La Salle bat­tles past Rad­nor

The Globe - - OPINION - By Dennis C. Way

To a man, the La Salle High boys lacrosse team knew its PIAA tour­na­ment opener against Rad­nor was not go­ing to be de­cided by VNLOO DnG finHVVH.

The Ex­plor­ers ex­pected a Pier Six brawl, and that’s ex­actly what they got.

But by game’s end, it was La Salle that ran the gaunt­let and came out the other end, emerg­ing with a 6-4 vic­tory and a berth in SatuUGDy’V TuDUWHUfinDOV wKHUH WKH UHWuUnLnJ VWDWH finDOLVWV will take on Gar­net Val­ley, a 9-5 win­ner over Great Val­ley in an­other open­ing-round game.

“Like one of our play­ers on the side­lines said, ‘It was like go­ing to the den­tist with­out novo­caine,’” said Ex­plor­ers coach Bill Leahy af­ter the hard-earned vic­tory. “We knew it wasn’t go­ing WR EH OLNH WKH fiUVW WLPH wH played them (a rel­a­tively HDVy 12-8 /D 6DOOH wLn EDcN on May 6F.

“They have an ex­cel­lent face­off man (Jake ShapiroF, and if I were them, I’d win the face­offs and take my time on of­fense, which is what they did.”

The op­pres­sive heat and the Raiders’ de­ci­sion to re­main de­lib­er­ate on of­fense

quickly turned the con­test into a bat­tle of at­tri­tion, with JRDOV hDUGHU WR finG WhDn smart phones in an old age home.

La Salle jumped in front with two goals, 1:34 apart, with Stephen eu­dak con­vert­ing a pass from Sean Cole­man and Matt Rambo beat­ing his defender and then goal­tender Bren­dan Man­der­ack with a lon­grange laser.

Rad­nor, how­ever, quickly got back into the game, hDOvLnJ LWV HDUOy GH­fiFLW whHn Mike Cherry scored a man- up goal at the 4:48 mark of WhH fiUVW SHULRG.

Still, it be­came ob­vi­ous early that de­fense was go­ing to rule the day — along with the heat.

“It was hot,” said Ex­plor­ers at­tack Brian McNa­mara, “but we were pre­pared for it.

“It seemed like we were finH XnWLO WhH HnG RI WhH game, when a lit­tle fa­tigue set in.”

Amongst the bevy of turnovers com­mit­ted by both clubs, the Ex­plor­ers had sev­eral ex­cel­lent chances to ex­tend their lead, but time af­ter time they were turned away by Man­der­ack, who PDGH fivH RI hLV 11 VDvHV Ln the sec­ond stanza.

The best came when Rambo found Jeff Cim­bal­ista all alone in front of the Rad­nor net. But Man­der­ack sprawled to keep the shot out.

“(Man­der­ack) was great,” Leahy said. “We re­ally could have had a few more goals if wasn’t for him.”

La Salle man­aged to take a 3-1 lead into half­time when defender Ge­orge Uhrich came up with a ground­ball in WhH PLG­fiHOG DnG WhHn ORnJpoled a rocket past Man­der­ack.

And

when

Cole­man stretched the La Salle lead to 4-1 just over two min­utes into the sec­ond half, the Ex­plor­ers had some mo­men­tum and some breath­ing room.

But Rad­nor’s Jack Wil­son scored less than a minute later, and it wasn’t un­til McNa­mara scored with 43 sec­onds left in the quar­ter that the Ex­plor­ers got their three­goal lead back.

“,n WhH fiUVW JDPH wH JRW out ahead of them pretty quick,” McNa­mara said. “This time they came out with noth­ing to lose and played us tough. But we an­swered al­most all of their body blows.”

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