TOWAMENCIN >> Last year’s trip to the state semifinals, Ryan Stout says, provided he and his Central Bucks East teammates “a taste.”
If that’s the case, this year’s team wants the entire meal, bones and all.
“I believe we walk around with a chip on our shoulder,” Stout said, “and we treat every game like it’s a championship. Games like these are the games that we prepare for the entire year.
“And it’s a tribute to my boys — defense, offense, goalies, coaches, both sides of the field, we all work together. That’s the key this year, that our team as a whole is very strong.”
The Patriots continued their run through the tough Suburban One League National Conference, earning an 8-3 win over North Penn in a windy conference contest Friday afternoon on the turf at NP.
“The offense did their job, the defense did their job, and when that happens,” coach Bruce Garcia said, “the scoreboard usually works in our favor.”
East, a team loaded with speed, skills and Division 1 recruits, improved to a perfect 3-0 in the conference and raised its overall record to 8-1.
North Penn’s defense hung tough throughout, and helped keep the game scoreless until barely a minute remained in the first quarter. From there, the Patriots got going.
It was a matter of “just getting into our rhythm,” Garcia said. “And the game started going our way.”
Jacob Manion and Stout scored back-to-back goals in a span of 37 seconds, providing the Patriots a 2-0 edge. East broke the game open in the second quarter, consecutive goals by Ryan Bullotta widening the gap to 4-0.
“CB East is good. There’s no doubt about that,” said Knights coach Rick Smith, who has helped make the postseason a regular habit for North Penn in recent years. “And we didn’t play four quarters of lacrosse today.”
The Knights got on the board when Eric Diamond set up Lucas Yannul, tightening it to 4-1. But East closed out the half with a tally by Collin Stein, and the Patriots would lead by at least four the rest of the way.
North Penn did limit a potent attack by East, and added later goals by Andrew Kelly and Danny Payne. “Smarter possessions” are a goal moving forward for the Knights.
“I think right now our defense is holding up pretty well,” Smith said. “You hold a team to eight goals, you expect your offense to score more than eight, and we didn’t do that today.
“We’re battling some injuries right now but we gotta try and get healthy as quickly as we can, and hope we can start to peak at the right time.”
North Penn (6-3, 2-1 SOL National) hosts CB South Tuesday and East is back at it Saturday morning, at home against non-league foe Academy of the New Church.
The Patriots wanna continue marching through their schedule with plenty of steam.
“State title. That’s what we’re going for this year,” said Stout, who is headed to Division 1 Sacred Heart next year. “We got a taste of it last year and this year we’re thirstier and hungrier than ever. We’re ready to go.”