By Russ Atkinson
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/11/11
Senior attackman Joey Sankey scored four goals and had one assist while Tyler White scored three times and Jackson Tamasitis made 18 saves as host Penn Charter opened its 2011 season with a scintillating 9-8 victory over Loyola-Blakefield (Md.) today.
Loyola-Blakefield got off to an auspicious start arriving late due to traffic. It didn’t seem to matter as the Dons took five shots in the first couple minutes of the game. But what did matter were the two fantastic saves by Tamasitis in those first two minutes that set the tone for the rest of the game for the junior goalie.
Loyola came out on fire to open the second half and knotted it a minute into the third period when Demer Class hit Alec Dauses for a 5-5 tie. But from there on, the seniors from Penn Charter took over with midfielder White scoring twice and Sankey once to open an 8-5 lead at the end of the period.
As the fourth quarter began it looked as though Penn Charter was one goal away from wrapping this one up but nobody told Loyola, which scrapped back by scoring two within six seconds of each other. Off the faceoff Michael Gallagher ripped one past Tamasitis to make 8-7 with 8:48 to play, but senior leadership by White and Sankey took over.
With a swarming defense by Loyola that was all over Sankey all day, he was able to feed White for the eventual game winner and with little over five minutes remaining Penn Charter was up two. It didn’t last long as Loyola’s Devin McNamara scored his second goal of the afternoon setting up the game’s ultimate showdown.
Penn Charter won the ensuing face-off and got the ball behind the cage to Sankey who took about a minute and 20 seconds off the clock. The Loyola defense was eventually able to get the ball and called time out with 40 seconds left.
Loyola broke from the time out, working the ball around in hopes of setting up to feed inside as it had done all day. Again, Alec Dauses found himself on the crease shooting for what looked to be the tying goal when Tamasitis stuffed the shot and controlled the ball with 10 seconds left. Penn Charter was able to run out the clock and took home its first victory of the young 2011 season.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys on defense,” said Penn Charter Coach Pat McDonough. “Jackson (Tamasitis) really stepped up and saved us. It is a great win against a great team. Loyola has a great program and we are happy be able to compete.”
“I wasn’t sure what to expect coming in,” added Sankey, whose Quakers were ranked No. 10 in the PA Media poll released today. “Our defense was real inexperienced and did a great job, but we had a lot of unforced turnovers so we have to do better than that. “
Turnovers and sloppy shooting by both teams made for a very low scoring first quarter. But with 27 seconds left Loyola attackman Gallagher received a nice feed from midfielder Demer Class to make it 1-0 as time ran out.
Penalties by Loyola-Blakefield were to play a big factor throughout the game and none bigger than a 3-minute non-releasable on the Dons’ Connor Dalton for having a stick shorter than 40 inches. Penn Charter’s extra man offense got plenty of opportunities as the second quarter began and at 11: 28 Sankey scored assisted by Shane Carr to tie the game followed by goals minutes later by Sankey from Tyler Earley at 9:45 and Sankey again at 9:27 making it 3-1 Penn Charter.
Loyola roared back right away scoring twice at 8:06 and 7:45 to tie it up. Penn Charter sophomore Ray Vandegrift found himself up top with the ball and made a nice one on one move in front of the cage burying the shot at 5:16.
At 4:08 Penn Charter’s junior attackman Carr followed up a shot that rebounded off the Loyola goalie’s stick and stuffed it home making it 5-3 Penn Charter. Loyola was able to score with just under 2 minutes left when TJ Neubauer made a nice inside pass to Alec Dauses on the crease making it 5-4 at half.
Penn Charter 9, Loyola-Blakefield 8
Loyla-Blakefield 1-3-1-3 – 8
Penn Charter 0-5-3-1 – 9
PC: Joey Sankey 4G, 1A, Tyler White 3G, Shane Carr 1G, 1 A, Ray Vandegfrift 1G, Tyler Earley 1A
Jackson Tamasitis 18 saves
Tags: Penn Charter