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Warriors take away positives from 7-5 loss to Penn Manor
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
The Warwick boys lacrosse team had hoped to get its first win of the season last Thursday.
That didn’t happen, as the Warriors’ late comeback fell a little bit short in a 7-5 loss to L-L League rival Penn Manor.
But the Warwick boys at least provided some positive signs.
Goals by Austin Minnich and Shaun McCormick in the final 1:20, both with Warwick on the man-advantage, gave them a confidence boost going forward.
"We were able to close the gap a little bit," Warwick first-year coach Wayne Hummer remarked. "Obviously, we didn’t close it all the way. But I was very encouraged by that play at the end. I haven’t seen that fire in a game-like situation yet. That’s a positive to take from this game. Obviously, we would have liked to get the win, but as it is, I’m just going to try to take positives from the game. We can’t get that one back — it ‘d be nice to, but all we can do is go forward."
They went forward to play Easton in a non-league clash last Saturday, and although the Warriors finished with a season-high six goals, it wasn’t enough, as they suffered a 13-6 loss to the Red Rovers in Lititz.
The loss dropped the Warriors to 0-3 on the young season (0-1 League).
In Warwick’s game against the Comets, Minnich finished with two goals and sophomore Kobi Biemesderfer added a goal and two assists to lead Warwick’s attack in the losing cause. The first of Minnich’s tallies came with 9:40 left in the third, which cut the Comets’ lead to 3-2 at the time.
Moments later, goalkeeper Adam Polett robbed Penn Manor’s Brady Jordan on the doorstep to keep it a one-goal game. That was one of 11 saves for Warwick’s senior goalie.
"(Jordan) picked up a rebound and shot it real quick," Hummer said, "and Polett got his stick out there and turned the ball away, which was really good for us to see."
Unfortunately for the Warriors, however, the Comets’ Kyle Madonna and Matt Hatch found the back of the net in the final 6:47 of the quarter which put Penn Manor ahead 5-2 going to the final stanza.
"(Penn Manor is) definitely upper echelon of the league," Hummer said of a Comets’ team which lost 13-6 to Carlisle in their non-league opener. "Like I said, it’s never good to take a loss, but knowing that we were in the game with somebody that’s kinda higher up in the league makes me feel encouraged going forward."
Minnich’s second goal of the game with 5:00 to go in the fourth got one back for Warwick and then Penn Manor’s Madonna restored their four-goal lead with 2:52 to play.
Just over a minute later, the Comets took a foul and gave the Warriors a man-advantage, and sophomore Shane Galway needed just six seconds to beat PM keeper Kirk. Overall, Warwick outshot the Comets 32-31 in the game. In addition to his goal, Galway also was a force on draws for the Warriors, winning 12 of his 16 face-offs.
"(Shane) was able to put us in a position to get things going," Hummer said. "If we’re starting with possession, then that’s always a good thing. We’re able to work our offense from there."
With the Comets still a man down, they were caught for another foul with 1:03 remaining. Again the Warriors capitalized. Just moments after Minnich hit the post looking for a hat trick, McCormick scored with :36.3 left, making the score 7-5.
That’s as close as Warwick would get, however.
"Obviously, you never want to be playing from behind, but the last two minutes of the game, our guys really turned it on," Hummer said. "… Like I said before, our shortcoming was more finding the rhythm of our offense and I’m hoping that maybe we just found it. I’m taking positives away from this game, so if we found our rhythm, then I’m really happy and I’ll take that loss."
In the first half, Biemesderfer curled out from behind the Comets’ net and beat Kirk to give the Warriors an early 1-0 lead with just 2:12 elapsed. Mason Buccilla added an assist in the game for the Warriors.
But Penn Manor scored three unanswered in the rest of the first half to take a 3-1 lead going to the intermission.
Last Saturday, Warwick battled Easton to a 1-1 tie after one stanza, but then the Red Rovers outscored the Warriors 12-5 the rest of the way to capture the win.
Minnich netted his team-leading third goal of the season and the Warriors got a balanced scoring attack with six different players finding the back of the net. Alex Bushong, Galway, Colin Schultz, Brogan Galbreath and Trent Sell also connected for Warwick, while Schultz, Biemesderfer, Minnich and Buccilla all chipped in with helpers.
Tribber scored a team-high four goals and Wanlgren added two goals and two assists for the Red Rovers, who outshot the Warriors 33-24. Polett finished with 12 stops between the pipes for Warwick. More POSITIVES, page B-6