Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/19/11
By Dave Kurtz, Courtesy of PAC-10Sports.com
Owen J. Roberts has ruled Pioneer Athletic Conference boys lacrosse with the iron-clenched fist of a dictator over the last three years.
But the Wildcats reign of terror appears to be drawing to a close.
Spring-Ford, which has finished runner-up three straight times to OJR, served notice Monday night that the PAC-10 balance of power has clearly shifted, hanging a convincing 17-4 thumping on the Wildcats.
The Rams came out with tsunami-like force, pouring in five unanswered goals in the first quarter and never letting up, putting together a 48-minute clinic that featured four goals apiece from both Andrew Thomas and Zach Monzo and a sterling defensive effort spearheaded by goalie Jared Novia.
“This was full-fledged Spring-Ford lacrosse,” said Novia, who recorded 9 of his 13 saves in the first half. “This was as close to perfection as it can get.”
The road to perfection began when Paul Major (2 goals, 2 assists) set the tone 58 seconds in with an unassisted goal. The Rams would get another strike from Major, a pair of goals from Thomas and single tallies from Brian Bock, Max Ullman, Monzo and Jackson Ranheim en route to a commanding 8-1 lead by the intermission.
The halftime break did little to stop the Spring-Ford momentum, and the Rams kept coming in waves, building the cushion to 14-3 by the end of the third quarter.
The running clock was instituted when Ullman scored unassisted for a 15-3 lead with 9:50 remaining. It was officially time to put this one in the books for Spring-Ford, which had handled OJR 16-11 in the season’s previous matchup.
“We were focused on possession time, and we did a good job with that,” said Thomas, who also cashed a pair of assists. “We worked the ball around so we could get the best shot. This was really the first time we’ve played a full 48 minutes.”
Nine different Rams got into the scoring column in the wire-to-wire romp, with Major and Bock contributing two goals and two assists apiece.
“The fast start was good, it’s always nice to have a cushion,” said Spring-Ford coach Kevin Donnelly after the Rams improved to 8-0 in the league, 9-1 overall. “We won our faceoffs and were able to control the ball, which is something we’ve been preaching.
“This was an important step for us, but it’s just one step, and we need to keep pushing forward. We like to keep the tempo high and the pace fast at practice, and that carried over to the game.”
It carried the Wildcats (7-2, 7-5 overall) right out of Coach McNelly Stadium, their three-year reign in serious jeopardy.
“This was a good old-fashioned butt-whipping,” said OJR coach Jeff Neese. “Spring-Ford played well, we got beat in all aspects of the game. We need to work harder. You can’t play (long stretches) of defense without it catching up to you. Our offense wasn’t clicking at all.”
Conversely, the Rams were firing on all cylinders.
Owen J. Roberts 0 1 2 1 – 4
Spring-Ford 5 3 6 3 – 17
Owen J. Roberts
Dylan Swope – 1g
Nick Tordone – 1a
Kohl Batdorf – 1g, 1a
Mike Lenge – 1g
Tyler Graham – 1a
Nate Blevins – 1g
Goalies: Gabe Szczepanik (4 saves), Matt Boyer (4 saves)
Paul Major 2g, 2a
Brian Bock 2g, 2a
Andrew Thomas 4g, 2a
Max Ullman 2g, 1a
Zach Monzo 4g
Jackson Ranheim 2g
Justin Kelly 1a
Matt Glowacki 1a
Troy Szostek 1g
Goalie: Jared Novia 13 saves