UPPER DUBLIN >> With virtually no one back from last season’s lacrosse team that won the District One championship against the heavyweight likes of Garnet Valley, Springfield-Delco and West Chester East, the expectations for Upper Dublin’s boys lacrosse team this year were non-existent.
The Cardinals are likely not going to be in a position to defend that crown, but that doesn’t mean they can’t competitive.
Upper Dublin began this year 1-5, but that was against the likes of the Academy of the New Church, Avon Grove and Episcopal Academy.
Now underway in their Suburban One League American Conference schedule, the Cardinals are returning to last year’s form, as their 16-4 win Friday over Abington demonstrated.
The Cardinals notched the game’s first 11 goals, then coasted behind an attack that might not be ready for a district run but might be good enough to land them back in the playoffs.
“We joked that last year we were given the keys to a Ferrari,” said Cardinals head coach Dave Sowers, “and all we had to do was make sure we didn’t strip the gears.
“This year we have only two seniors, and a ton of juniors, sophomores and freshmen, and all we want to do is make sure we’re better in May than we were in March.”
Upper Dublin had no troubles Friday.
Max Winebrake, Sanjay Foster and Jerry Bardol did all of the scoring as the Cardinals opened a 6-0 lead after one quarter, then continued their assault in the second quarter, pushing the home team’s lead to 11-0 before the Ghosts finally got on the board courtesy of Nate Rose with 1:48 left in the half.
Ghosts head coach Peter Burns was surprised, but not overwhelmed by the wide margin of the loss.
“I didn’t expect it to be that big of a gap,” Burns said. “Upper Dublin had been missing some guys earlier in the season, but they were at full strength today.
“Defensively, we weren’t strong enough, we played passive and you can’t expect to do that against a quality team like Upper Dublin and win.”
Meanwhile, Sowers said his young team has only good words for his band of youngsters, who got thumped by their early-season competition.
“They were thrown into the fire, and to their credit they didn’t back down. They’ve done nothing but fight to the end.
“Everybody knew they if they were going to get us, this was the year. And they’ve come up big. We’re coaching like we always have, but it’s really been a different type of coaching. And this group has done what we want them to do.”
Abington made it respectable with a couple of late goals, but the Cardinals were the ones celebrating at game’s end.
“All we’re looking at is next year,” Sowers said. “We’re not good enough to overtake anyone right now. But that’s not we’re thinking about now.”
UPPER DUBLIN 16, ABINGTON 4
Abington 0 1 1 2 — 4
Upper Dublin 6 6 3 1 — 16
Upper Dublin Goals: Max Winebrake (4; Jerry Bardol (4); Sanjay Foster (4); Cary Romig (1); Jason Williams Derick Lawson (1); Jed Lawson (1); Derek Lawson (1).
Abington Goals: John Pettricione (1); Nate Rose (2); Dominic Ricciardi (1).
Top Photo: Upper Dublins Jerry Bardol pushes towards the goal as Abingtons Sean Donahue defends during their game on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)