By Mike Prince
For PhillyLacrosse.com, Posted 5/18/13
With the way things were going, if Upper Dublin had another minute, the Cardinals might have left Harriton High School today with an automatic spot in this year’s state playoffs.
But unfortunately for Upper Dublin, time just ran out a few seconds too soon.
In a very streaky game, one which featured three separate four-goal runs, it was Garnet Valley that came out on top, defeating the Cardinals, 8-7 in a District 1 quarterfinal. Garnet Valley advances to Tuesday’s semifinals at host and top-seeded Radnor at 7:30 p.m.
After the fifth-seeded Jaguars (16-5) erased an early 1-0 deficit with four consecutive goals, Upper Dublin (18-2) came back with four goals of its own to tie things up in the third quarter. But another four-goal run by Garnet Valley would be just a little too much for the Cardinals to overcome, falling one goal short in the final seconds.
“We got down at different points in the game, but we knew we needed to stick with our game plan,” said Garnet Valley’s Robert Raucci, who led the Jaguars with two goals. “I believe in my teammates and we have a great coaching staff and they pretty much battled us through it.
“When we got down, we didn’t get flustered and we just stuck to our game plan and pretty much went from there.”
After Michael Rama (five goals) gave the fourth-seeded Cardinals a 1-0 lead late in the first quarter, the Jaguars found themselves trailing midway through the second without any real scoring opportunities. But once Raucci scored Garnet Valley’s first goal just over 18 minutes into the contest, the Jaguars poured it on, scoring three more times to go up 4-1.
Rama scored for Upper Dublin with six seconds remaining in the half and then helped the Cardinals to three goals in a span of one minute early in the third quarter to put the Cardinals up 5-4, but Garnet Valley would again score four consecutive times, with Matt Taulane, Brandon Dowd, Jake Snow and Kyle Roberts scoring to put the Jaguars up 8-5.
“We knew that there were going to be some points where we might get down,” Raucci said. “We’ve been down at points in the season against good teams and we knew we just had to stick with our game.”
But Upper Dublin fought back, scoring twice in the final four minutes of regulation. Unfortunately, for the Cardinals, time ran out as Rama went in for one final scoring chance and was never able to get a shot on goal.
“It was a real close game,” Rama said. “We came out and find ourselves down at three at one point, but we knew we had it in us to come back. Time just ran out on us. I didn’t get the look I wanted. I got the ball with nine seconds and just had to force something that wasn’t there.”
Upper Dublin will host Springfield-Delco on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in a state playoff playback game. The Cardinals need to win to keep their season alive.
“We have practice tomorrow and we just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing,” Rama said. “We have to get better every day and right now, we’re just looking forward to Tuesday. We’re keeping our chins up.
Besides Rama’s stellar play, the Cardinals received two goals and an assist from Winebrake, as well as three assists from Michael Sowers. Goalkeeper Jack Deragon stopped eight shots in the losing effort.
The Jaguars received a goal and two assists from Roberts, while Snow, and Jonathan Vanderberg each tallied a goal and an assist.
“I have great teammates who made big plays today and we came out with the win,” Raucci said. “Next we have Radnor and they ended our season last year, so we’re looking forward to it.”
Garnet Valley 8, Upper Dublin 7
Garnet Valley 0-4-2-2—8
Upper Dublin 1-1-3-3—7
Robert Raucci 2 goals
Kyle Roberts 1 goal, 2 assists
Jake Snow 1 goal, 1 assist
Jonathan Vanderberg 1 goal, 1 assist
Matt Taulane 1 goal
Brandon Dowd 1 goal
Brock D’Annunzio 1 goal
Mitch Rose four saves
Michael Rama 5 goals
Ben Winebrake 2 goals, 1 assist
Michael Sowers 3 assists
Jack Deragon 6 saves