By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/24/16
Cody Mazurek and Matt Clibanoff each scored three goals to lead La Salle to a 9-5 victory Tuesday over St. Joseph’s Prep in the Catholic League championship at Cardinal O’Hara.
The Explorers (17-3) advance to the District 12 championship today against Public League champion Northeast (13-1) at the Northeast Supersite at 5 p.m. The winner of that game qualifies for the PIAA tournament and plays its first round game vs the District 1 No. 5 team (Bishop Shanahan or Spring-Ford) June 1 at Plymouth Whitemarsh.
La Salle has won 20 of the 24 league titles and has defeated Prep in the finals 14 times and 11 of the past 13 years.
St. Joe’s Prep closes at 12-6.
The Hawks had closed to within 5-4 on a goal by Griffin Fleming late in the first half and a tally by league MVP Kevin Stump (two goals) in the third period – the only goal of the stanza.
But La Salle dominated the final period as Mazurek scored 1:33 into the frame and Chris Hladczuk and Clibanoff followed minutes later to make it 8-4.
“We scored zero goals in the third period and didn’t even have shots; we didn’t play very well at all,” said Clibanoff. “At the start of the fourth quarter we looked at each other and said, ‘I this who we are?’
“We’ve been working every day since losing to them last year (in the title game). So we came out so pumped! This is an experience and now our next experience is to shoot for the state championship.”
The La Salle defense was equally important to the win. Defenseman Matt Webster, Dan Rivera and Joe Burnham, LSM’s Frank Krug and Dan Jordon and defensive middies Jared Walls and Austin Clibanoff were key in limiting the Prep’s attack to four goals until late in the game. meanwhile, Michael Clibanoff made eight saves and Anthony Giuliani went 50-50 at the face-off X with The Prep’s Dan Fisher, who was a dominant force in last year’s title win.
“We played them in the beginning of the year so we kind of knew what to expect,” said Webster. “Our D middies played great on the top guys, which makes our job easy. If we don’t have to slide as much, it makes it that much easier. We played great team defense.
“And in the fourth period the offense was the key.
St. Joe’s Prep first-year coach Sean DeLaney felt nothing but pride for his players.
“To see all the work the seniors put in, this breaks my heart,” he said. “Hats off to La Salle. When it was 5-4 they executed well and we didn’t make some plays when we needed to. We had opportunities and made some sloppy plays that hurt us and you can’t do that against a team like this.
“our seniors did a great job with this program and I am proud of what they accomplished even with this loss. It’s difficult that only one team goes on from here.
Alex Scalamandre had a goal and an assist for the Hawks.
La Salle 9, St. Joseph’s Prep 5
La Salle 2-3-0-4- 9
St. Joe’s Prep 0-3-1-1- 5
Brett Baskin 1a
Cody Mazurek 3g, 1a
Matt Clibanoff 3g
Chris Hladczuk 2g, 1a
Kyle Landis 1g
Craig Coleman 1a
Michael Clibanoff 8 saves
St. Joseph’s Prep
Pete Gayhardt 1g
Kevin Stump 2g
Zach Snider 1a
Griffin Fleming 1g
Alex Scalamandre 1g, 1a
Sean Lyons 12 saves
Catholic League Boys’ Champions
1993 – La Salle 7, Bishop Egan 6
1994 – Archbishop Carroll 5, La Salle 3
1995 – La Salle 10, Monsignor Bonner 4
1996 – La Salle 16, Archbishop Carroll 7
1997 – La Salle 20, Archbishop Carroll 6
1998 – La Salle 8, Archbishop Carroll 6
1999 – La Salle 7, St. Joseph’s Prep 5
2000- La Salle 12, St. Joseph’s Prep 11 (OT)
2001 – La Salle 8, Archbishop Ryan 5
2002- La Salle 9, St. Joseph’s Prep 6
2003- St. Joseph’s Prep 9, La Salle 7
2004- La Salle 12, St. Joseph’s Prep 3
2005- La Salle 13, St. Joseph’s Prep 2
2006- La Salle 10, St. Joseph’s Prep 7
2007- La Salle 10, St. Joseph’s Prep 4
2008 – La Salle 6, St. Joseph’s Prep 5
2009 – La Salle 4, St. Joseph’s Prep 3
2010 – La Salle 7, St. Joseph’s Prep 5
2011 – St. Joseph’s Prep 8, La Salle 6
2012 – La Salle 8, St. Joseph’s Prep 7
2013 – La Salle 11, St. Joseph’s Prep 6
2014 – La Salle 8, St. Joseph’s Prep 7
2015 – St. Joseph’s Prep 12, La Salle 10
2016 – La Salle 9, St. Joseph’s Prep 5