Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/5/16
Senior Luke Bianchino had three goals and two assists, Michael Drake had two goals and six assists and three other players scored twice Saturday night to lead Salesianum School to a 16-7 win over Appoquinimink in the Delaware state lacrosse title game at Caravel Academy.
The top-seeded Sals (16-3, ranked No. 9 by Phillylacrosse.com) won their second straight title and fifth in six years.
Garrett Cannon, Taylor Witherell and Brett Hobbs each scored two goals for Sallies, who stretched a 5-3 lead in the second quarter to 12-3 at halftime.
Cross Ferrera had four goals and John Dunbar two for the Jags (14-5), who reached the finals as the No. 6 seed.
“Our ultimate goal every year is to win a state championship and it’s just a great feeling to end the season with that final win,” said Sals senior midfielder Luke Bianchino, a First-Team All-State pick and US lacrosse All-American. “It really is just a testament to the hard work our coaches and players put in year around.”
“It was the best feeling in the world,” said Witherell, a second-team All-State pick. “It just shows how hard work pays off. Our coaches gave us all the tools to be successful and nobody on the team took it for granted. It’s just a great feeling knowing that everything we did in preparation for the game was worth it.”
Witherell said the Sals did not panic when Appo pulled within 5-3.
“The key was just keeping our composure and playing our game,” he said.
“I think the key in the second quarter was just playing fast and pushing the pace of the game,” added Bianchino. ” We love to play fast and play together and I think we showed that.”
Salesianum had won seven of the last 10 state titles. Because they play a national schedule and have become the state’s perennial power, they always are a marked team. But Witherell said the team enjoys the pressure of being the favorite every year.
“It’s definitely motivational,” he said. “Before the game we had an alumni Matt Dunleavy call in from Romania on Skype, to hype us up for the game. We had other alumni coming out to practice all week constantly emphasizing how (bad it is) to lose that game. It’s special to Salesianum Lacrosse that our alumni still want to be involved and still want to see us hold up the trophy even years after they graduate.”
“I think it is more motivation than pressure because we know what we can do when we play together,” added Bianchino. “The pressure is kind of suppressed by your teammates and our coaches do a great job of keeping us motivated and focused on the main goal.”