La Salle battles past Radnor
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.
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.”