By Anthony Caruso
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/8/14
MEDFORD, N.J. – The Shawnee boys’ lacrosse team was facing its biggest game in school history.
First-year head coach Erik Stilley was preaching that to his boys during each timeout. He knew what was at stake for the then-undefeated Renegades.
But Delaware power Salesianum School pulled away with a big finish and claimed a 17-7 victory, dealing the Renegades their first loss of the year.
“When you look at type of teams we played and how talented they are and the ranking they bring in, along with the season that we’ve had, this game became a big deal,” Stilley said. “This was a big game for our school and our community.
“We say it was the biggest game, but at the same time, it’s not going to hurt us in the long run, as we got into the playoffs here shortly.”
Three-time defending state champion Salesianum (11-1) came to Shawnee (13-1) for the first time since the 2007 season. The two teams scrimmaged each other that season.
“(Former Shawnee) Coach (Tim) Gushue was nice enough to invite us up here and play at the other field at the time,” said Salesianum head coach Bob Healy. “They have great facilities, and I have nothing but great things to say about Coach Gushue and his coaching staff. They also have great kids, who are very talented.”
For much of the first half, Shawnee was able to compete with the Sals, who are either ranked or listed as under consideration in every major national poll. Then, after halftime, Salesianum began to dominate as the renegades scored only once in the final two quarters.
The Sals led just 8-6 at halftime. They went up 10-6, and then after Jack Tyrrell (three goals) scored, Salesianum tallied the final seven goals.
“Once the game got to 10-7, the game started to sway to their way,” said Stilley. “It also showed us some weaknesses that we’ll start working on tomorrow.”
Bailey Martin led the Sals’ attack with four goals and six overall. Michael Drake added three goals and three assists and Jason Kelly and Sam Fink each had three goals and an assist while Luke Bianchino had two goals and two assists.
“This was a big win for us,” said Martin. “It’s also a big out of state win for us, as we knew that they were undefeated. We’re also peaking at the right time, and hopefully, this win will carry us through the playoffs.”
Ryan Kern (Navy commit) also made some big saves (eight in all) for the Sallies in the second half.
“Unbelievable,” said Martin. “Ryan is unbelievable every game. He’s one of the best of the goalies that I’ve ever seen. We can always count on him to bail us out.”
Salesianum School (DE) 17, Shawnee (NJ) 7
Salesianum 5 3 3 6 17
Shawnee 2 4 1 0 7
Bailey Martin 6g, 1a
Jason Kelly 3g, 1a
Samuel Fink 3g, 1a
Michael Drake 3g, 3a
Luke Bianchino 2g, 2a
Anthony Witherell 1g, 1a
Ryan Kern 8 saves
Mike Shinske 1g
Jack Tyrrell 3g
Kyle Borbi 1g
Steven Boyle 1g
Curtis Corley 1g
Reece Tursi 9 saves