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Quick start lifts Trojans past Warwick in Districts
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
Take away a 54-second span in the opening quarter and it might have been a different story for the Warwick boys lacrosse team on Tuesday night in a District Three Triple-A first-round playoff game.
But to the credit of top-seeded Hershey, they capitalized on that fast start to force the Warriors to play for the rest of the game.
And even without injured Division-One Loyola College recruit Joe Baker (collarbone), the Trojans (19-1) had enough firepower to knock off Warwick 10-7 on their home turf.
While Hershey advanced to face Manheim Township (a 6-4 winner over Penn Manor) in the District quarterfinals on Thursday, Warwick ended its season with a 10-8 record.
"We played well — we just got into that 3-0 hole in the beginning of the first quarter and we were just fighting and fighting to try to get back into it," Warwick coach Chris Schmehl said. "We just couldn’t get all the way back to even. But I was pleased with the way our guys fought back at the end scoring the last three."
Junior Joe Clark had five goals, while Steve Onorato added two goals and an assist and Jordan Bowser chipped in with two goals to lead the Trojans, who defeated Warwick 10-4 in their first meeting on March 31.
Onorato scored both of his tallies in the opening frame, sandwiched around a goal by Clark, to put the hosts up 3-0 with 6:50 still remaining in the first quarter. All three goals were unassisted.
Warwick got on the scoreboard when Austin Minnich connected with 3:41 to go in the first, but Bowser’s tally in the final two minutes gave Hershey a 4-1 advantage after one.
"We were having a little trouble in the first quarter with our defense getting organized," Schmehl said, "and they have some good individual players who were beating some of our defenders one-on-one getting to the goal."
Clark and Bowser pushed the Trojans lead to 6-1 before Nick Hohman’s tally at the 3:23 mark, on one of Kobi Biemesderfer’s two assists, made the score 6-2 at the half. Hohman also chipped in with two assists in the game.
The Warriors then cut their deficit to a three-goal margin in the third, allowing just one tally by the Trojans on a goal by Clark, while scoring two of their own, both by J.A. Howland, to make the score 7-4 after three. Minnich assisted on the first of those, and then keeper Jake Watson picked up the other one on a long pass to Howland.
"With our defense, we definitely made some adjustments to what they were doing," Schmehl said. "And on the offensive end, we made some adjustments to take care of the ball a little bit better. We weren’t moving it enough. We came out stronger in the third quarter."
Warwick’s defense was led by Watson, Ryan Gruett and Charlie Lovette, along with contributions by Tom Devenney, Albert Powell, Danny Gordon and Casey Witmyer.
"Our defense played much better in the third quarter," Schmehl said.
In his final high school lacrosse game, Watson had 20 stops between the pipes.
"(Jake) had a ton of saves and played really, really well tonight," Schmehl said.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, though, they would get no closer than three goals, as Hershey took its biggest lead of the game to start the fourth, with Clark scoring twice and George Briggs adding one to put the Trojans in front 10-4 with 8:21 remaining. For the game, Hershey outshot the Warriors 30-21.
But to the Warriors’ credit, they battled to the end with Colin Schultz scoring all three of his goals in the final 7:18, with two assists by Hohman and one by Biemesderfer. Schultz’s third tally came with just 43 seconds left, and the Warriors had one more possession, but the Trojans’ held on for the three-goal win.
"We had a couple shots at the end, but just couldn’t get any more in," Schmehl said. More LACROSSE, page B-3