Dutot’s faceoff enables Conestoga to escape Radnor

WEST GOSHEN — Ryan Dutot knew things at the X hadn’t been going well for Conestoga Tuesday.

But deputizing on draws, he knew the only thing that mattered with 6.6 seconds left in the District One boys lacrosse semifinal was the white ball in front of him and the 40 yards behind him standing between Radnor’s FOGO extraordinaire Tom Meyers and the goal.

After Meyers won the first 13 draws of the day, Dutot managed to claim the last two, including one in the waning seconds to help Conestoga see out a 6-5 win over Radnor.

The No. 10 Pioneers advance to Thursday’s title game to face No. 4 Springfield in an all-Central League affair at 6 p.m. at Henderson.

Draws had been a nightmare all day for Conestoga, with Meyers winning the first baker’s dozen, most of them in pristine fashion. But after Clayton Proctor gave a flagging Radnor squad hope by cutting the deficit to 6-4 with 4:47 left, he managed to carve out a win, albeit on a controversial possession call on the ground ball.

When No. 3 Radnor (16-6) finally cashed in a long spell of possession on a Jack Wilson goal with 6.6 ticks left, it was imperative for Dutot to not necessarily win the ensuing draw, but at least waylay Meyers long enough for the time to tick down.

“We just went into that last draw with the mentality that I’m not trying to do anything special with the ball, just trying to stop the fastbreak,’ Dutot said. “I’ve faced off with Tommy tons of times through the years, and I knew I just had to jam him up. That’s my specialty.’

Meyers was dominant, but Radnor’s offense was sloppy and unable to cash in. They failed to connect passes all day, despite jumping out to an early 2-0 lead, and were shut out from Phil Regan’s tally at 6:22 of the second quarter to Proctor’s fourth-quarter marker.

“I think we need to possess the ball more and take care of the ball better,’ said Radnor’s Mike Thompson, who assisted on Proctor’s goal. “We have to work our offense to get to those easy goals.’

Much of the shackling of Jack Norton (goal and an assist) and Drew Ryan (goal) had to do with the team defending led by Jack Reilly and Parke Schweiter, Stoga’s two lockdown defensemen.

“It’s all about playing their feet and knowing their strong hand and playing them to their opposite,’ Schweiter said. “I knew the Ryan was a strong righty and Norton was a strong lefty. I just played Ryan really strong on the right trying to make him go left, and Jack did the same with Norton.’

What the defense missed, John Roulston gobbled up in goal. He made 12 saves, including four in the fourth quarter as the Raiders tried in vain to get back in touch.

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