By David Kurtz of PAC-10Sports.com
For Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/13/16
That driving force – predicated by Spring-Ford’s dominance of the face-off X – was once again a major trigger as the Rams notched a 12-8 victory over longtime rival and host Owen J. Roberts to secure their sixth straight Pioneer Athletic Conference boys lacrosse championship Thursday at Henry J. Bernat Field.
With Michigan recruit Matt DellaCroce and Monmouth commit Justin Schwenk ruling on 18 of 22 faceoffs, Spring-Ford took possession of the proceedings behind a 6-0 second-quarter run en route to an insurmountable 8-1 halftime lead.
“When you have the ball a lot, you’re going to be successful,” said Spring-Ford coach Kevin Donnelly, whose club improved to 19-1 and will finish third in the LaxPower seedings for District 1. “In the second quarter, we really came out firing, getting the ball, getting out on the fastbreak and scoring goals.”
Jared Marenger had three goals and two assists and Ray Orcutt added a hat trick while Danny Cassidy (one assist) and Jake Hvazda contributed two goals apiece for Spring-Ford, which never let the gritty Wildcats get closer than four goals (9-5) the rest of the way.
“We expected this kind of game from Owen J,” said Hvazda, a senior and York College recruit who has scored a team-high 56 goals. “Even though we rolled over them the last time (14-3), they always play us tough. It starts with us getting possession, and we have a lot of guys that believe in each other.”
That trust is well-founded.
“Our defense played real well and our offensive execution was good,” said DellaCroce. “We dominated the faceoffs, controlling it, and our shooting was a lot better. We don’t rely on any one player. There are always guys picking each other up.”
The Wildcats (13-6), who have met Spring-Ford in all 10 PAC-10 championship games, got a pick-me-up from Jack Colt and Austin Koury in the third quarter, fueling a 4-1 run that cut the gap to 9-5. Koury had both of his goals while Colt (2 goals, 2 assists) delivered one goal and one helper during the surge.
But the Rams had the answer as Cassidy found the range and Hvazda scored off a beautiful feed from Richmond recruit Kevin Todd (goal, 2 assists) to restore a 6-goal margin (11-5) with 9:21 left.
“All season we’ve started slow,” said acting OJR coach Ben Carville, filling in while Jeff Neese recovers from hip surgery. “You can’t spot very good teams like Spring-Ford any goals. We need full intensity from the opening whistle.”
NOTES: Both goalies were outstanding, with OJR’s JC Capaldo racking up 12 saves and Spring-Ford’s Chris Morgan (Cleveland State recruit) collecting 18 … OJR held a 25-19 edge in groundballs while the Rams finished with a 39-29 advantage in shots … Jacksonville recruit Liam Hare had another strong performance on defense for Spring-Ford.
PAC-10Sports.com and Phillylacrosse.com are content sharing partners
Pioneer Athletic Conference champions
2007 – Spring-Ford 11, Owen J. Roberts 10, OT
2008 – Owen J. Roberts 15, Spring-Ford 4
2009 – Owen J. Roberts 8, Spring-Ford 7
2010 – Owen J. Roberts 11, Spring-Ford 9
2011 – Spring-Ford 20, Owen J. Roberts 13
2012 – Spring-Ford 9, Owen J. Roberts 8
2013 – Spring-Ford 10, Owen J. Roberts 9, 2 OT
2014 – Spring-Ford 15, Owen J. Roberts 8
2015 – Spring-Ford 8, Owen J. Roberts 7, OT
2016 – Spring-Ford 12, Owen J. Roberts 8
Spring-Ford 12, Owen J. Roberts 8
OJ Roberts 1-0-4-3- 8
Jared Marenger 3g, 2a
Ray Orcutt 3g
Kevin Todd 1g, 2a
Danny Cassidy 2g, 1a
Drew Giovinco 1g
Jake Hvazda 2g
Ryan Rosenblum 1a
Chris Morgan 18 saves
Owen J. Roberts
Jack Colt 2g, 2a
Joe Tordone 1g
Austin Koury 2g
Austin Delgatto 1g, 1a
Noah Calle 1g
Amndrew O’Brien 1a
Ben Gindhart 1g
JC Capaldo 15 saves