Boy­er­town’s run ends against pow­er­ful ‘Stoga

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - SPORTS - By Rob Se­nior For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

BERWYN » While many teams bat­tled rain de­lays and reschedul­ings dur­ing the early part of the week, the Con­estoga lacrosse team faced the op­po­site prob­lem — a lay­off span­ning eight days since their last reg­u­lar-sea­son con­test.

How­ever, the Pi­o­neers were able to take ad­van­tage of the ex­tra rest, best­ing Boy­er­town 14-4 at Teamer Field Thurs­day af­ter­noon, and ad­vanc­ing to Satur­day’s Dis­trict 1-AAA quar­ter­fi­nals — an­other home game for ‘Stoga.

“We worked a few kinks out in the first half,” said Con­estoga coach Brody Bush, “but I thought we played well for not hav­ing played in a week. We’d never played Boy­er­town be­fore — that’s a good, rising pro­gram.”

Boy­er­town, who ended a break­through sea­son at a record of 118, en­dured a can­cel­la­tion of Tues­day’s first-round game with Coun­cil Rock North be­fore top­ping the Indians, 9-6 in Wed­nes­day’s makeup at Potts­grove High. That marked the first dis­trict vic­tory in Boy­er­town boys lacrosse his­tory.

“We want to play the best teams out there,” said Boy­er­town coach Grady Wise. “(Con­estoga) is in con­tention for a state ti­tle, and I’m glad we got to test our­selves against one of the best.”

For vic­to­ri­ous ‘Stoga (15-4), the win extends the No. 4-seeded Pi­o­neers’ win­ning streak to 13 games and sets up a quar­ter­fi­nal show­down Satur­day with No. 5 SpringFord back at Teamer Field.

Satur­day’s win­ner au­to­mat­i­cally qual­i­fies for the PIAA-AAA state tour­na­ment, while the los­ing team will do bat­tle with ei­ther Avon Grove or Pen­nridge for a spot in states.

Will Sch­norr had a hand in the Pi­o­neers’ first four scores, reg­is­ter­ing a first-half hat trick for the Pi­o­neers and as­sist­ing on Tate Kien­zle’s strike at the end of the first quar­ter. The Kien­zle goal was the high­light, as goalie Scott MacMil­lan cleared the ball beyond mid­field to a streak­ing Sch­norr, who found a cut­ting Kien­zle for the tally.

Sch­norr closed out the hat trick with a left-handed blast about a minute later. Nick Braen­del also regis­tered a first-half goal for Con­estoga.

Boy­er­town stayed within strik­ing dis­tance thanks to the heroic per­for­mance of se­nior goalie Cole Met­zger, who turned away a dozen first-half Pi­o­neer shots. Time and again, es­pe­cially in the sec­ond quar­ter, the po­tent ‘Stoga at­tack came away frus­trated af­ter an­other fruit­less ven­ture into the of­fen­sive zone.

“This is what Cole has done all year — sim­ply, keep the ball out of the net,” said Wise. “He’s a team leader and the cor­ner­stone of the de­fense.”

On the other end, Mike Prestipino led a fe­ro­cious Con­estoga de­fense that lim­ited the Bears to three first-half shots, all turned aside by goalie Scott MacMil­lan.

Brewer John­son got the Bears on the board at 10:59 of the third quar­ter with a hard shot from the side of the box. Stoga’s James Reilly (12-for-12 on face­offs) proved too tough at the X, how­ever, as the Pi­o­neers pulled away, scor­ing seven unan­swered goals to close out the third quar­ter.

In all, Sch­norr and Kien­zle each fin­ished with four goals and an as­sist. MacMil­lan fin­ished with seven saves.

Sky­lar Wal­lace, Nick Moc­cia and Carter Watts added fourthquar­ter mark­ers for the Bears, while Met­zger fin­ished with a re­mark­able 21 saves. The Im­mac­u­lata-bound se­nior put up a per­for­mance lauded by even the Con­estoga play­ers af­ter the game.

“De­spite the loss, I think we leave on a great note,” the goalie said fol­low­ing his fi­nal game in a Bears uni­form. “I’ve al­ways wanted to play against a top team, and we gave our­selves that op­por­tu­nity.

“We com­peted well, and over­all I think it builds mo­men­tum for next year.”

AUSTIN HERTZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boy­er­town goalie Cole Met­zger had 21 saves in the Bears’ 14-4 loss to Con­estoga Thurs­day.

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