Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/12/17
Hatboro-Horsham senior face-off specialist Brian Hood admitted his Hatters did not play their best in the first half of Thursday’s game at Souderton despite knowing an undefeated conference championship was at stake.
But at halftime – with the Hatters trailing, 6-4 – the coaches got their points through.
“In all honestly, it was the coaches,” said Hood. “We were successful because of them. We came out thinking that it was going to be a completely different game and an easy win.
“But at half the coaches sat us down and called us out on what we needed to do. They fueled us for the win. They flipped the switch for us and everyone woke up and remembered how much that game meant to us.”
The Hatters prevailed, 11-9, to complete a 9-0 Suburban One American Conference season and an outright title. A Souderton win would have forced a tie for the title between the Hatters, Indians and possibly Upper Dublin (7-1, one more game today against Cheltenham).
“Honestly, we outplayed them in the second half,” said Hood, who won 10 of 17 face-offs in his battle with friend and rival Jake Phaup. “Everyone worked together from my faceoff line to the guys on the bench.
“The bench kept us going and reminding us to push for the win in the fourth quarter. We are a very senior heavy team and we all stepped up.”
Cameron Knox led the Hatters with three goals and three assists, Logan Eldridge added three goals and one assist, and Tim McPoyle also had a hat trick. Ian Reilly contributed one goal and one assist, and Joe Larouche added a goal. Chris McPoyle had seven grounds balls.
Trent Breneman’s three goals led the Indians (16-2, 7-2). Walker Martin (assist) and Phaup both added two goals. Cole Witoslawski and Stephen Blue both had one goal.
“It was a total team effort throughout the season,” coach John Kurek added.
Hood’s performance against the Syracuse-bound Phaup was integral.
“All the guys at the Philly Faceoff League joke about us being the SOL rivals, and it’s true,” said Hood. “He’s a really good kid with a lot of talent going to a powerhouse D1 school and I wish him the best.
“Just when it came down to things I think I focused in a little bit more then him and that’s why I think I came out on top along with a lot of help from my linemates. Facing off is just as much mental as physical.”
Hatter goalie Joe Brophy recorded five saves in the winning effort. Axell Beskar was credited with eight saves for the Indians.
Hatboro-Horsham will travel to Garnet Valley today for a non-league game while Souderton (7-2 SOL) closed out its regular season with a 16-2 record overall.
The Hatters last won a conference title in 2013 (outright Continental Conference) and in 2012 they shared the Continental crown with Central Bucks East.
“Winning the title was more then just something we thought of and said, ‘Let’s try it,'” said Hood. “My class and I have been prepping for this since we were little kids. We wanted to be able to wear a league champion jacket since we watched the 2012 and 2013 teams play.
“We looked up to them and now we are going to be remembered as a team that was on par with them. After our loss of our coach Jake Durkin (a former Hatters standout who passed away last fall while a student-athlete at Cabrini), all the seniors knew it was time to do something good for him in his memory and I think we did just that.”
Hatboro-Horsham 11, Souderton 9
HHorham 3-1-2-5- 11
Souderton 3-3-0-3 – 9
Tim McPoyle 3G
Cameron Knox 3G 3A
Logan Eldridge 3G 1A
Ian Reilly 1G 1A
Joe Larouche 1G
Brian Hood 10 of 17 faceoffs
Chris McPoyle 7 Groundballs
Joe Brophy 5 saves
Trent Breneman 3g
Walker Martin 2g 1a
Jake Phaup 2g
Cole Witoslawski 1g
Stephen Blue 1g
Axell Beskar 8 savesa