By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/1/11
St. Joseph’s Prep rebounded from a 4-0 first-period deficit and defeated stubborn Pennsbury, 10-7, today in the first round of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) boys’ lacrosse playoffs at Plymouth Whitemarsh.
The District 12 champion Hawks (17-4) advance to the quarterfinals to meet District 3 champion Manheim Township Saturday at a site and time to be determined.
Pennsbury (15-9), the District 1 fourth-place finisher, came out on fire in the opening period and got two goals from Luke Matthews sandwiched around a tally from Ricky Jutkiewicz (two goals) to take a 3-0 lead. Then, with 10.1 seconds to play in the period Andrew Probst made it 4-0.
But The Prep rebounded as Cory Scheuerle scored 32 seconds into the second period after Jake O’Brien (11 of 17 face-offs) won the draw. Jutkiewicz made it 5-1 only 20 seconds later, but Jef Heath (two goals, one assist), Rob Watts, Rob James (three goals, two assists) and Will Jordan scored to tie it before the half.
The Hawks took the lead for good midway through the third period on a goal by James, who then made it 8-6 to open the fourth period. Pennsbury never got closer than two goals.
“They (Pennsbury) are a well coached team and this is the playoffs – they came out ready to play,” said St. Joe’s Prep coach Eric Gregg. “It’s win or go home.
“Luckily our defense held together and our offense figured it out. Every win in the playoffs is a good win. There is no such thing as an ugly win – you win and keep playing.”
Heath noted that the Hawks are trying to refocus themselves after accomplishing their first goal of finally defeating seven-time champion La Salle to win the Catholic League/District 12 crown.
“Sometimes we turn the switch on and off, and luckily we turned it on early enough,” Heath said. “It was great to finally get the huge gorilla (beating La Salle) off our backs. Now we can play for states; we realize we’re as good as any other team.”
Pennsbury coach Jamie Huber – who again got a superior effort from junior goalie Drew Sweetland (15 saves) – said his team had much to be proud about, The Falcons, despite several key injuries, qualified for states as the 13th seed in District 1 and the runner-up in the Suburban One National Conference.
“If you had told me in the beginning of the season we’d lose to St. Joe’s Prep, 10-7, in the first round of states I would have said, ‘Absolutely!;: he said, “I knew we were capable of it, but I didn’t know if we had the experience.
“Our seniors were great. It’s been a great year. I always tell the guys when you lose to a tough team, be satisfied with the way you play, but not happy with the results. We’re very satisfied with where Pennsbury is, but at the same time we’re still hungry.
“Now we know no one will overlook us next year. The bull’s-eye is on our backs.”
St. Joseph’s Prep 10, Pennsbury 7
St. Joe’s Prep 0-5-2-3 – 10
St. Joe’s Prep
Brad James 3g, 2a
Jeff Heath 2g, 1a
Cory Scheuerle 1g
Tim O’Rourke 1g, 1a
Rob Watts 1g
Anthony Marini 1g
Will Jordan 1g
Blaine Fleming 2a
Jake O’Brien 1a, 11 of 17 FO
Liam Correia 7 saves
Luke Matthews 2g
Ricky Jutkiewicz 2g, 1a
Andrew Probst 1g
Calvin Hopkins 2g, 1a
Ryan McDonald 1a
Drew Sweetland 15 saves