Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/21/18
It was a win-win event today at Emmaus Memorial Field when Emmaus hosted Southern Lehigh in boys’ and girls’ lacrosse games to benefit the HEADstrong Foundation and Pancreatic Foundation at Cancer Awareness Day.
The Southern Lehigh boys won their seventh straight game, 13-6, as Michael Sisselberger won 22 of 23 faceoffs and added two goals and an assist while Andrew Smith tallied three goals and Ken Wolfe had two goals and two assists.
Players sold t-shirts and other HEADstrong items were sold, and a raffle was held to raise money. A big crowd attended to see these two rivals play in a game to help the Lehigh Valley raise money for two cancer charities.
“I think it’s unique in a couple different ways because it shows the power of the Lehigh Valley community and also the lacrosse community within the Lehigh Valley as it comes together to raise funds and awareness,” said Southern Lehigh coach Ty Souders, who starred at Emmaus and then at Lehigh University. “It’s two incredible organizations.
“It was a great day, start to finish and I give credit to both the Emmaus and Southern Lehigh boosters as well. Both teams sold t-shirts and did a laundry list of things to raise money. They literally took ownership in the fundraising efforts.”
The Spartans took a 5-2 first-period advantage, led 8-4 at halftime and never let up. Also for Southern Lehigh, Colin Hoff had two goals and an assist, Mike Smith scored twice, Logan Blondell and Ethan Dunham scored twice and Kyle Hoff contributed two assists while Eli Price had one assist. Emmett Noone posted eight saves in goal.
Hunter Krauss had three goals for Emmaus (8-4), which lost its fourth in a row after an 8-0 start. Michael Leschinsky tallied twice and Bailey O’Connor had a goal and an assist.
Blondell, a 2018 Navy commit who anchored the defense for the Spartans, said his team has shown great preparation during the streak.
“The coaches always tell us to take one game at a time and we come out really well prepared,” he said. “During games we are making great adjustments and playing together as a team. We came out on fire today and we have been preaching staying strong in the third period and throughout the game.
“Last year we lost this game and it left a bitter taste in our mouths. We wanted to come out and get the win. But this event is more than a lacrosse game. We sold t-shirts and bracelets and HEADstrong gear and ran a youth practice. It’s a big event.”
Blondell said it also was special to defeat Emmaus, coached by his former Southern Lehigh coach, Desi Gonzalez, also a coach for his club team, Duke’s LC.
“I shook his hand and said, ‘Good game coach,'” Blondell said. “It was nice to see him; he’s helped me a lot throughout the years.”
Hoff, a sophomore, was a key at midfield and scooping groundballs. He said Southern Lehigh’s focus was on target.
“We got out to the 5-2 lead and from there our main goal was staying focused,” he said. “In past games there’s been a big difference between when we do stay focused and play with high energy and when we lose focus.
“We kept pushing it and kept a high energy level. Right now we are focusing on just winning each day, specifically the little details which overall cause us to be successful. Some examples are giving it our all at practice and taking care of the little things that cause us to be successful.”
Southern Lehigh 13, Emmaus 6
Southern Lehigh 5-3-3-2- 13
Emmaus 2-2-2-0- 6
Logan Blondell 1g
Andrew Smith 3g
Ken Wolfe 2g, 2a
Colin Hoff 2g, 1a
Mike Smith 2g
Michael Sisselberger 22/23 FO, 2g, 1a
Ethan Dunham 1g
Eli Price 1a
Kyle Hoff 2a
Emmett Noone 8 saves
Bailey O’Connor 1g, 1a
Hunter Krauss 3g
Michael Leschinsky 2g
Brent Meilinger 1a
Bennett Nakao 1a
Gabe Kleis 7 saves