Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/7/11
Anthony Marini had four goals and an assist and Jeff Heath scored three goals as St. Joseph’s Prep raced to a 6-1 lead early in the second period and coasted past Mt. Lebanon, 15-5, today in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) semifinals at Penn State.
The victory vaults the District 12 champion Hawks (19-4) into the championship game Saturday against Conestoga at HersheyPark Stadium at 3 p.m. Conestoga, the defending state champion, toppled Central Bucks East, 14-4.
Conestoga and St. Joe’s Prep met in the season’s first game; the Pioneers won, 12-9, in a game that was close until the very end.
Mt. Lebanon, the District 7 champion, finished at 18-4.
The Hawks went out quickly as Blaine Fleming and Heath scored early goals before the Blue Devils made it 2-1. Heath then scored again and Marini made it 4-1 off a feed from Rob Watts (two goals, three assists) before scoring again to increase the cushion to 5-1.
“We executed well,” said St. Joe’s coach Eric Gregg. “We had a couple flat starts the last games and we knew we had to come out at a different level.”
Marini scored again off a Watts assist to open the second period. The Hawks led, 7-3, at halftime and 9-3 after three periods.
Pat Walsh had two goals and Tim Browne added a goal and an assist for St. Joe’s Prep, Chase Young and Joe Walsh each scored once and Jake O’Brien dominated at the face-off X by winning 11 of 14 draws. In goal, sophomore A.J. Simon made eight saves.
“Jake did an amazing job,” said Gregg. “H got us a lot of possessions and we attacked the goal and put the ball in the back of the net.”
Nate Relich led Mt. Lebanon with three goals while Bijan Firouzan added a goal and an assist.
Gregg said the Hawks did not underestimate Mt. Lebanon.
“We matched their intensity from the start,” said Gregg. “We played our game. We knew we had to be physical and push the tempo. And we played good defense.”
St. Joseph’s Prep 14, Mt. Lebanon 4
St. Joe’s Prep 4-3-2-6-15
Mt. Lebanon 1-2-0-2- 5
St. Joe’s Prep
Anthony Marini 4g 1a
Jeff Heath 3g
Rob Watts 2g, 3a
Pat Walsh 2g
Tim Browne 1g, 1a
Blaine Fleming 1g
Chase Young 1g
Joe Walsh 1g
Clint Barber 1a
Brad James 1a
Jake O’Brien 11/of 14 FO
AJ Simon 8 saves
Nate Relich 3g
Bijan Firouzan 1g 1a
Tags: St. Joseph's Prep