Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/4/11
It may come as a surprise to many that the only undefeated boys’ lacrosse team in District 1 is New Hope-Solebury.
On Tuesday the host Lions improved to 12-0 and clinched the Bicentennial Athletic League championship by edging Holy Ghost Prep, 11-10.
The victory raised New Hope’s league mark to 7-0, dropping Ghost to 4-2. The Lions also topped Ghost by a single goal in their first meeting, a 10-9 overtime win on April 14. That was the first time New Hope-Solebury had ever defeated Holy Ghost Prep.
On Tuesday John Cimbalista had three goals – including gthe game-winner with 3:03 to play – and Jeff Cimbalista added two goals and an assist while Jonathan Otto had a goal and four assists and Connor Lemmons scored twice.
Alex Coleman also had a goal and an assist for New Hope, while Matt Reilly, Julian Kaminoff and Pat Dignan each scored once and Max Wolf made seven saves.
The 12-0 record represents a stunning turnaround from head coach Pat Ryan’s first year in 2008 when the Lions went 0-19. In 2009 they improved to 5-12 and last year they went 9-7 and fell to Holy Ghost Prep, 10-3.
New Hope features seven seniors – six of which were onthat 0-19 team. Those six are John Cimbalista (attackman), Otto (attackman), Coleman (midfielder), Tommy Sutton (defenseman), Pat Carbalaho (defenseman) and Carter Robinson (midfielder). The seventh senior is Matt Gregory (attackman/midfielder).
“It’s always been about the team,” said Ryan. “We put the group ahead of individuals. That has allowed individuals to excel. We worked hard in the off-season and played together in tournaments.
“To an extent we did have high expectations this year. We felt if we stuck together, we’d be successful, But we have actually exceeded expectations and it’s a credit to the kids and the program in general.”
New Hope is assured a berth in the District 1 tourney for the first time. The Lions are slated to host 9-3 Interboro today in a non-league game.