Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/21/09
Bobby Thomson may have hit the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” to win the National League Pennant in 1951 for the New York Giants over the Brooklyn Dodgers.
But on Saturday, March 21, 2009, the Conestoga boys’ lacrosse team had its version of the “Win Heard ‘Round the Lacrosse World.”
Jason Klunder scored two goals and the Pioneer defense suffocated one of the nation’s top offensive squads as Pioneers stunned La Salle, 6-3, in a momentous boys’ lacrosse opener.
La Salle, the defending state champion, is ranked No. 2 in the country by Inside Lacrosse and No. 1 in the state by the Lacrosse Media Rankings as well as No. 1 in the area by Phillylacrosse.com.
Conestoga entered the game ranked No. 5 in the Media Rankings, but the Pioneers took the early lead, held off a La Salle rally and got solid goaltending from two netminders – Nick Shea (six saves) and Peter Zonino (five saves) – to claim the stunner.
Paul Mita, Mike Ackerman, Matt Smith and Peter Bowers each added one goal for Conestoga and Ryan Lord had two assists while Zach Jacobs and Brian Dailey each had one assist.
The Conestoga defense was led by defenders Mike Bronzino, Phil Cuddeback, Casey Ikeda, Max Schultz, Dailey, LSM Austin Campbell and LSM Travis Armiger. Ryan Buttenbaum did a brilliant job at the face-off X, matched against La Salle All-American Tyler Knarr.
“I would definitely have to say it was a team effort, top to bottom,” said Bronzino. “Erverybody played well. It started off with the goalies making big saves. Both played fantastic, and defensively we just played man-to-man and tried to play straight up.
“Offensively, we did a great job possessing the ball. We didn’t make careless mistakes and we were able to capitalize. We had really great ball movement and that opened up opportunities.”
The La Salle goals were scored by Randy Forster, Westy Hopkins and Peter Schwartz.
Bronzino said the Pioneers were not intimidated by La Salle’s ranking.
“Yeah going into the game we knew they were No 1 in the state and No. 2 in the country,” he said. “We knew that, at the same time, though, we could play with them. They’re a great team, but we were able to match up well with them.
“It definitely is a confidence builder and a great way to start the season. Then again, we have to keep playing well. We have a game Tuesday night against Emmaus, and we are looking forward to building on it.”