By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/31/17
It would be easy for La Salle’s lacrosse team to look ahead. Last year’s state runner-up entered the PIAA tournament Tuesday as a Top 10 team in all national rankings and by most observers as the favorite in the AAA field.
But the Explorers say they are not looking any further than their next obstacle.
“Our mentality is to look to the next game, the next practice and the next play – in my case towards the next face off – whatever,” said La Salle All-American senior face-off specialist Anthony Giuliani after his team eliminated Spring-Ford, 14-3, Tuesday night at Plymouth Whitemarsh in the first round of the PIAA Class AAA tournament.
The win advanced the Explorers (21-1) to Saturday’s quarterfinals against District 1 fourth-place finisher Central Bucks East at Methacton High (1 p.m.). CB East defeated District 11 champion Parkland, 7-5.
Giuliani won 15 of 18 face-offs and Chris Hladczuk led a potent attack with four goals as La Salle scored the final nine goals of the game.
Brett Baskin added three goals and Matt Clibanoff had a pair while Ethan LaMond and Logan Lazasz each had a goal and an assist and Mike Clibanoff (six saves) and Matt McLaren (four saves) kept the District 1 No. 6 seed Rams (19-4) scoreless for the final two and a half periods.
“We came out probably – I am not sure if this is possible – too excited,” said Giuliani. “But once we settled down we took care of business. We’re looking forward to playing another day.”
Spring-Ford senior All-American midfielder Danny Cassidy, who had one goal, had mixed emotions about the close of the season. He noted that the Ram seniors got to enjoy four straight Pioneer Athletic Conference championships and the school’s first PIAA berth.
“It was a great season, with a lot of firsts for some,” said Cassidy, who will play at Notre Dame after first committing to Boston University. “We had four years of winning the PAC and we made it to states for the first time.
“It didn’t end the way we wanted, score-wise. We tried to slow it down and possess the ball; they just wore us down. But it was a great season and the guys worked hard and should do great next season.”
La Salle 14, Spring-Ford 3
La Salle 4-3-4-3-14
Spring-Ford 2-1-0-0- 3
Brett Baskin 3g
Chris Hladczuk 4g, 1a
Matt Clibanoff 2g
Robert Foster 1g
Logan Lazasz 1g, 1a
Ethan Massucci 1a
Christopher Mockaitis 1g
Joey Taylor 1g
Ethan LaMond 1g, 1a
Mike Clibanoff 6 saves
Matt McLaren 4 saves
Anthony Giuliani 15 of 18 FO
Danny Cassidy 1g
Tate Pijanowski 1g
Jarrod Marenger 1g
Kyle Pettine 7 saves