Warriors repeat as Ream Cup winner

By on May 4, 2016
Players and coaches on the Warwick boys lacrosse team celebrate with the Ream Cup following their 9-4 win over Ephrata last Friday. It marked the first time they have won the Cup in consecutive years. Photo by Stan Hall

Players and coaches on the Warwick boys lacrosse team celebrate with the Ream Cup following their 9-4 win over Ephrata last Friday. It marked the first time they have won the Cup in consecutive years. Photo by Stan Hall

It was a game of inches for the Warwick boys lacrosse team last Friday night.

At least, in the first quarter anyway.

Facing back-yard rival Ephrata, the Warriors hit the post a couple times early and were just off the mark on other scoring opportunities.

“We knew once the guys honed it in, if they continued to get the same looks they were getting, they were eventually going to be able to finish the ball,” Warwick coach Wayne Hummer said.

In the second quarter, they honed it in.

Connecting five times and taking a 5-0 advantage into the half, the Warriors took a lead they never lost and claimed a 9-4 L-L League victory under the lights at Ephrata.

With the win, the Warwick boys (6-4 L-L, 8-5 overall) took home the Ream Cup, annually presented to the winner of this rivalry, for the second straight year. The Cup, named after former Ephrata coach Mike Ream, has been presented since 2010.

“It’s the first time Warwick’s actually won it consecutive years, so that’s good,” Hummer remarked. “I think it’s an awesome rivalry. I like these games against that squad.”

With just two games left in the regular season — Tuesday against Conestoga Valley and Thursday with Penn Manor, both at Grosh Field — the Warwick boys are battling Garden Spot (6-4 L-L) and Elizabethtown (5-4 L-L) for the fourth and final berth in the L-L playoffs. GS holds the tiebreaker against Warwick, having earned an 8-7 win in their head-to-head meeting on April 13. But the Spartans still have to play E-town on Friday.

“We’re going to need some help because we can’t play Garden Spot head-to-head again,” Hummer said. “The only thing we can really concentrate on is taking care of our part.”

They did so against the Mounts, thanks in large part to a five-goal second-quarter outburst, including one from Luke Hirtzel, on a feed from Josh Croyle, in the final seconds of the stanza.

“We were getting a lot of good looks (in the first quarter), we just weren’t finishing them, and some broke loose in the second quarter,” Hummer said. “We were able to continue that good ball movement and we were able to put more away.”

Croyle led the attack, adding three goals for a four-point night.

“In all his years at Warwick, it seems as the season progresses, once we get to later in April, early in May toward the end of the season, (Josh) really progresses very far from the beginning of the season,” Hummer said. “That’s what you want. You want guys peaking toward the end of the season so that if you’re able to get into the playoffs, you can make a nice run.”

Allen Wenger also had a four-point game with two goals and two assists, while Connor Brechbill, Evan Crawford and Corey Snyder also got on the scoresheet. Mark Howland added a helper.

Dustin Fisher had three goals and Ryan Holochuck added one, all in the second half, to lead the Ephrata boys.

“They came right back at us, they pushed us to the brink,” Hummer said.

In the end, Warwick held a 22-14 advantage in shots, and Warrior keeper Steven Lipko finished with 10 saves between the pipes.

Last Wednesday, Hempfield got a game-high three goals from Dylan Bryan and defeated the Warwick boys 10-3 in an L-L game in Landisville.

Croyle had two goals, while Wenger chipped in with one goal and one assist to lead Warwick. Lipko finished with six stops.

“I think the important thing is that the guys realize that they went in there and played well against a very high-powered offense and were able to stifle a lot of the looks that they had,” Hummer said. “I think our defense really disrupted a lot against them and those are big positives as we go into this final stretch of games.”

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