By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/12/08
Upper Dublin has endured a roller-coaster season – but Thursday the Cardinals reached the summit.
Behind a five-goal outburst by Jimmy Trentini, host Upper Dublin whipped Methacton, 15-6, to move into a first-place tie with the Warriors in the Suburban One American Conference race.
The win left both teams atop the conference with 11-2 records. Each has one more league game Tuesday; Methacton hosts Cheltenham (0-10) and Upper Dublin plays at Wissahickon (7-5).
Methacton had defeated the defending champion Cards, 12-7, when the teams first met April 16. A win last week would have given the Warriors their first league crown ever.
This time, though, UD coach Jon Levine said his team played smart.
“We didn’t make any mental mistakes,” he said, “We feel we have the talent to win, as long as don’t beat ourselves. We have to make the other team beat us.”
There were several other heroes in the win over Methacton. Timmy Duke scored three goals and senior captain J.S. Duke, Timmy’s brother, dished off three assists. Senior captain Bryne Hetznecker and junior Eric Breuninger each added two goals and an assist, and senior goalie Greg Brody had 14 saves and one assist.
The Cards also got a boost from sophomore middie Matt Gordon, who had played only one week after missing the entire season with a lacerated spleen. Gordon was strong at midfield and won several key face-offs.
“They gave us some bulletin board material and we wanted to play our best game,” Levine said. “We’re used to being at the top; we felt that’s where we belong. Obviously, we proved that on Thursday.”
If the teams tie for the crown, a coin flip will determine which teams get the automatic berth to the Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association playoffs. Upper Dublin crushed Wissahickon, 17-5, April 18.
Levine said a major reason the Cardinals are in position to claim a share of the crown is the emergence of a new line of defenders. Last year’s entire defense – including Maryland signee Brett Schmidt – graduated, and a new group of longpoles led by juniors Scott Beury and Patrick McDermott and senior Kevin Roth has eased the transition, along with Brody.
“All four guys are new and they’ve stepped it up,” Levine said. “They’ve played very well.”
Levin, a 1997 UD graduate, said his Cards have slowly emerged despite an inexperienced team and several tough losses to ranked teams and some new league contenders. “We’ve been struggling to get our identity down,” he said. “We lost to real good teams like St. Joseph’s Prep (17-3), Episcopal Academy (12-2) and Abington (15-7) and we got the heck beat out of us by those teams.
“That helped us know what we need to do. We have Germantown Academy this week (Friday). I feel we can play with anybody if we don’t beat ourselves.”
Upper Dublin suffered losses to Methacton and third-place Plymouth Whitemarsh (12-11 on May 2) for the first time ever this season. “When you’re at the top, everybody is trying to knock you off,” Levine said. “You’ve got to pick up the level to compete. Being young, we’ve taken some time to realize that.” Catholic League playoffs reach semifinals
St. Joseph’s Prep and La Salle will host semifinal playoff games Tuesday in the Catholic League. The Prep (19-3), which toppled Cardinal O’Hara, 13-2, in the first round, entertains Archbishop Wood at St. Joseph’s University at 6:30 p.m.. The Vikings (16-5) advanced by defeating Archbishop Ryan, 19-0.
The Explorers (24-2), who whipped Father Judge, 19-2, in the first round, will host Roman Catholic at 4 p.m. The Cahillites (11-8) advanced by downing Archbishop Carroll, 11-9. The title will be held Thursday at Plymouth Whitemarsh at 7:30 p.m. La Salle has won the past four crowns and 13 titles since its program was established in 1992. St. Joe’s Prep won the championship in 2003.
Also Thursday the two semifinal losers will meet in an important consolation game at PW at 5:30. The winner will receive the league’s third and final berth in the Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association (EPSLA) playoffs.
Pioneer Athletic Conference playoffs
Regular-season champion and host Owen J. Roberts (11-1) faces Boyertown (6-6) Wednesday in the first round of the pioneer Athletic Conference playoffs at 6 p.m. That game will be followed by another semifinal contest between Lansdale Catholic (8-4) and Spring-Ford (8-4). The two winners meet at 6 p.m. Friday at Owen J. with the PAC-10 girls’ title game to follow.
Key CB East-CB West game is Wednesday
A critical Suburban One Continental Conference match up between host Central Bucks West and C.B. East was postponed from tonight and will be played Wednesday night (7:00) at War Memorial Field in Doylestown.
If East (10-1) wins, it claims the conference title and an automatic EPSLA playoff berth. If West (9-2) wins, West, East and Hatboro-Horsham (9-2) will tie for the title. East beat West, 12-6, last week when the teams first met.
Downingtown East’s Hoff hits 200-goal plateau
Downingtown East senior attacker Dylan Hoff recently went over 200 goals for his career. Hoff, a consistent honor roll student with a GPA at 3.5, has earned a near-full academic scholarship to Division III power Lynchburg College.
Tags: Upper Dublin