Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/21/13
When Jonathan Vandenberg knotted up Tuesday night’s District 1 semifinal game with seven seconds to go, Matt Taulane had a pretty good feeling that Garnet Valley would be able to handle business in overtime.
“I did get that feeling (that we would win),” Taulane said. “We’re a second-half kind of team. That second half, we really turned it on. Everyone comes together as a team and it’s awesome how we play.”
It was fitting, then, that Taulane was the one making magic happen in overtime. After Zach Jones scooped up a ground ball off of a Zach Penfil faceoff win to gain possession and the ability to call a timeout, the Jaguars got to work.
Vandenberg came around the back of the net and threaded a pass to Taulane, who found himself staring down at Radnor goalie Brendan Manderack. His shot lodged itself into the upper part of the net to seal a dramatic 7-6 come-from-behind win for the Jaguars.
No. 5 Garnet Valley advances to face No. 10 Avon Grove, a 6-5 winner over Conestoga, in Thursday’s district final at Henderson at 6:30 (moved up from previous time of 7:30). The top-seeded Red Raiders will battle the No. 3 Pioneers for third place at 4:30 p.m. at Henderson, while No. 2 Downingtown East and No. 8 Great Valley will battle for one last state spot at 4 p.m. at Harriton.
“We just stayed with it,” Vandenberg said of what was talked about during the timeout. “Our coach (Frank Urso) had trust in us. He said, ‘Stay calm, relax, just run your stuff and play lacrosse and do what you do best.’”
Sometimes, it’s hard for LSMs to get noticed statistically, but the ground ball that Jones scooped up to start in overtime proved to be monumental. With possessions at a premium all game, the senior’s heady play as Penfil and Jake Shapiro wrestled for positioning was big-time.
“The ball came out and we had a couple box outs,” Jones said. “So we got the ball and our offense put in a big-time goal at the right time. They’ve been stepping up all year.”
Down 4-1 at the half, Garnet Valley battled back on the strength of three quick goals and won the third quarter, 3-1, despite a late transition goal from Tom Hemcher on a Jake Shapiro assist. All postseason long, the Jaguars have dominated the second half, so it didn’t surprise Vandenberg when GV came out swinging.
“All playoff time, we’ve been great in the third quarter,” Vandenberg said. “(Urso) said, ‘this is our third quarter. We’re good at this and let’s pour it on.’”
Taulane’s goal made a hard-luck loser of Manderack, who was phenomenal all night with 11 saves. He got offensive help in the form of three-point nights from Connor Burns and Tom Hemcher. Burns’ second goal of the night spotted the Red Raiders a 6-4 lead with 1:55 to go, but a key Brandon Dowd goal 37 seconds later keyed the GV comeback.
Penfil and Mike Lanham combined to control the face-off X for Garnet Valley, going 11-5 against Radnor FOGO Jake Shapiro.
Garnet Valley 7, Radnor 6, OT
Garnet Valley 0-1-3-2-1
Matt Taulane 2g – game-winning goal in overtime
Brandon Dowd 2g
Robert Raucci 2g, 2a
Jonathan Vandenberg 1g, 2a – game-tying goal with seven seconds to play
Kyle Roberts 1a
Mitch Rose 7 saves
Zach Penfil 7-for-9 FO
Mike Lanham 4-for-7 FO
Alex Manderack 1g
Tom Hemcher 1g, 2a
Mike Cherry 1g, 1a
Connor Burns 2g, 1a
Ben Savitch 1g
Jake Shapiro 1a
Brendan Manderack 11 saves