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Strath Haven hammers Trinity 19-5 in PIAA opener

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EXETER TWP. >> Trinity’s team bus arrived 25 minutes before the opening faceoff Tuesday afternoon at Exeter Twp. High School.

Yet it was Strath Haven that came out of the gates looking jetlagged in the early going of their PIAA Class 2A opening round matchup.

After letting up two goals in the opening four minutes, the Panthers rallied and scored 15 of the next 16 goals over a key 12-minute run on the way to a 19-5 win.

With the result, Strath Haven, District 1’s No. 3 seed, advances to the second round where it will face the district’s runner-up, Springfield-Delco, 17-0 winners over Archbishop Wood, on Saturday at a site and time to be determined. District 3 champ Trinity’s season comes to a finish in the opening round of states for the second straight year.

Trinity sophomore Danny Scott got the Shamrocks (18-3) off to a 2-0 lead within the first four minutes.

From there, though, Strath Haven took over.

The Panthers used a six-goal run over the next five minutes to take a 5-3 lead into the second period before expanding it to a dominant 15-5 lead by the half.

“I think our youth showed in a lot of instances,” said Trinity head coach Dave Heisey. “They beat us in every phase of the game. They took advantage of our guys getting a little spooked. They put a lot of heat on us. We needed to play completely mistake-free just to hang with them.”

Senior attack/midfielder Jeffrey Conner had four goals and four assists while junior attack Liam Carney had four goals and two helpers for Strath Haven.

The pair connected three times for scores in the win, including a behind-the-back pass from Conner to end Strath Haven’s run in the first period.

“We stuck to what we did all season,” Conner said. “I always expect to control the offense down there [in the crease], and we had a lot of other guys step up, too. Once we got momentum going our way, we just kept it going.”

Ethan Belville added a hat trick for Strath Haven while sophomore attack Ibo Pio and senior midfielder Amir Pio both scored twice. Christian Mazuer and Nolan Rau each scored once while keepers Will Blake and Vince Palmero combined for nine saves in goal.

Despite the goals against tallied on him, Trinity keeper Josh Miller was strong in the cage, where he finished with 17 saves. Trinity senior Lance Smith had a pair of goals while Scott finished with a hat trick.

Even fresh off the loss, Heisey was quick to look toward the future of the program.

“This is a learning experience for our guys,” he said. “We started seven sophomores and freshmen. We’ve got a lot of young guys coming in. Our future looks good, no doubt about it.”

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