By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/19/09
Downingtown East often has played its best lacrosse this year in the game’s second half.
So, it came as no surprise tonight that the Cougars seized control in the third quarter with three unanswered goals and claimed a 9-5 victory over Springfield-Delco in the District 1 boys’ semifinals at Marple Newtown.
The win advances second-seeded Downingtown East (19-2) into the first District 1 championship game Friday night against top-seeded Conestoga at Villanova at 8 p.m. Conestoga routed Central Bucks East, 15-2, in the nightcap.
Springfield-Delco (16-5) will meet CB East loser in the third-place game Friday at 6 p.m. at Villanova.
“All year we’ve been a second-half team,” said Downingtown East senior long pole Mason Poli. “For some reason we seem to pick it up in the second half.”
Indeed, after Springfield-Delco tallied the final two goals of the first half to force a 4-4 tie, Downingtown East went to work.
First, Taylor Nelson (three goals) put Downingtown East ahead just over two minutes into the third quarter. Shane Sturgis and Kyle Marcks followed with goals to make it 7-4 and Nelson converted again early in the fourth quarter for an 8-4 cushion.
The Downingtown East defense, led by seniors Poli, Sean Mulqueen and Greg Kasper, held Springfield to just one more goal (by Larry McLaughlin) the rest of the way. Matt Normoyle posted seven saves for the win.
“We were tied last weekend at halftime against Lower Merion (in the quarterfinals) and we got together just like last week and said we need to come out on fire,” said Nelson. “And we did.
“We’re really starting to click on offense; our middies are coming together. And we’re taking a lot of pride in the groundballs.”
In the first half, Springfield-Delco goalie Austin Kaut (12 saves) kept his team close and John Cugini tallied two goals
“We had four goals on 18 shots in the first half,” said Downingtown East coach Tom Slate. “We just needed them to fall in the second half. Then we started draining shots.”
What was Springfield’s downfall?
“Our inability to clear the ball,” Cougars coach Mike Friel said. “You have to clear the ball against a team like that.”
Springfield-Delco 2-2-0-1- 5
Downingtown East 3-1-3-2 – 9
Springfield-Delco goals: John Cugini 2; Josh Cavanaugh 1, Colin Keegan 1, Larry McLaughlin 1.
Downngtown East goals: Taylor Nelson 3, Eric Swartz 2, Kenn Maas 1, Tyler Kroft 1, Kyle Marcks 1, Shane Sturgis 1.
Saves: Austin Kaut (Springfield-D) 12; Matt Normoyle (DE) 7.
The top-seeded Pioneers (20-1) advanced to the finals y racing to a 9-2 first-quarter lead and coasting to the win.
Austin Rogusky paced a balanced attack with three goals and three assists. Peter Bowers, Jeff Chu, Matt Smith, Paul Mita and Tanner Scott each scored two goals while Zach Jacobs and Jason Klunder added one apiece. Peter Zonino had 12 saves in the goal and Ryan Buttenbaum won 13 of 17 face-offs as the Pioneers took 15 of 19 draws overall.
CB East (16-4) actually pulled within 5-2 with six minutes left in the first quarter ib a tally by Alex Fetterman. But Conestoga rattled off the final 10 goals of the game.
“We come out every game as hard as we can,” said Rogusky. “We scored nine goals in the first (quarter); we executed right from the very beginning.”
Conestoga coach Brian Samson also was pleased.
“They came out fired up, and made a ton of plays earl and got some transition goals,” he said. “It starts from the midfield. We also got a lot of loose balls and our attack really finished. They played unselfish.”
C. Bucks East 2-0-0-0 – 2
Conestoga 9-1-3-2 – 15
CB East goals: Alex Fetterman 1, Zack Sharman 1.
Conestoga goals: Austin Rogusky 3, Paul Mita 2, Tanner Scott 2, Peter Bowers 2, Jeff Chu 2, Matt Smith 2, Jason Klunder 1, Zach Jacobs 1.
Saves: Chase Kulda (CBE) 7; Peter Zonino (Con) 12.
Lower Merion 13, Abington 12, OT
Jordan Wolf (four goals, two assists) scored the game-winner as the Aces qualified for states by toppling the Ghosts in the first District 1 playback game. Lower Merion will meet West Chester East n the fifth-place qualifier Thursday at Plymouth Whitemarsh (8:00).
Matt Dilks (five goals) sent the game into overtime by scoring with six seconds to play in regulation. Brendon Ronon added three goals for Lower Merion and Ahmad Zachary had a goal and an assist while goalie Cody Hornung posted 10 saves.
Abington, which will meet Garnet Valley Thursday at PW (6 p.m.) in the seventh-place qualifier, got five goals from Rich Rambo and two from Joey Jones.
Abington 3-3-1-3-0 – 11
L. Merion 2-4-1-5-1 – 12
West Chester East 9, Garnet Valley 8, OT
Chris McCormick (four goals) notched the game-winner with 2:31 left in overtime to lift the Vikings to the fifth-place game. Matt Biegel added two goals and an assist and Andrew Protenic and Blair Bonner each had a goal and an assist.
Matt Maday sent the game into OT by scoring with 33.8 seconds to play in regulation off a feed from Ben Tuscai. Justin Laxton had seven saves for WCE.
Steve Smyrl led Garnet Valley with four goals and two assists and Mike Montella scored three times. Steve Selverian added one goal.
Garnet Valley 2-2-2-2-0 – 8
W.C. East 1-3-0-4-1 – 9