Streaks pull away from Warwick in second half
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
After a tough opening quarter, the Warwick boys had righted the ship.
They were feeling good about themselves when they cut Manheim Township’s four-goal lead to 4-2 with 1:56 left in the second quarter on Tuesday afternoon.
But then the Blue Streaks got a pair of tallies in the final 31 seconds of the half, and that turned out to be a back-breaker for the Warriors, as they went on to suffer a 12-3 loss in an L-L League game in Neffsville.
"I felt we really had some good momentum," Warwick coach Chris Schmehl said. "It was 4-0 and we cut it to 4-2, we were playing much better in the second quarter and we had really settled down from the beginning of the game. And then they scored those last two at the end of the quarter and it was kind of a back-breaker and it gave them the momentum that we had going into the second half."
Led by Chase Miller’s game-high three goals, Township outscored Warwick 5-1 in the third quarter to open up an insurmountable 11-3 cushion going to the final 12 minutes.
"Chase Miller and O’Dell are their two midfielders and a lot of their offense goes through them," Schmehl said. "We also had a lot of trouble with their offensive movement. They would get it down to their attack and they had a lot of cutters, guys cutting to the goal, and we were having trouble matching up with them. There were times that we would turn our head the wrong way and the guys would get behind us and be able to finish from the inside. There’s not much the goalie can do about that."
With Township being the only team in the L-L League that Warwick has not defeated in its program history, the Warriors were hoping to take advantage of the Blue Streaks’ heavy graduation losses from a year ago and make a little history on Tuesday.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.
"They had a real strong senior class (last year), so we thought we’d be able to compete with them a little bit this year better than we had in the past," Schmehl said.
Early on, however, the Blue Streaks took command with the only three goals of the first quarter, courtesy of Morgan, Miller and Harris. Then when O’Dell scored his second of three goals with 8:30 to go in the half, the Blue Streaks had a 4-0 lead.
"I thought we came out slow," Schmehl said. "I’m not sure we were quite ready to play when the game started. They came out quick on us, got those first three in the first quarter and then we kinda settled down a little bit."
Indeed, J.A. Howland finally got Warwick on the scoreboard with 3:15 to go in the half, and then he connected again just over one minute later, making it 4-2 with 1:56 remaining in the half. Mason Buccilla picked up an assist in the game.
"I felt we were right there in the game with them and playing much better," Schmehl said. "In the defensive end, we were really taking care of the ball more. In the offensive end, we were not having turnovers we had in the beginning."
Before Warwick could get any closer, however, Morgan connected with :31 left in the half, and then O’Dell’s tally with just :01 remaining restored the Streaks’ four-goal advantage at the break.
Alex Bushong dented the twine for Warwick in the third quarter, but it wasn’t enough, as the Blue Streaks capitalized on their momentum to pull away.
The Township boys outshot Warwick 20-14 and WHS keeper Jake Watson finished with eight saves.
With the loss, the Warriors fell to 4-3 in L-L play (6-5 overall) heading into a stretch of games where they will play at Cocalico today (Thursday) and then face Hempfield in Landisville next Monday, April 23. The top four teams in the L-L standings advance to the League playoffs, and the top 16 go to the District Three Tournament.
"We have a couple winnable games in the league and then one against Hempfield next week … we’d have to win that one to have a chance to get in the league playoffs," Schmehl said. "We’re probably right now right on the edge of making Districts. I think we’d probably be in right now, just based on the fact that we’ve played some better teams. We play some good non-conference teams."
Last Thursday, nine different players scored for Warwick, led by Nick Hohman’s team-high three, as the Warriors dominated Lancaster Mennonite 14-1 in Lancaster.
Howland had two goals and two assists, while Kobi Biemesderfer and Shaun McCormick finished with two goals apiece to lead a Warriors’ attack which outshot the Blazers 46-6.
Tanner Biemsderfer, Jordan Nace, Colin Schultz, Buccilla and Bushong also scored, while Bushong also chipped in two assists and Shane Galway added one helper.
In non-league action last Saturday, Easton led by just one goal after three, then outscored the Warriors 3-1 in the fourth to lock up a 7-4 victory.
Warwick outshot Easton 29-23, but Red Rovers’ keeper Dionne had 17 saves to earn the win in goal. Watson finished with 12 stops for the Warriors.
Hohman led Warwick’s offense with two goals, while Howland and McCormick each added one. More LACROSSE, page B-6