Abington dominates third quarter to beat Strath Haven in District 1 first round

ABINGTON — At the start of the third quarter Tuesday evening, the Abington boys lacrosse team was essentially starting fresh against Strath Haven.

By the time the quarter expired 12 minutes later, the Galloping Ghosts had a lot of things going in their favor. Thanks to a dominant performance on both sides of the field in the third, the Ghosts set themselves up well. The Panthers made it dramatic, but Abington held on for a 12-11 win in the first round of the District 1 playoffs.

Abington, the No. 16 seed, won the third 5-0 on seven saves by freshman goalie Connor Reed in the period and the trio of Hunter Jones, Cameron Leech and Joey Lomady getting it going on offense.

“We knew Strath Haven wasn’t going to go away,’ Ghosts coach Peter Burns said. “They kept battling, we kept battling and we just came out on top.’

The teams sat deadlocked 6-6 at the half and the usually noticeable Jones was noticeably not in the scorebook. Leech and Lomady, along with John Wink, the fourth piece of the Ghosts’ potent attack, had picked up the slack. Jones however, did not plan on staying quiet much longer.

He finally broke through on a feed from Leech with 10:26 left in the third to break the tie and put himself down for second all-time in single season scoring at Abington. Jones and Leech have been going back and forth with that distinction, but it’s currently Jones on 132 points.

By the time the third had ended, the senior attackman had two goals and an assist and his team was up 11-6.

“In the first half I noticed they weren’t sliding off me when Cam was dodging,’ Jones said. “I put myself in good position to get the ball when they slid off me in the second half.’

As important as the entire attack getting loose was, the play of the defensive end was just a pivotal. Reed had an all-around strong game, but his third quarter was special. He fended off shots from close range and at a distance and with the long poles around him forcing turnovers, it meant more possessions for the offense.The lone freshman listed on Abington’s roster, Reed has the ear and the respect of his entire defensive unit. It’s hard not to when he keeps making big saves.”There’s no grades on our team once you step on the field,’ Burns said. “Connor is the goalie and Connor quarterbacks that defense. He’s the most outspoken kid on the defense, he gets everyone in position and everyone listens to and respects him and his game keeps backing that up.’

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