Ream Cup stays at Warwick

By on May 2, 2018
Warwick senior Evan Popalis (third from left) and teammates (left to right) Isaac Rissinger, Josiah Jewell, Corey Snyder and Luke Hirtzel admire the Ream Cup after beating Ephrata 8-7 in OT last Friday. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Warwick senior Evan Popalis (third from left) and teammates (left to right) Isaac Rissinger, Josiah Jewell, Corey Snyder and Luke Hirtzel admire the Ream Cup after beating Ephrata 8-7 in OT last Friday. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Davis’ OT goal lifts Warriors over Ephrata, 8-7

Carter Davis is still only a freshman, but yet he doesn’t seem fazed by the pressure of overtime.

Last Friday night, for the second time in seven days, the young midfielder stepped up with a game on the line for Warwick’s boys lacrosse team.

After host Ephrata rallied back from a three-goal halftime deficit to force OT, Davis scooped up a rebound and tucked it home with 3:03 left, boosting the Warriors to an 8-7 victory over their back-yard rivals in the annual battle for the Ream Cup.

Davis also did the honors in Warwick’s 12-11 OT win over Exeter the previous Saturday.

“He finds himself in the right spot at the right time,” Warrior coach Wayne Hummer said.

Certainly, the win couldn’t have come at a better time for the Warriors (6-3 L-L, 9-4 overall), who were coming off back-to-back losses to Lancaster Country Day and Hempfield. Besides battling the Mounts (7-3, 10-5) for a League playoff berth, the coveted Ream Cup was also up for grabs.

“That’s a big one,” said Hummer, whose team beat Ephrata for the fourth year in a row and took a 5-4 all-time edge in the Ream Cup series. “That was an exciting game to be a part of, and I’m sure for the spectators, it was extremely exciting. For the coaches, I could deal with a little less excitement from time to time.”

It wasn’t just Warwick that had an extra bounce in their step. So too did Mounts’ coach Mike O’Donnell and his team, including assistants Tyler Muckle, Tucker Keefer, and Joey Sellers, who all played for Mike Ream at Ephrata.

“The focus is a little bit better, the energy is there, and the coaching staff is a little bit more fired up for practice,” O’Donnell said, “so it’s really cool for the whole team to play for that Cup.”

The Ephrata boys had the trophy square in their sights as they got two goals apiece from Kyle Raudenbush and Noah Roark while outscoring Warwick 4-1 in the second half. Roark’s third goal of the game with 8:51 left in the fourth tied it 7-all.

“I’m really proud of our kids. They’ve been doing that all year though. We like putting ourselves in three-goal deficits,” O’Donnell smiled. “I don’t know what it is. Maybe we just get more comfortable in that situation. But our kids just didn’t give up on the system, and more importantly, they didn’t give up on each other.”

When the Warriors went a man down with just 21 seconds left in regulation, the Mounts had the ball in the stick of senior Noah Roark and sophomore Naval Academy recruit Bryson Rhee, but couldn’t capitalize for the go-ahead tally.

“We’re comfortable with every one of our players on offense,” O’Donnell said. “We got some good looks and sometimes they fall and sometimes they don’t, and tonight they didn’t for us.”

To start OT, Austin Barto won the face-off for Warwick. Hummer then called a timeout to get his offensive personnel on the field, and the Warriors proceeded to kill off the rest of their penalty.

From there, senior Luke Hirtzel beat an Ephrata defender down the alley and fired a shot at the cage. Mountaineer keeper Ethan Moyer made the initial save, but Davis was in perfect position to notch his team-leading 33rd goal of the season.

“The goalie made a nice save, but he wasn’t able to secure the ball,” Hummer said. “(Carter) scores a lot from anywhere, really. He’s pretty well-versed all over the field. He has a lot of tools in his repertoire.”

Davis had plenty of help against the Mounts, as Corey Snyder and Hirtzel scored in the first 1:33 of the game to put Warwick up 2-0. That was the start of a game-high four-goal night for Hirtzel.

One minute later, Raudenbush got Ephrata on the board with the first of his three goals, then Hirtzel scored on a pretty feed from Adams, and Roark answered by connecting into the upper left corner with 3:12 remaining in the opening quarter, cutting the Warriors’ lead to 3-2.

But Hirtzel scored twice more in the final 1:28 of the period, including a buzzer-beater, to stretch Warwick’s advantage to 5-2 after one. It could have been worse if not for Moyer (9 saves), who stopped Snyder from close range in the final minutes.

“Giving up five in the first quarter,” O’Donnell said, “it was a combination of things — some busted transition, some blown assignments, just those kinds of things that we wish we could have back. But we have to learn from this. We can’t keep putting ourselves in that three-goal hole and trying to fight out of it.”

Rhee cut the Mounts’ deficit to two, 5-3, with 10:18 left in the half and then threatened again a short time later when Raudenbush was alone in front. But Warwick keeper Josiah Jewell stood tall for one of his seven saves.

“(The goalies) were what really kept it tight,” Hummer said. “Ephrata’s got some shooters, and we knew it, and JJ was seeing the ball really well. Ethan (Moyer), credit to him, he made some really big stops too that kept Ephrata in striking distance.”

Adams’ first of two goals with 3:11 to go in the half pushed Warwick’s lead to 6-3, which is how it stayed going into the break.

They needed that cushion when Ephrata — capitalizing on a couple Warrior turnovers — came out in the third with goals 3:14 apart from Roark and Raudenbush to close the gap to 6-5.

“We scored five quick in the first quarter and really cooled off offensively throughout the remainder of the game,” Hummer said. “As that game proceeded, we were having some difficulty possessing the ball.”

Later though, Adams did a nice job possessing the ball, as he circled from behind the net, took advantage of an Ephrata defender losing his footing, and scored to put Warwick ahead 7-5 with 1:50 remaining in the third quarter.

But with just 2.5 seconds to go in the period, Raudenbush completed his hat trick and again pulled the Mounts within one, 7-6.

“The jump (Kyle)’s made from his freshman year to his sophomore year has just been so impressive for the coaching staff,” O’Donnell said. “He’s just more composed, he takes great shots and he’s got a little bit more confidence.”

Roark showed some confidence while getting the game-tying goal with 8:51 left in the fourth quarter, making it 7-all, and that’s how it stayed until Davis ended it for the Warriors in overtime.

“It was the end of a really tough week,” Hummer said. “There’s a lot to be decided yet (in the playoff picture) and seeing how things shake out will be interesting, I believe. So we’ll see.”

*****

Last Friday, Kohl Wesner scored a game-high nine goals to lead Hempfield in a come-from-behind 20-12 win over Warwick in Landisville.

The unbeaten Black Knights (8-0 L-L, 10-2 overall), who kept pace with Manheim Township atop the League standings, completed their comeback by outscoring the Warriors 8-1 in the fourth quarter.

Led by Conor Adams’ four goals, the Warwick boys took an 8-6 lead at the half.

Carter Davis finished with three goals, while Corey Snyder added two. Trey Glass also scored for Warwick and Luke Hirtzel chipped in with a goal and two assists.

Hempfield pulled ahead by one, 12-11, going to the fourth and then pulled away down the stretch.

The Black Knights held a 50-35 advantage in shots and Warrior keeper Josiah Jewell finished with 15 saves in the net.

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