By James Boyle
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/24/12
Connor Frisina collected four goals and one assist as Conestoga defeated Garnet Valley, 12-6, to capture its fourth straight Division 1 championship on Thursday night at Radnor.
Conestoga (19-3) will play District 3 fourth=-place finisher Hempfield in the first round of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) tournament on Wednesday. Garnet Valley (17-6) will meet central league rival Radnor in the first round Wednesday.
“It’s a great feeling, I think it’s well deserved,” said Frisina. “We practiced all week for it; we practiced all year for it.
“It was a great team effort. I play well when the team plays well. So you’ve got to give it to them.”
Jules Raucci (four goals) scored off an assist from his brother, Rob, to give Garnet Valley an early 1-0 lead. That was the only time the Jaguars would have the edge.
In the second quarter, the Pioneers’ offense scored early and late to put them up for good. Jordan Klunder had an unassisted goal less than 30 seconds into the quarter to give his team the lead.
Then, Tyler Brooke and Bradlee Lord took turns scoring. The duo scored two goals apiece over a span of two minutes and fifteen seconds. The half ended with a 6-3 Conestoga lead. Brooke and Lord each had one assist.
Despite a strong defensive showing in the early minutes of the game, Garnet Valley was not able to shut down Conestoga’s potent offense.
“They outhustled us in that second half,” said Garnet Valley defenseman Ryan Guittare. “We came out flat and our clearing game really hurt us. We couldn’t get the ball to our offense… it hurt.”
In the second half, Conestoga scored five more times to seal the win. Jordan Klunder had two goals. Alex Mezey and Sam Friedman each scored once. Jake Scott had two assists.
Conestoga coach Brian Samson said each of the four District 1 championship teams is special – but this squad has faced much adversity.
“This team has had to battle through a lot more than other teams we’ve had,” said Conestoga head coach Brian Samson. “There’s been some struggles this year, some close games, some close contests, and they’ve seen some of their friends get sidelined by injuries and they’ve just battled.
“Everyone does their part. It’s really special for me. It’s hard to compare it to the others, but I love this team.”
Matt Hurley and Ryan Lehman combined for Garnet Valley’s other two goals. Rob Raucci had the Jaguars’ only assist.
Conestoga goalie Robbie Zonino saved nine shots. Mitch Rose had seven saves for Garnet Valley.
Connor Frisina 4 goals, 1 assist
Alex Mezey 1 goal
Jordan Klunder 2 goals
Tyler Brooke 2 goals, 1 assist
Bradlee Lord 2 goals, 1 assist
Sam Friedman 1 goal
Jake Scott 2 assists
Robbie Zonino 9 saves
Jules Raucci 4 goals
Matt Hurley 1 goal
Ryan Lehman 1 goal
Rob Raucci 1 assist
Mitch Rose 7 saves