By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/26/13
Junior Scott Scheuerle scored his third goal with with 25 seconds left in the second overtime today to cap a dramatic comeback for St. Joseph’s Prep as the Hawks dealt Conestoga a 9-8 defeat in non-league boys’ lacrosse.
The Prep (2-0) had trailed, 8-2, midway through the third quarter when it started to rally. Junior midfielder Pat Walsh led the rush with two of his three goals and senior Anthony Marini (two goals) tied it with 28 seconds left.
Conestoga, the three-time defending state champions, was making its season debut. Junior Jake Scott had three goals and senior Zach Schleicher added a pair while senior Robbie Zonino made 14 saves for the Pioneers, who entered play ranked No. 4 by Phillylacrosse.com and No. 18 in the nation by TopLaxRecruits.com. St. Joe’s is ranked No. 8 by Phillylacrosse.com.
The Prep had already won its first game in overtime, 10-9 over Downingtown East on Friday.
“Having that OT win under our belts did help,” said Scheuerle. “Going into overtime we knew we could do it, having won already when the game was on the line. These are very big wins against quality teams.”
St. Joseph’s Prep is one of only three teams from the PIAA to defeat Conestoga since 2009 – The Prep did it in 2009 and La Salle (state finals in 2009) and Springfield-Delco (2010) are the others.
Conestoga had won an amazing 56 straight games against PIAA foes coming into play.
“I give so much credit to (Conestoga coach) Brian Samson and what they’ve been able to do,” said St. Joe’s Prep coach Eric Gregg. “Hats off to them for being so good and for so long. We try to emulate the top programs.
“Luckily, it’s a senior group that wouldn’t back down and wouldn’t quit. They battled, one goal at a time.”
The Prep got a boost from sophomore goalie Mike Marchese, who entered the game in the third period. Greg said Marchese (five saves) had won the chance to play behind starter A.J. Simon with strong work in practice.
With Marchese creating a spark, the Hawks began chipping away at the lead as Walsh scored with 6:15 left in the third period and then again with 32 seconds left in the stanza to make it 8-4.
Scheuerle (from Connor McLaughlin) made it 8-5 with 9:12 to play and Marini scored with 6:44 left before Scheuerle (from Joe Walsh) drew the Hawks within 8-7 on a tally with 2:12 to play.
“We went into the game slowly and we weren’t playing to our potential,” said Scheuerle. “We saw their defense and going into the half our coaches had us spread out on offense and that was the key.”
Conestoga will look to rebound Thursday when it hosts MIAA power Calvert Hall (MD) at 3:45 p.m.
“We just made so any mistakes in the fourth quarter that we couldn’t overcome,” said Samson. “We had mental errors in execution; and they are a good team. I think it took them (the Hawks) a while to figure it out.
“They played really well in the second half and we had a lull there in the fourth quarter and we let it get away. We have to learn from it. We have some inexperience, so we’ll look at the film and try to correct it.”
St. Joseph’s Prep 9, Conestoga 8, 2 OT
St. Joe’s Prep 2-0-2-4-0-1 -9
Conestoga 3-3-2-0-0-0 – 8
Jake Scott 3 G
Zaxh Schleicher 2 G
Pierre Atkinson 1 G, 1 A
Andrew DeStefano 1 G
Sam Friedman 1 G
Chris Brady 1 A
Brandon Bassett 1 A
Matt Schleicher 1 A
Robbie Zonino 14 Saves
Pat Walsh 3 G
Scott Scheuerle 3 G, 1 A – GWG in Double OT
Anthony Marini 2 G, 1 A
Chase Young 1 G
Joe Walsh 1 A
Connor McLaughlin 1 A
Jace Liszka – 15/19 Face Off Wins
AJ Simon 4 Saves
Mike Marchese 5 Saves in 2nd Ha