Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/1/14
Dylan McCleaft made 15 saves in goal and Robert Logan scored the game-winner to lead host Penncrest to a 7-5 victory tonight over Radnor in a Central League showdown, clinching the Lions at least a share of their first CL championship since 2004.
Penncrest is 10-0 in the league and 16-0 overall. The Lions close their league campaign Tuesday at Conestoga.
Radnor (11-2, 8-1) falls one game behind in the loss column.
“I was seeing the ball very well in the second half,” McCleaft said. “I had a rough first half, but I picked it up. I had a good defense to back me up, and I saw those outside shots I’d rather see.”
Jack Norton opened the scoring 2:09 in with an unassisted tally, then Drew Ryan made it 2-0 a mere 46 seconds later.
With the game threatening to slip away quickly, Will Manganiello stepped up in the second quarter. He scored twice in the frame’s first 30 seconds, the first off an Alex Bonnett feed, then he slipped a pass into a cutting Ryan Kinnard with 6:52 to go before half to nose Penncrest ahead.
“We knew they were going to score,” Manganiello said. “We knew we weren’t going to shut them out or kill them. Someone had to step up in the second quarter. I just wanted to get our players pumped, and that’s what it did. I had the two goals, then I had the assists because everyone was moving, everyone just got hyped. And that’s all we need.”
Radnor, though, headed to halftime with the lead, thanks to Owen Scheuerle burying a feed from Norton before Jack Fischer finished a feed from Clayton Proctor with 52.8 seconds left in the half.
“We knew momentum was huge,” Norton said. “We knew both offenses could get onto runs. For us to get out to a hot start in this game was good, but we couldn’t keep it in our hands and it changed.”
Radnor, playing without injured midfielders Connor Burns and Jack Wilson, saw its lead evaporate three minutes into the third quarter when Drew Hanna put away a Bonnett assist.
Dylan Protesto put Penncrest ahead again in the waning seconds of the third quarter, though Norton got it back 46 seconds into the final frame, rushing McCleaft’s net and willing a goal home.
Logan’s game-winner came with 9:34 left, a shot that Alex Anderson (seven saves) got a piece of but it just trickled over the line, bringing home a little hardware for the Lions.
“It’s amazing,” Manganiello said after a celebratory postgame dog pile. “We have 18 seniors, and we’ve been together since sixth grade. We knew we had something special, and it’s crazy that it ends like this.”
The title will be the fourth for Penncrest under coach Wayne Matsinger, who also won crowns in 2000 and 2001.
Penncrest 7, Radnor 5
Penncrest 0-3-2-2- 7
Radnor 2-2-0-1- 5
Will Manganiello 2g, 1a
Robert Logan 2g
Ryan Kinnard 1g
Drew Hanna 1g, 1a
Dylan Protesto 1g, 11 of 16 FO
Alex Bonnett 2a
Dylan McCleaft 15 saves
Jack Norton 2g, 1a
Drew Ryan 1g
Owen Scheuerle 1g
Jack Fischer 1g
Clayton Proctor 1a
Alex Andersen 7 saves