Phoenixville notches first victory of the season, 12-5 over Pottsgrove

Phoenixville– The 2015 season had been anything but kind to the Phoenixville boys lacrosse program entering Monday.

In seven games, the Phantoms netted only six goals while allowing 109 by the opposition, being defeated by 10 or more goals in six of its seven losses.

Against an opponent with a similarly challenging start to the season, the Phantoms weren’t about to miss their opportunity.

Phoenixville notched its first victory since the 2013 campaign Monday afternoon, with a 12-5 victory over Pottsgrove at Phoenixville High School.

It was the Phantoms’ first win since beating the Falcons 6-1 in late-April of the 2013 season.

“These guys earned it,’ said Phoenixville head coach Grady Wise. “They’ve worked so hard all season to get to this point. It feels really good to have one in the win column — especially for our seniors. It shows all the hard work they’ve been putting in.’

Senior Jack Leven tallied a game-high five goals while classmate Donnie Jackson (one assist) netted four in Phantoms’ win. Scott Welsh also added two goals while Matt Napolitana rounded out the scoring with a goal.

Kyle Scholten made eight saves in net while Phoenixville out-shot Pottsgrove 25-18.

“The team did a good job of creating open looks all game, and I was on the scoring end of a few of them,’ said Leven. “This was a much-needed win for us. It feels really good to finally get that first win out of the way, it’s actually a lot of weight off our shoulders. Now we’re hoping we can build off this win today and keep winning.’

For Pottsgrove, Brendan Wurtz had two goals while Tom Williams and Tyler Van Horn each scored once.

With just under seven minutes to go in the opening half, the Falcons found themselves behind 4-1.

Van Horn sparked something in his team when he flicked a shot from 25 yards out, followed by Williams’ goal off the faceoff just 10 seconds later to make it 4-3.

Both defenses held their ground throughout the next four minutes, but Wurtz scored a bouncer to tie it at 4-all as Pottsgrove showed it had its own designs on getting a much-needed win during a tough campaign.

But it was Jackson who broke the tie, as fired one in with just under two minutes to go to take a 5-4 lead into the break.

Three minutes into the third period, Leven stole a pass and scored off a breakaway. Just eight seconds later, the senior took a pass off the faceoff, beat the defense and flicked it to the back of the net to extend the lead. In the final frame, he picked off a pass to the Pottsgrove goalie and snuck it past to break the game open at 10-4 and eventually cruise to the win.

“It’s been a tough season for us,’ admitted Wise. “We’ve been trying to find our identity and creating competition within ourselves all year. It’s hard to walk away from a season without a win, so I’m really glad these guys could get one today. They really earned it.’

For Jackson, the win couldn’t have come at a much better time.

“Collectively, we competed really well as a team today,’ said Jackson. “We could have easily looked at our record and gotten down on ourselves, but we didn’t. It motivated us to come out and get this ‘ W’ today.’

Jackson and his teammates hope that the win will help push the Phantoms in the right direction to keep the ball rolling.

“It’s a real confidence-booster,’ he said. “We need a good day of practice tomorrow, and we’ll need to bring the same intensity on Wednesday when we face PJP.’

NOTES– Owen Carney made four saves in goal for the Falcons. Phoenixville will look to keep the ball rolling as the Phantoms host Pope John Paul II on Wednesday afternoon while Pottsgrove will travel to Spring-Ford for a game under the lights.

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