Connect with us

Featured

La Salle makes quick work of Lansdale Catholic, returns to PCL title game

La Salle's Grant Pinto turns to shoot near Lansdale Catholic’s Daniel White May 16, 2018. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

SPRINGFIELD >> The result was never in doubt.

No. 1 La Salle scored 43 seconds into the game and six times in the first 5:57 to start a 19-2 win over No. 6 Lansdale Catholic in the Philadelphia Catholic League semifinals at La Salle College High School’s Glaser Field Wednesday afternoon.

“We just want to come out here and make a statement,” La Salle senior Matt Clibanoff said, “just work hard — work our butts off. We wanted to get the ball moving. Our head coach was out today — he wasn’t feeling too well — so we wanted to come out here and show what we’re all about. The biggest thing for this team is we know where we can get, but we have to take the little step — stick work is a huge thing for us. We can’t throw the ball away.”

The Explorers certainly accomplished that goal. Clibanoff and Christopher Mockaitis each scored twice in the first 5:57 — along with goals from Brendan Meagher and Grant Pinto — to build a 6-0 lead.

La Salle’s Joseph Burnham and Daniel Jordan surround Lansdale Catholic’s Ryan Flanegan during their PCL semifinal on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

They won almost every faceoff in the beginning of the game, dominated possession and made scoring look effortless.

La Salle led 8-1 at the end of the first quarter, 12-2 at the half, 17-2 after three quarters and 19-2 at the final buzzer.

Clibanoff led the way with four goals, Mockaitis added three and Ethan Masucci and Daniel Mallee each had two.

The Explorers return to the Catholic League championship for the fourth time in Clibanoff and the other seniors’ careers. They lost as freshmen and won as sophomores and juniors. The championship will be Friday at 7 p.m. at Cardinal O’Hara High School against No. 2 St. Joseph’s Prep, an 11-7 winner over No. 4 Archbishop Carroll in the other semifinal Wednesday.

Lansdale Catholic’s Evan Hannings advances up field near La Salle’s William Lacon during their PCL semifinal on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

“This is going to be a brawl,” Clibanoff said. “They’re always ready to play. We’re ready to play, too.

“Playing (Prep), the intensity picks up, everyone is looking forward to the game. We’re going to have a student section there, they’re going to have a student section. Alumni is going to come back — there were a few alumni today on the sideline. They’re going to have their alumni, It’s going to be a special time, especially going back to that field where we all won last time. It’s a very special field for us.”

Senior Dan White scored both goals for Lansdale Catholic. His first made the score 6-1 in the first quarter and the second made it 8-2 in the second quarter.

Freshman goaltender Connor Flanegan made eight saves in the loss, which brings an end to the Crusaders 2018 season.

La Salle’s Christopher Mockaitis looks to make a play during the Explorers’ PCL semifinal against Lansdale Catholic on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

“We have a young team,” LC coach Christian Blair said. “There are a lot of returners. Today was about coming out here and just trying to get better. Today was about improving. Our season finale really happened when we beat (No. 3 Archbishop) Ryan (5-4 in PCL quarterfinals Monday). That was a big upset for us. That’s what we were riding into here with. Today was all about improving, communicating on defense and really — you want to get better every day, you don’t want to ever take any steps backwards. Obviously going against a team that’s nationally ranked is tough, but the little things you can do as a player and the little things you can encourage as a coach for players to do — that’s what’s important to do game-in and game-out.

“We only graduate four seniors. We have most of our starters coming back. It’s a chance to build and move forward, which is something I’m happy about and it bodes well for the program to be able to put a lot of young guys on the field and still be competitive.”

Comments

comments

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 × 1 =

Recent News

More in Featured