By Scott Johnston
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/5/11
In building its impressive 22-2 resume this season, there have been only two teams that have been able to knock off coach Bruce Garcia’s Central Bucks East Patriots.
Allentown Central Catholic and Conestoga.
On Saturday, in its quarterfinal round matchup against ACC in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) state tournament, the Pats got revenge for a season-opening 10-8 loss to the Vikes back on March 26, by defeating the District 11 champs, 9-6, at Governor Mifflin Intermediate School in Shillington.
On Tuesday, in the semifinals with a berth in the state finals on the line, the Patriots will have an opportunity to do the same to the defending state champs.
“If I were to play anyone that would be the team I’d like to play,” said Garcia, “because they’re so well coached and they have such great athletes. We gave them a game in the first half (trailing just 4-3) and then we couldn’t adjust in the second half and we couldn’t score anymore (in a 10-4 loss).
“But I’m looking forward to it. (Conestoga’s) Brian Samson is a great coach and he’s done a great job with that program over the years. I couldn’t think of a better team to play and more exciting than Conestoga.”
Thanks to two goals each from seniors Connor McSherry and Ryan Whitney and junior Parker Self, CB East punched their tickets to the Final 4 to face the defending state champs.
After falling to Central Catholic nearly two-and-a-half months ago, Garcia was hoping his team would get another crack at the District 11 champs somewhere down the road in the PIAA playoffs.
He got his wish and his Patriots made the most it as they broke a 1-1 tie with less than a minute to go in the first period and scored five unanswered goals to take a commanding 6-1 lead at the break. McSherry, a third-team Suburban One selection and Whitney, one of seven Pats named to the first-team, did most of the damage as each accounted for two goals.
Self, a second team all-league performer, also had a goal in the first half and later added his second score of the game with 7:52 remaining in the fourth period giving CB East its largest lead of the game at 9-3. Chris Vetter, who had the game-winning goal in his team’s win over Ridley, added a goal and an assist while Ethan Debuque and Blake Ament added solo tallies.
Junior Harrison Holak was outstanding in net for three periods allowing just a pair of goals before giving up three goals in the last five minutes of the game, including two goals in the last minute of play.
ACC, which advanced with a 13-7 opening-round win over Wyomissing on Wednesday, was led by leading scorer junior Steve Mussoline who had two goals and an assist. Mussoline finished his junior season with 109 points on 74 goals and 35 assists.
Senior Tyler Albanese also added a pair of goals while senior Adam Wydra had a goal and assist for the Vikes who ended the best season in school history at 19-5.
“Today, we were one of eight teams in the entire state to still be playing so I’m very proud of these guys,” said Vikes coach Dan Dolphin who will lose just six seniors to graduation. “I’ve been with them since they were freshmen and watched them grow as lacrosse players and young men.”
Central Bucks East. 9, Allentown Central Catholic 6
Ethan Debuque 1g
Connor McSherry 2g
Blake Ament. 1g
Parker Self 2g
Chris Vetter 1g, 1a
Ryan Whitney 2g, 1a
Matt Heim 1a
Harrison Holak 11 saves
Steve Mussoline 2g, 1a
Tyler Albanese 2g
Matt Savage 1g
Adam Wydra 1g, 1a
Brian Topper 1a
Bob Hayman 11 saves