Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/12/21 – Staff Report
Allentown Central Catholic became the first team from District 11 to win a PIAA state lacrosse championship today, as the Vikings blitzed Mars, 14-5, for the Class AA boys’ championship at West Chester East’s Harold I. Zimmerman Stadium.
The Vikings (23-1) scored eight straight goals after falling behind, 1-0, and coasted to the title to complete a dominant run through the AA field.
Senior Jack McGorry and juniors Chuck Kuczynski (defenseman) and Ben Scandone scored three goals each to lead Central Catholic. Senior Tyler Schifko contributed two goals and senior goalie Davis Ike posted 13 saves, including several big stops when the game was close early.
ACC had reached the second round of the PIAA tourney twice before, but never even the semis.
“I’ll tell you what, it’s been 14 years I’ve been coaching and we’ve knocked on the door several times and for some reason we weren’t allowed in,” said ACC coach Dan Dolphin, who won his 200th game in the 16-6 semifinal victory over Crestwood Tuesday. “But this year we were allowed and once we were allowed in we made sure we stayed in the party.”
Allentown Central Catholic, the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11 champ, outscored its four state playoff opponents by a combined 65-16. Dolphin said the 8-0 run in the first half was due to pinpoint shooting and team speed.
“A lot of it was transition,” he said. “I mean we were just running up and down the field and our team has great overall speed.
“When we get in a man up situation that’s tough to stop and we were able to capitalize on it. And the kids were shooting lights out. I am not sure how many shots we missed, but it seemed in the second quarter like everything we shot was going in the net.”
“It’s great to bring it back to the (Lehigh) Valley,” said Kuczynski. “No one’s ever done it before. Everyone’s dedicated their time and effort this year and it’s great to see it pay off.
“It’s a surreal feeling right now.
“Last year having the season canceled really hurt us. This year we made it our goal to win the state championship and we put everything towards that and it’s just amazing to see it come together.”
The history at stake for Allentown Central Catholic meant necessarily denying Mars (22-1) the same breakthrough. The Fighting Planets are the first District 7 team, boys or girls, to qualify for a state final. The 2021 Class 2A final featured as many teams from outside Districts 1, 2 and 12 (two) as the previous decade and a half of PIAA Championships combined. All of the trails ACC was blazing for District 11, Mars was following for the WPIAL.
“It’s awesome, just being able to put a team from Western PA on the map, being able to make it this far, it kind of shows what we can do in the future,” Mars midfielder Austin Cote said. “This is just the beginning of what we can do.”
Nick Crowley and Wes Scurci each scored twice for Mars.
PIAA AA Championship
Allentown Central Catholic 14, Mars 5
Mars 1 1 1 2 – 5
ACC 2 6 2 4 – 14
Nick Crowley 2g
Wes Scurci 2g
Austin Cote 1g
Jack Dunham 1a
Jacob Gareis 9 saves
Jack McGorry 3g
Chuck Kuczynski 3g
Ben Scandone 3g, 1a
Tyler Schifko 2g, 1a
Nick Pomajevich 1g
Sean Farrell 1g, 1a
Matt Odenthal 1g
Augie Barr 1a
Liam Drake 1a
Davis Ike 13 saves