By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/28/10
Peter Bowers scored two goals as Conestoga took a 4-1 first-period lead and defeated Springfield-Delco, 8-4, today at Harriton to repeat as the District 1 boys’ lacrosse champion.
The Pioneers (20-2), who avenged a 4-3 overtime loss to the Cougars
in the regular season, will face the District 1 seventh-place finisher, Hatboro-Horsham in the first round of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) playoffs Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. at Harriton.
The Central League champion Cougars (19-2) will open with District 1 sixth-place finisher Central Bucks East at Harriton at 3:15 p.m.
Conestoga led, 6-2, at halftime and saw the Cougars draw with 6-4 midway through the third period on a goal by Bobby Gildea. but Tyler Brooke beat Austin Kaut (15 saves) 23 seconds later to make it 7-4 and the Pioneer defense and goalie Peter Zonino (eight saves) shut down Springfield-Delco the rest of the way.
“We came out with a lot of intensity,” said Bowers. “That last loss to them hurt us and we were still thinking about it. We knew they had a good goalie, so we wanted to pick our shots well.
“We wanted it bad because they took the Central League from us. It feels good to have back-to-back district championships. We’re hitting our stride now and hopefully we can keep it going in states.”
Billy Flatley, Tanner Scott, Bradlee Lord, Tyler Brooke, Richie Graf and Matt Smith scored once each for the Pioneers. Also, Ryan Buttenbaum won 10 of 15 face-offs.
Gildea scored two goals for Springfield-Delco while Josh Cavanaugh and Colin Keegan also scored for the Cougars, who received constant pressure from the Pioneers’ midfielders and defensemen Casey Ikeda, Austin Campbell, Ben Karr and Brian Dailey (LSM).
“We liked to use that game we lost to them as motivation,” said Ikeda, who scooped six groundballs. “When we go on the field we knew they took the Central League from us and that no way were they going to take the district, too.
“We have solid defensive players and some big poles and we like to put on the pressure and play 1-on-1 defense and come out on them.”
Springfield-Delco coach Michael Friel said his team’s attack has been struggling a little in the playoffs against zone defenses, but was forced into many turnovers against the Conestoga pressure.
“You can’t get down like that and come all the way back against that team,” said Friel. “They have tremendous athletes on defense. They come out and pressure. The times that we attacked that pressure, we scored.
“But if you run sideline to sideline against that pressure, you’re going to put the ball on the ground.”
Conestoga coach Brian Samson admitted his team got a boost of confidence by defeating the team that unseated the Pioneers as Central League champions.
“I was real happy with the way the team responded after the Springfield loss,” he said. “That’s a very good team and they played great all season. For our guys to come out with the intensity and energy they did, I was proud of them.
“Now we’ve got some confidence back. We beat a great team and that helps us going into the (state) playoffs.”
Conestoga 8, Sprngfield-Delco 4
Conestoga 4-2-1-1 – 8
Springfield-Delco 1-1-1-1- 4
Tanner Scott 1g, 1a
Matt Smith 1g, 1a
Tyler Brooke 1g, 1a
Peter Bowers 2g
Billy Flatley 1g
Richard Graf 1g
Bradley Lord 1g, 1a
Ryan Lord 1a
Pete Zonino 8 saves
Ryan Buttenbaum- 10 of 15 faceoofs and 3 gbs
28 shots and 34 gbs
Casey Ikeda 6 gbs
Josh Cavanaugh 1g, 1a
Bobby Gildea 2
Colin Keegan 1g, 1a
Austin Kaut 15 saves
18 shots and 16 gbs