By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/19/08
It could not have been a more perfect way to clinch another championship for Central Bucks East.
The Patriots used their annual Senior Night game Wednesday to pummel rival Central Bucks West, 12-3, and win their fourth straight Suburban One League championship at War Memorial Field.
The win gave the Patriots a final mark of 11-1 in the Continental Conference and 13-3 overall. East has won both Continental titles since the league split into three conferences two years ago and also had claimed the previous two overall league titles.
A victory by West (9-3) would have forced a three-way tie for the crown with Hatboro-Horsham (10-2). But the Patriots bolted to a 4-0 lead late in the first period and never looked back, using strong defense and a balanced attack to earn a berth in the Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association (EPSLA) playoffs.
“What really gave us the luxury of putting all those balls in the net was the defense,” said East coach Bruce Garcia. “The defense was stellar and it never gave them an opportunity to get in any kind of rhythm.
“Their tempo never got set; they were always disrupted after the second pass, and then the ball was brought back down to the offensive side of the field.”
There were many stars for C.B. East. Junior middie Rich O’Brien (two goals) controlled the midfield and senior attacker Kyle Quist pumped in four goals while junior attacker Matt Hughes added three scores.
Defensively, seniors Ben Wright, Dan Kyle and Ryan Stewart threw a blanket in front of the goal and when the Bucks did get a shot off, junior goalie Chase Kulda (17 saves) was strong. Matt Glenn and Andrew Kirlin also were keys in midfield.
“Going into any rivalry it’s never an automatic win in any way, shape or form,” Garcia said. “This is always an emotional game and anything can happen – and in the past it has.
“We came out and took care of business, and took care of it very quickly. Fortunately, it have us the chance to play all of our 10 seniors.”
Quist (42 goals), Wright, O’Brien and Kulda were named first-team all-Suburban One Continental Conference as released today. Hughes (39 goals, 31 assists) , Stewart and long-stick middie Tim McLaughlin were named to the second team and Kyle, Glenn, Kirlin, middie Zack Sharman and attacker Dan Slade made the third team. Defender Colin Grubb was an honorable mention pick.
“All three of our senior defenders – Ben Wright, Dan Kyle and Ryan Stewart – work very nicely together,” Garcia said. “Ryan is the unsung hero and Dan, as the largest of the three, is used to body up.
“Offensively against West, all six players played as a team. We had unselfish play regardless of whatever motion we were using. Even after hitting the pipes four or five times, the ball continued to go into the cage.”
East, which reached the Final Four of the EPSLA playoffs two years ago, opens play tomorrow at home as the 16th seed against Suburban One National champion Abington (17th seed).
“Our first goal this year was to win the conference,” said Garcia. “Now we have to take it one step at a time. Our goals are not quite met yet.
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