By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/21/18
As much as Strath Haven needed to win today, the cause was a lot more important.
Liam Carney scored four goals and Jeff Conner had three goals and five assists while Ibo Pio added three goals and an assist as the host Panthers defeated Mt. Lebanon, 14-3, in the 6th Annual Play for the A’s.
The event, which this year featured two additional high school games and a youth game, has raised over $45,000 and this year it is hoped $25,000 will be raised for the Taylor Community Foundation to assist local families who are caring for a loved one affected by Alzheimers Disease.
Strath Haven (9-2) entered the week ranked No. 4 by Phillylacrosse.com with an 8-0 record, but suffered tough defeats in the Central League to Conestoga and Radnor. Mt. Lebanon (2-7), a PIAA Class AAA semifinalist in 2017, took an early 2-1 lead but the Panthers scored four straight goals and outscored the Blue Devils 8-0 in the second half.
But the focus was more on the fundraising and Strath Haven’s year-round commitment to community service with the Taylor Hospice.
“We do a lot of stuff in the off-season with Taylor Hospice – yard work and landscaping – and we try to make it easy on people and their families that are struggling,” said senior co-captain defenseman Ryan Morris. “Every little thing we can do, we take to heart. The event has really grown.”
Ethan Belville added two goals for the Panthers, who also got goals from Nicky Palermo and Zach Politarhos.
“We had a tough week and we knew we needed to bounce back – rather sooner than later,” said Morris. “It was a perfect opportunity on a great day. We got a nice win against a solid team from Western PA.”
Strath Haven coach Jef Hewlings founded the event as a tribute to his mother, Mrs. Shirley Hewlings, who lost her battle to Alzheimer’s in 2009.
“Yesterday coach stressed that this was more than a lacrosse game,” said Morris. “We realize it’s bigger than just the game. Whatever we can do to help will make us better people and better lacrosse players.”
Hewlings was pleased with his team’s effort – on the field and off.
“We needed a good performance and I felt like we got a solid performance,” he said. “Especially we were good defensively in the second half when they could have come back. And we finished well.
“I think the event is becoming a little more meaningful (in the lacrosse community) and I think it’s meaningful for our program to lead the charge. It’s meaningful for me!”
Strath Haven 14, Mt. Lebanon 3
Strath Haven 2-4-5-3- 14
Mt. Lebanon 2-1-0-0- 3
Carter Davidson 1g
Jack Sullivan 1g
Blake Nelson 1g
John Sramac 1a
Jake Sharp 19 saves
Jeff Conner 3g, 5a
Ibo Pio 3g, 1a
Liam Carney 4g
Ethan Belville 2g
Nicky Palermo 1g
Zach Politarhos 1g
Vincey Palermo 4 saves
Will Brake 2 saves
Tags: Strath Haven