By Teddy Bailey (@TheTeddyBailey)
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/25/16
Senior attacker Bryce Reid scored a game-high six points while junior attacker Brendan Harman tallied three goals to lead Avon Grove past pesky Strath Haven, 13-8, in the District 1 semifinals Tuesday at Henderson.
Ches-Mont League champion Avon Grove (18-1) will play in its third district final in four years Thursday when it meets Upper Dublin at Henderson at 4 p.m. The Central League tri-champion Panthers (17-5) will meet Springfield-Delco in the third-place game Thursday at Penncrest at 4:30 p.m.
“That’s crazy,” Harman said. “It’s almost hard to believe. It’s a great feeling and hopefully we can bring it home.”
Strath Haven was able to cut its deficit to just 7-5 near the end of the third quarter after Hunter Mazur scored off the faceoff. The Red Devils, however, scored six of the final nine goals to eventually pull away from the Panthers.
“We were getting out on transition, hustling for ground balls and had quick movement off-ball,” Harman said. “That helped us get the win.”
Sophomore goalie Andrew Spencer stepped in at halftime and recorded 10 saves for Avon Grove. Despite only winning 10 of 23 faceoffs, the Panthers were able to keep Spencer busy with long-range shots. Spencer was there for all but three of them.
“Andrew was big for us,” Harman said. “Coming in cold like that is hard but he shut them down and allowed only three goals in the second half. It was great to have him in between the pipes.”
Avon Grove edged Upper Dublin, 6-5, in the regular season. The Red Devils have relied on the stick of Harman, who has eight points in the past two playoff games. Sophomore FOGO Nate Hammond, who also recorded a goal and an assist against Strath Haven, has been dominant at the X.
“It’s the same game,” Reid said of the final. “It’s a lacrosse game, just like anything else. We know we’re in states so there’s no pressure, it’s just another game. It’d be nice to win another district championship.”
AG: 2 6 2 3 – 13
SH: 2 3 1 2 – 8
Bryce Reid: 3G, 3A
Brendan Harman: 3G
Jake Smith: 2G, 2A
Zach Augustine: 2G, 2A
Chris Vahey: 1G
Nate Hammond: 1G, 1A
Doug Jones: 1G
Scooter Whiteside: 1A
Beau Kush: 1A
Kevin Malone: 2 saves
Andrew Spencer: 10 saves
Jeff Connor: 3G
Will Huestis: 2G. 1A
Hunter Mazur: 1G
Jake Ross: 1G
Wil Bozentka: 1G
Sam Mutz: 1A