By Karen Sangillo
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/1/19
It was a very slow start for both teams. But Garnet Valley picked up more steam.
The Jaguars topped stubborn St. Joseph’s Prep, 9-5, in Saturday’s quarterfinal round of the PIAA Class 3A tournament at Harriton.
Garnet Valley advances to the semis Tuesday when it faces La Salle at Avon Grove at 4 p.m. La Salle downed Springfield-Delco, 11-5.
The Jaguars and Hawks went scoreless in the first period today, but the pace picked up for both teams in the second.
“We weren’t nervous,” said Garnet Valley junior Mitch Lachman, who had four goals. “We never play nervous. We like to come out confident. It was a slow start by both teams. We both didn’t play well in the first quarter but then we picked it up from there.
“Face offs were a big difference maker for us. Adam (Oldrati) did phenomenal out there (9 of 17). I’m pretty sure he won almost all of them except for one or two. And Nick Van Horn (9 saves) was ridiculous in goal for us. He’s a great guy to have on the field with us. He makes a huge impact and he brings us a lot of wins.”
Garnet Valley got on the board first with a goal by Max Busenkell, but Stephen Schreder answered for St. Joe’s Prep to tie it up. Lachman scored next for the Jaguars but again, St. Joe’s Prep came back with a goal by Blake Heiligman to tie the game again.
Garnet Valley took a 3-2 lead when Busenkell netted his second goal, but Justin Filak tired it again. With just .01 on the clock, Lachman gave his team the lead for good.
The Jaguars kept the momentum in the second half as Jake Morin and Lachman made it 6-3 and the Hawks never got closer than three goals.
“It’s very exciting to be in the semifinals,” Lachman said. “We’re just going to keep doing what we do. It’s been working so far so we’ll just stick to it.”
The Jaguars also made it to the state semis last year – despite coming into districts as a No. 15 seed.
“When you get to this point it doesn’t matter where you’re seeded,” said Lachman. “Last year we were the 15th seed in districts and made it to the state semifinals.
“We have that experience of being in the semifinals last year and I think that will help us. We’ve been there and there’s nothing like experience.”
St. Joe’s Prep, the runner-up in District 12, ends the season 14-10. The Hawks showed no letdown after a big 7-3 win Friday over Emmaus in a first-round game postponed three days by inclement weather.
“It was obviously great to get the win last night but it was such a quick turnaround,” St. Joe’s Prep goaltender Tommy McHugh said. “We didn’t know a lot about these guys. We knew they were great.
“It was tough to play two games that close together. We did do it in the beginning of the season. We had a trip to Chicago where we did the same thing so it wasn’t our first time around but it’s always tough, especially on a hot day like today.”
McHugh (7 saves) said despite the loss, his team made a positive statement the past two days.
“We felt like we were in it,” he said. “Even at halftime we let up that goal to make it 4-3 with a second left but I felt like we were in it for most of the game. It got away from us in the fourth. I never felt that we were out of the game.
“To get the win last night was huge. We haven’t won a state game in four or five years so that was huge. We took a lot of big steps this year. I’m a senior so this was my last game. It was nice to go out reaching the quarterfinals.
“We gave a great effort. I’m really proud of everyone. We didn’t get the result we wanted but I’m still so proud of everyone.”
Garnet Valley 9, St. Joseph’s Prep 5
GV 0 – 4 – 4 – 1 = 9
UD 0 – 3 – 2 – 0 = 5
Mitch Lachman 4G
Danny Bradley 1G – 4A
Jake Morin 1G – 1A
Max Busenkell 2G – 1A
Sean Shoemaker 1G – 1A
Adam Oldrati 9/17 FO
Nick Van Horn 9 Saves
St. Joe’s Prep
Stephen Schreder 1g
Blake Heiligman 1g
Justin Filak 1g
Jack Winters 1g
Scott O’Connor 1g
Tommy McHugh 7 saves