mt. Lebanon meet Tuesday night (6:30) at Millersville University for the right to shoot for the final Keystone Cup.
The semifinal winner meets the survivor of the EPSLA championship game Tuesday night between top-seeded Malvern Prep (21-2) and second-seeded La Salle (29-2). The site of the Keystone Cup title game Friday is set also for Millersville at 7:30 p.m.
Next year the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) takes over jurisdiction of boys’ lacrosse and will hold a state tournament with one classification. The tourney will not include the powerful Inter-Ac League, which is not a member of the PIAA.
Last year Manheim went into its Keystone Cup semifinal game against Mt. Lebanon with a perfect 26-0 record, and was defeated, 16-14. Mt. Lebanon then gave EPSLA winner Downingtown East a battle before falling, 5-3 in the state final.
As a point of reference, Manheim has played six EPSLA teams this year, winning two and losing four. The Blue Streaks defeated two EPSLA playoff teams, Unionville, 6-5, and Radnor, 7-2, early in the year.
Manheim also lost to playoff teams Penn Charter (17-4) and Springfield-Delco (6-3) early on and then lost to quarterfinalist St. Joseph’s Prep (15-4) in midseason. A month ago, Manheim fell to independent Hill School, 11-9.
Mt. Lebanon has won 10 straight games since a 5-5 start, but has not played any EPSLA teams.
The following are the scores of the Keystone Cup games in this decade.
2000 – Haverford School def. Mt. Lebanon 11-8
2001 – Ridley def. Sewickley, 12-4
2002 – Ridley def. Mt. Lebanon, 15-4
2003 – Ridley def. Mt. Lebanon, 13-7
2004 – La Salle def. Shady Side Academy, 13-5
2005 – Haverford School def. Hempfield, 19-9
2006 – Malvern Prep def. Manheim Township, 15-5
2007 – Downingtown East def. Mt. Lebanon, 5-3