By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/18/11
Joey Sankey has scored both many goals and many big goals in his brilliant career at Penn Charter.
Today the senior All-American made one of his most dramatic plays yet by scoring with 9.8 seconds to play, lifting the Quakers to a thrilling 6-5 victory over host Germantown Academy in the quarterfinals of the Inter-Ac Invitational.
The win vaults sixth-seeded Penn Charter (12-10) into Saturday’s semifinals against No. 2 seed Malvern Prep, which handled Shipley School, 19-4. The PC-Malvern Prep game is scheduled for 7 p.m. as the nightcap of a doubleheader at Cabrini College.
The win by Penn Charter also avenged two earlier routs at the hands of GA, 20-10, and 14-7.
But this time, the Quakers actually controlled play much of the game, especially in the first half when they took a 4-2 lead. If not for the heroics of Patriot junior goalie Jake Adoni (15 saves), the game would not have been close.
GA (14-5), though, rallied with three unanswered goals in the third period – two by Billy Oppenheimer and one by Reid Weber – to take a 5-4 lead. PC’s Tyler Earley then scored his second goal of the game to tie it, 5-5, with 8:57 to play.
It looked like the game would go into overtime when Penn Charter thwarted a GA possession in the final minute. But midfielder Charles Giunta picked up a groundball and raced downfield before sending a long pass toward Sankey in the right flank.
GA senior standout defenseman Bobby Tait managed to tip the pass, but Sankey caught it and turned to the goal, cutting from Adoni’s left to his right. Sankey then sent a bullet into the upper left corner to give his team the lead.
“I saw Charles running down and I saw him look at me,” said Sankey, who recently was named Co-MVP of the Inter-Ac League with Haverford School goalie Conor Kelly. “I saw Bobby Tait cheating out and waiting for the steal.
“I was hoping he (Giunta) would throw it and it was a perfect pass. Bobby actually tipped it, but I got it and I was hoping coach (Pat McDonough) wasn’t going to call time out.
“I knew Jake Adoni was playing amazing. He kept them in the game. I just stuck with it and it was the right shot to take.”
Adoni had six saves along in the second period when Penn Charter dominated. Earley, Sankey, Tyler White and Andy Grabowski scored the first-half goals for the Quakers while Connor Crump and Greg Skildkrout scored for GA. Jackson Tamasitis made 12 saves in goal for Penn Charter.
Penn Charter recently got a boost with the return of defenseman Blair Bodek (senior) and Tom Monzo (junior) from injuries that had left the Penn Charter defense shorthanded much of the year.
“We came in extremely confident in this game, even though they killed us the first twp games,” Sankey said. “Getting our two starting defensemen back brought together our whole team, and we had played well our last two games (9-6 win over Episcopal Academy and a 19-7 rout of Hun School in the opening round of the tourney).”
GA coach David Martin was heartbroken for his team, but said the season was a major success despite ending the year with a three-game losing streak. The Patriots were ranked among the nation’s Top 25 teams for much of the year and placed a solid third (5-3) in the Inter-Ac.
“It’s disappointing and it’s a little frustrating,” said Martin. “It was a case of two very good teams battling it out. It shows you what this league is about. You have to play really good teams two times, and now even three.
“It’s a difficult way to end the season, but these kids were tremendous and it was a great group to work with. I am very proud of what they accomplished.”
Penn Charter 6, Germantown Academy 5
Penn Charter 2-2-0-2- 6
Germantown Ac. 1-1-3-0- 5
Tyler Earley 2g
Joey Sankey 2g, 1a
Andy Grabowski 1g
Tyler Whhite 1g, 1a
Shane Carr 2a
Charles Giunta 1a
Jackson Tamasitis 12 saves
Billy Oppenheimer 2g
Greg Shildkrout 1g
Connor Crump 1g
Reid Weber 1g, 2a
George Robinson 2a
Jake Adoni 15 saves