Short-handed Upper Dublin handles Plymouth Whitemarsh

UPPER DUBLIN — If ever Plymouth Whitemarsh’s boys lacrosse team had a shot at upsetting Upper Dublin, it was Tuesday, when the Cardinals entered the Suburban One League American Conference contest with a number of key players on the shelf, most notably attack whiz Michael Sowers and midfielder Connor Wall.

But it turned out the Cardinals were not quite as wounded as they appeared.

Michael Mullen scored seven goals and Evan Scott, Jack Rapine and Max Winebrake notched two apiece as Upper Dublin breezed past the Colonials, 15-5, winning for the 12th time in 13 games, with double-figure victories coming over every SOL American foe, save one (Wissahickon).

PW got the game’s first goal, but the home team took over from there, scoring 11 unanswered goals before PW could score again midway through the third quarter.

“We approached the game not like we were missing a lot of key players, but as a great opportunity for us to have other kids step up,’ said Cardinals head coach J.P. Banks. “This was a great step forward for us as we head into May.

“And we should be a lot healthier later in the week.’

Zach Zygmunt scored the early goal for the Colonials to raise some upset hopes, but two goals by Millen and one by Scott put the Cards back in front by quarter’s end.

The score was 5-1 early in the second quarter when a 2:00-check-to-the-head penalty turned the contest into a rout.

Mullen scored a pair of man-up goals to stretch the lead to 7-1, and when he added two more, and Rapine netted a third, in the quarter’s final six-plus minutes, the contest was a rout.

“That penalty really killed us,’ said PW head coach Bryan Gregg. “We went from 5-1 down to 9-1 down. And when it’s 9-1, it’s difficult keeping your heads up.’

Chasing a nine-goal disadvantage, the Colonials opened the second half with back-up netminder Jake Boyer in net and standout starter Riley White playing up front.

The two sides exchanged goals, with Upper Dublin’s Winebrake putting the Cardinals up, 13-3, after three.

To their credit, the Colonials stepped up the pace in the final period, drawing within 14-5 before Jed Hanson’s goal ended the scoring at the 5:51 mark.

“Any conference game, whether you’re at full strength or not, is a battle,’ said Cardinals attack man Nick Vernacchio. “We had a game plan coming in, and a lot of people were in different positions.

“But we played well, we played as a team. And that made the difference.’

“(Upper Dublin) has plenty of depth,’ Gregg added. “They have a very skilled team, and that’s something that’s good for us to see when we’re trying to get ready for the (district) playoffs.

“It’s a good learning experience.’

And with games against the likes of Conestoga and Springfield-Delco coming up, the Cardinals are hoping to do some learning of their own.

“We’re going to get an opportunity to see where we are over the next couple of weeks,’ Banks said. “And we’re excited for it.’

END LINES: Upper Dublin outshot PW, 39-18. … Upper Dublin won the faceoff battle, 14-8. … Cardinals goaltenders Bob McPeake and Dylan Lojeski combined for nine saves while the PW duo of White and Moyer stopped 14 shots.


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