Methacton comes away with crucial 8-5 win over Boyertown

BOYERTOWN — It’s practically an annual tradition at this point. When the Methacton and Boyertown boys lacrosse teams meet, Pioneer Athletic Conference playoff implications are never far behind.

The Warriors were winners by 13 goals in their first matchup of the season, but no one was naive enough to think the second would follow suit.

That was never clearer than midway through the second quarter with Boyertown up 3-0 and Bears goalie Codey Prindle fully locked in.

But with Ryan O’Toole providing the literal breakthrough just before halftime, the Warriors scored three goals in 29 seconds and ultimately eight unanswered on the way to a crucial 8-5 victory on the Bears’ windswept home field Thursday afternoon.

O’Toole scored twice for Methacton (6-4 PAC, 7-7 overall), which moved two games ahead of Boyertown (4-6, 4-8) in the race for a Final Four playoff spot, while Aidan Denecke had a goal and two assists.

The Warriors players didn’t miss the significance of winning in their trip to Boyertown.

“We drop games to Spring-Ford and Owen J., but against teams like PV and Boyertown, these are the games that really matter,’ Denecke said. “This almost feels like the playoffs as we try to get into the Final Four.’

“Last year we were on the outside looking in when we lost to Boyertown and PV twice,’ Methacton coach Nat Ryan said. “Two years ago we were the No. 3 seed against OJR and we wanted to return to that. We have a lot of guys who have been there and seen that. This was a big game for our season.’

Despite defeat, the same could be said for the Bears, who seemingly have their own annual tradition of being one of the league’s most improved teams by season’s end, as evidenced by closing the Warriors’ winning margin by 10 between their two regular season meetings.

“Absolutely,’ Prindle said of the team’s progression. “The middies are mostly freshman and sophomores and they stepped up their games and gained a lot of experience. We’ve progressed a lot.’

Boyertown got a hat trick from Mike Palladino, one goal and an assist by Tanner Lee and superb goaltending from Prindle (17 saves).

With two quick goals by Palladino to start the game and Prindle unbeatable, the Bears appeared on their way to a halftime lead up 3-0 with two minutes left.

“I had a good warmup today and everything was positive. This was a big game for us because it would determine whether or not we would get a chance at a playoff spot,’ Prindle said. “I just tried to keep telling the defense to keep doing what they were doing, stay positive and don’t let (the lead) get to your heads.’

O’Toole showed his teammates the way and within 30 seconds of their first goal, long stick midfielder Zach Bodek and Denecke followed suit and Methacton tied the game 3-3 entering the half.

“We were getting opportunities to score, we just needed to finish them. As soon as we got that first goal everything started clicking and we picked it up from there,’ Denecke said.

Denecke turned playmaker in the third quarter as Methacton settled in and eventually took an 8-3 lead on Kyle Kacala’s goal with 4:23 to play. The Bears mounted a mini-rally with two quick goals, but it was too little, too late.

“Their goalie, No. 22, played his tail off. We certainly didn’t shoot to help ourselves but you have to give them credit,’ Ryan said. “We just weren’t making good decisions, playing sloppy in transition. But at the end of the day a PAC-10 win is a win and our kids rallied at the right time. I thought our kids responded well to Boyertown’s pressure because they came out to play.’

NOTES — Other scorers for Methacton were Keith White, who recently returned from injury, Louis Cotteta and Mike Del Vecchio. Goalie Jake Blitzer made nine saves.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply