RADNOR >> Every time Archbishop Wood made a run at Archbishop Carroll, the Patriots had an answer.
The final answer was two goals in a six-second span to extend a three-goal lead to five late in the fourth quarter and send No. 4 Carroll to a 14-10 win over No. 5 Wood Monday afternoon in the first round of the Philadelphia Catholic League playoffs at Archbishop Carroll High School.
The Patriots 11-5 third-quarter lead was trimmed to three, 12-9, with 4:21 left in the game. Sean Kearney made it 13-9 with a power play goal with 3:55 remaining and, six seconds later, Adam Ritter pushed the lead back to five and out of reach.
“All year we’ve been told, ‘It’s a game of runs,’” Kearney said. “We knew we were going to get ours and when we got ours it was going to be a big one. Got a couple stops, scored goals and pulled away.”
Carroll took control of the game in the third quarter. Wood’s Eric Bauer scored his second goal of the game to cut the Vikings deficit to two, 7-5. The Patriots responded with four straight goals to take an 11-5 advantage and a 12-6 lead into the fourth quarter.
“That’s just how it goes,” Wood coach Jared Mayes said. “Teams go on runs. We’re on defense for a while. We have to slow them down, start to turn it around and get it back. We haven’t practiced a while ton of pressing way out on defense and trying to shut guys off. We’re trying basically to play a more aggressive version of our defense and we just aren’t quite used to that.”
Adam Ritter, Chris Aman, Andy Borkowski and Max Ritter scored the four consecutive goals to build the five-goal advantage before Wood’s Andrew Leinenbach and Carroll’s Michael Miner exchanged scores.
“Clearing was on,” Kearney said of the game-changing stretch. “A lot of it is due to Adam Ritter. He makes everyone better. Once he gets the ball in his stick everyone steps up a level because he’s just that good and carries the team a little. He makes everyone better.”
“We just settled it in a little bit,” Carroll coach Luke Wiles added. “I thought Wood did a nice job — (Nick Bogdan) — is a very nice lacrosse player and he was creating some havoc in the midfield, which at times made us a little bit uncomfortable out there, but I thought we showed a lot of poise and discipline down the stretch and that was a good match for us.”
That wasn’t the end for the Vikings. Colin Bruestle, Brian Kinkade and Greg McFadden scored the first three goals of the fourth quarter to get Wood within three, 12-9, before Carroll pulled away for good.
“We’ve learned from a couple games earlier in the season when we put ourselves in a hole if we start letting any negative attitude show its face it only gets worse,” Mayes said. “These guys have learned to just keep things positive. The best thing that could’ve happened to us today was the scoreboard malfunctioning, so nobody knows what the score actually is.”
Kearney, Adam Ritter and Borkowski each had three goals for Carroll and Max Ritter had two.
McFadden, Colin Moore, Bauer and Leinenbach each scored twice for Wood.
In goal, Carroll’s Mike Tarasca made nine saves.
“I think we put a nice complete team effort out there today as a group and I thought it started with our goalie,” Wiles said. “Mike T. is only in his second year and he did a really nice job today. He’s really done a nice job progressing all season.”
Wood’s Brian Graham had seven stops.
The win sends Carroll to the second round of the PCL playoffs and concludes Wood’s league season. Wood’s next game will be against the top Philadelphia Public League team in Class-2A to get to the state playoffs.