By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/30/11
Andrew Blundin said Salesianum School was determined not to have its dreams of a Delaware state boys’ lacrosse championship shattered by the same team two straight years.
The top-seeded and favored Sals were trailing visiting Tower Hill, 3-1, at halftime of the Delaware state title game Saturday. Tower Hill was the same team that upset Salesianum, 5-4, in double overtime in the 2010 state title game.
But this time, the Sals used a 5-0 run to open the second half as they earned a 7-5 victory for their second state title in three years and third crown in five years.
“We came out real slow in the first half, but after halftime we decided we weren’t going to have a repeat of last year,” said Blundin, a senior co-captain from Chadds Ford. “Once we scored we kept building on the momentum.”
Freshman Troy Reeder drew the Sals within 3-2 with 10:21 left in the third period when he returned to the field following a penalty and scored while falling down. Salesianum won the ensuing face-off and Matthew Shaw fed Freeborn for the tying goal just 17 seconds later.
Blundin then capitalized on a Tower Hill turnover at midfield and gave his team a 4-3 lead with 7:38 left in the third quarter. Freeborn and Blundin both scored again to make it 6-3 late in the period.
The Hillers made a late comeback try, getting their last two goals from Michael Pettit (three goals, one assist) to cut the deficit to 6-5 with 9:04 remaining. However, Salesianum and goalie Matt Barone (nine saves) shut the door.
“There’s nothing better then going out your senior year with a win like that,” said Blundin. “Coach (Bobby Healy) just told us to calm down and have fun. He told us we have to play loose.”
Salesianum senior defenseman and co-captain Ryan Kilpatrick said the Sals regrouped at halftime.
“It was an amazing feeling,” said Kilpatrick, who recently was selected to play in the Under Armour Senior All-American Game and has signed with Division I power North Carolina. “Our coaches helped us relax at halftime and told us that we would turn it around.
“Our team showed a lot of heart second half and executed our game plan. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to go out. Our seniors really wanted to win it for our coaches because they work so hard and do so much for us. They deserve it.”
Salesianum has gone 80-6 overall the past five years under sixth-year coach Healy. The Sals feature a number of players from Southeastern Pennsylvania besides Blundin (committed to Lynchburg) and Kilpatrick (of West Chester) and face-off specialist Shaw (Landenberg).
Blundin and Kilpatrick also were captains for the Duke’s Lacrosse Club. Other Duke’s L.C. players are junior attackman Dillon Walker, sophomore midfielder Graham Seuffert and freshman long stick midfielder Freddy Freibott.
Other Philly-area players that made key contributions to the title included Barone (Garnet Valley), midfielders Sean Giampietro (Garnet Valley), Craig Zebrowski (Downingtown), and Jimmy Cushwa (West Chester), and defensemen Evan Leeder (West Chester), Kevin Vanover (Landenberg) and Zach Kelly (Kennett Square).
Other key contributors included face-off specialist Kyle Gangemi, midfielders Rick Cody and Brendan Andrews and defenseman Chase Cowan.
For Tower Hill (13-5), Will Mette (Duke’s L.C.) and David Kullman each scored once while Chas Robino (Duke’s L.C, signed with UMass) added two assists. Pettit also is a member of Duke’s L.C. Goalie Stephen Kullman made five saves.