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La Salle goes on defensive in win over St. Joseph’s Prep

PHILADELPHIA >> La Salle boys lacrosse head coach Bill Leahy insists there’s nothing special about his Explorers team.

“We’re just very good at what we do,” the coach said after his team methodically splashed its way past rival St. Joseph’s Prep, 10-2, Tuesday in weather better suited to a sea voyage. “We’re not very fast, but we are consistent defensively and what we do we do very well.”

The Explorers were very good Tuesday, taking an early 4-0 lead, watching the Prep cut the lead in half before the end of the quarter, then methodically pulling away while holding their foes scoreless over the final three quarters.

The Explorers wasted little time taking the lead, using two goals by Ethan LaMond and single goals by Christopher Hladczuk and Matt Clibanoff to forge a 4-0 lead.

Hawks Liam Callahan and Pat Boyd halved that advantage by the end of the quarter, but it would be the last time the Hawks were able to celebrate a goal.

The Explorers turned up the defensive heat, gave the Hawks very little, and what little the Prep got was turned away by goaltender Michael Clibanoff.

And quietly and efficiently, the Explorers pulled away.

Two second-period goals by Brett Baskin made it 6-2 at the half.

And it never got any better for the home team.

“I think (La Salle) was able to capitalize more on some of the things we did, or didn’t do,” said Hawks head coach Sean Delaney. “We have to go back and look at the film, but we had too many errant passes and (La Salle) was able to take advantage of them.

“We have to go back to the basics. The little things are what hurt us.”

And they continued to do so in the second half, as the Explorers pulled away – unspectacularly.

Another Baskin goal gave the visitors a 7-2 lead after three quarters.

Tallies by Joseph Taylor, Matthew Clibanoff and Baskin, again, finished off the scoring in the fourth quarter.

“We’re not a play-fast team,” Leahy said again, “but we play hard and we play very well defensively. Not much gets through.”

Prep, meanwhile, was prepared to go back to the drawing board.

“We have to hold our expectations in check for now,” Delaney said. “We need to keep our work levels high and our attention to detail work very high.”

LAXNOTES >> La Salle now turns its attention to this weekend’s “Fallen Heroes’ game at DeMatha Catholic, a contest in Baltimore honoring the memories of the late Travis Manion (La Salle) and his best friend Brendan Looney (DeMatha), both killed in action during military service in the Middle East.

LA SALLE 10, ST. JOSEPH’S PREP 2
La Salle 4 2 1 3 — 10
SJ Prep 2 0 0 0 — 2
La Salle Goals: Brett Baskin 4; Ethan LaMond 2; Matthew Clibanoff 2; Christopher Hladczuk; Joseph Taylor.
St. Joseph’s Prep Goals: Liam Callahan; Pat Boyd.
Goaltender Saves: La Salle: Michael Clibanoff – 7
St. Joseph’s Prep: Nick Cissone – 13.

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