By Dave Kurtz, Posted 5/11/11
Courtesy of PAC-10Sports.com
It’s one of the oldest adages in sports – “great players make great plays.”
For anyone that doubts the validity of that time-worn cliché, Kohl Batdorf offered up proof that there may be something to it after all.
Batdorf scored from the top of the circle with 2:01 remaining Tuesday night, hand-delivering a 12-11 victory for Owen J. Roberts over upset-minded Methacton in the nightcap of the PAC-10 Final Four boys lacrosse semifinal doubleheader at OJR.
The victory sends the three-time defending PAC-10 champion Wildcats into Friday night’s title game at Spring-Ford (7 p.m.) against regular-season champion Spring-Ford, which cruised into the final by sticking it to Boyertown 9-2.
But it was Batdorf – the stellar senior attack headed to Division I Hobart on a lax scholarship – who stole the show and squashed a stirring comeback by the Warriors.
Great players make great plays – indeed.
“I wouldn’t have anybody else with the ball,” said OJR coach Jeff Neese of Batdorf’s heroics. “That is the way he’s been playing for four years. I felt like if they double- or triple-teamed him, Kohl would find the open man for a goal.”
Batdorf took care of business all by himself, unleashing a bullet that found the top left corner of the net.
“I set up to drive and (the defender) checked me on a swim-dodge,” said Batdorf, who has scored over 300 goals in his stellar scholastic lax career. “My glove fell off, but I got it together, spun left and shot down the left alley.”
The gloves were on all night in this alley brawl with the challengers landing a series of heavy shots that staggered the champions. The biggest blows came in the fourth quarter, when Methacton rose up off the canvas with a 5-1 run that turned a 10-6 deficit into an 11-11 standoff.
“We needed to win some faceoffs,” said Neese after OJR earned possession prior to Batdorf’s decisive strike, “and we got a huge one there.”
It was especially huge that the ball was in Batdorf’s capable hands.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the way we battled back,” said Methacton coach Nat Ryan, whose club got four goals and three assists from Cody Ridgway, including a pair of strikes during the 5-1 surge. “We showed a lot of character and guts.”
After gaining possession following Batdorf’s goal, the Wildcats ran out the clock, with Nick Tordone preventing a turnover by coming up with a pivotal groundball in the closing seconds. The four-peat is still within OJR’s grasp.
“It’s been this type of up-and-down season for us,” said Neese. “But Methacton played well. They never quit.”
The Warriors never quit despite losing faceoff whiz Eli Miller to an undetermined knee injury late in the second quarter. Pete Alloway stepped in and filled the void with solid results, but it was Batdorf who had the final say.
Methacton 2 3 1 5 – 11
OJ Roberts 4 2 4 2 – 12
Eli Miller 1g
Clay Sobocinski 3g, 2a
Cody Ridgway 4g, 3a
MA Brasher 1g, 1a
Sean Aronow 1g, 2a
Scott Markle 1a
Colin Pauline 1g
Owen J. Roberts scoring
Nick Tordone 3g
Dylan Swope 1g
John Pennell 1g, 2a
Kevin Higgins 1g
Chris Antich 3g
Tyler Graham 1a
Kohl Batdorf 2g, 2a
Mike Lenge 1g