TOWAMENCIN >> It’s a sports cliché that it all comes down to how you finish a half, a quarter, a period that often determines the outcome.
For the North Penn boys lacrosse team, that was the difference in its season-opening 13-7, win over Lansdale Catholic played under the lights at the frigid North Penn turfed complex.
True, four goals by Eric Diamond and three each by Reece Udinski and Nick Keim were clutch, but head coach Rick Smith said the secret to the victory was the way the Knights finished each quarter.
“That was the difference in the game, the way we finished those quarters,” Smith said. “Yeah, we got strong goaltending from Matt Rinck and our defense was strong the entire game, but if you look at how we finished every quarter, that was the key.”
The game began at a snail’s pace, although the Knights scored four times in the second half of the quarter to open up a 4-0 bulge after one period.
Goals by Danny Payne, Max Lehrman and Keim in the second quarter’s first 2:04 stretched the advantage to 7-0 and the Knights led, 8-1, by halftime.
LC fought back in the second half, threatening the North Penn lead on several occasions, but each LC thrust was met with an equally tough fight back from the North Penn defense and goaltender Rinck.
Spearheading the LC attack was Nick Heiler, who would finish with four goals and who played at a high level throughout.
“I don’t think anyone wanted to win more than Nick,” said Crusaders head coach Thomas Nace. “He was still playing hard late in the fourth quarter.”
But on this night, Heiler and LC were stymied by a North Penn effort that was determined to finish better than it started.