Avon Grove and Springfield advance to lacrosse title games
COLLEGEVILLE, PA –
In a doubleheader at Methacton High School, the Avon Grove Red Devils and Springfield (Delco) Cougars both advanced to the 3A and 2A boys lacrosse state championships, respectively, with wins on Tuesday night.
In game one of the doubleheader, Avon Grove had to take on the feisty Central Bucks East Patriots, a team that the Devils defeated twice during the season. In the first quarter, the two traded goals with Avon Grove attacker Zach Augustine striking first at the 10:13 mark followed by CB East’s Ryan Bullotta a minute later. Devils midfielder Scooter Whiteside then scored at the 8:01 mark only to be matched by Patriots attacker Ryan Brown exactly one minute later at the 7:01 mark.
With the score 2-2 about midway through the first quarter, Avon Grove scored two straight to take a 5-2 lead into the second quarter. Augustine struck again at the 6:19 mark and then Whiteside scored on a fast break after a CB East turn over.
It was more of the same in the second stanza with Devils defenseman Bryce DeMuth creating a turnover and taking it the length of the field for a goal at the 10:03 mark of the quarter. Sensing the momentum was swinging toward Avon Grove, CB East called a timeout, designed a play, and got another goal from Bullotta. With the score standing at 5-3 for about six minutes time, CB East had another costly turnover leading to another fast break goal, this time by Avon Grove “middie” Doug Jones.
After nine goals were scored in the first half, the Red Devils let their stellar defense do the talking in the second half. The two teams traded goals in the third quarter making it 7-4 heading into the final 12 minutes. A goal for CB East midfielder Michael Ott at the 7:54 mark gave the Patriots some hope. But they could not hit the back of the net again and Avon Grove held on for the 7-5 victory.
Game two featured a “David vs. Goliath” scenario with the Lansdale Catholic Crusaders, making their first ever state tournament appearance, facing off against the defending state champion Springfield Cougars. Unfortunately for the Crusaders, the Cinderella story ended in crushing fashion, falling to Springfield by a score of 12-0.
Lansdale Catholic hung tough in the first quarter, only allowing two goals to Cougar attacker Michael Tulski. But Springfield opened the flood gates in the second quarter with four goals and took a 6-0 lead into halftime. Once Springfield got the 12-goal mark at the 10:03 mark in the 4th quarter, the running clock rule went into effect and the backup players came into the game. Tulski finished with four goals, Joe DeBarnardi had two goals and midfielder Kyle Long had one goal and three assists.
Both boys lacrosse championships on Saturday will be a rematch of this year’s District 1 title game. Springfield will take on West Chester Henderson in the 2A game at 2 p.m. and Avon Grove will battle Conestoga in the 3A game at 4 p.m. In those May 25th District 1 title games, Springfield defeated Henderson 4-3 and Conestoga got by Avon Grove 14-12. With both games being extremely close the first time around, expect these two championship games to come down to the wire on Saturday.