Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/8/13
Two familiar foes will meet for the PIAA boys’ lacrosse championship today when La Salle faces Conestoga at 2:30 p.m. at HersheyPark Stadium
Rundown of the game:
PIAA Boys’ championship
La Salle vs. Conestoga, HersheyPark Stadium, 2:30 p.m. (Live Blog on Phillylacrosse.com; Live, Pennsylvania Cable Network)
The matchups: La Salle (22-2) is ranked No. 1 by Phillylacrosse.com and No. 10 nationally by TopLaxRecruits.com. The Explorers won the Catholic League and District 12 titles and advanced to the finals by handling District 7’s North Allegheny, 14-1. Conestoga (15-10) is ranked No. 8 by Phillylacrosse.com. The Pionees shared the Central League crown and advanced to the finals with a 13-4 victory over District 1 champion Avon Grove.
The PIAA history: Conestoga is the three-time defending champion, having beaten La Salle in the 2012 finals (10-7) and also in the 2010 finals (10-6). Conestoga toppled St. Joseph’s Prep, 13-4, in the 2011 finals.
La Salle also defeated Conestoga, 7-3, in the first PIAA title game in 2009. The Explorers also won the final Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association crown in 2008 before the PIAA took over jurisdiction of the state tournament.
The last meeting: La Salle defeated Conestoga,13-5, on April 19.
The coaches: La Salle – Bill Leahy, who recently won his 400th game and was inducted into the Eastern PA Chapter of the US lacrosse Hall of Fame in February. Conestoga – Brian Samson, who has guided his team to four District 1 titles and now a fifth straight berth in the state finals. Samson has an overall record of 159-34 record since 2006.
Key players: La Salle features Under Armour Senior All-Americans Matt Rambo (Maryland) and Sean Coleman (Harvard) as well as senior attackman Jeff Cimbalista (Yale), senior midfielder Brian McNamara (St. Joseph’s), junior midfielder Stephen Hudak, senior defensemen Stefan Bergman (Michigan), Andrew Eidenshink (Fairfield) and Connor Resch (Yale), and senior LSM Andrew Grajewski (Monmouth).
Conestoga: The Pioneers’ attack is led by junior attackman Jake Scott, junior midfielder Pierre Atkinson, junior midfielder Zach Schleicher (Monmouth), junior attackman Alez Mezey (Lafayette) and sophomore attackman Matt Schleicher. The defense features senior goalie Robbi Zonino (Michigan), senior LSM Tim Langerhans (Army) and senior defenseman Nick Prestipino (Army). Junior Christian Jobs has become a key at the face-off X.