Clinical Spring-Ford shuts down Owen J. Roberts, 14-3


BUCKTOWN >> Owen J. Roberts head coach Jeff Neese hoped, believed his team’s second meeting with Spring-Ford was going to be different.

Spring-Ford's Matt DellaCroce (40) controls the faceoff and breaks into transition as Owen J. Roberts' Colin Devine chases Friday. (Austin Hertzog - Digital First Media)
Spring-Ford’s Matt DellaCroce (40) controls the faceoff and breaks into transition as Owen J. Roberts’ Colin Devine chases Friday. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

He was right.

The Rams weren’t just good this time. They were clinical.

“They’re a machine,” Neese said.

With the faceoff dominance of Matt DellaCroce and Justin Schwenk setting the table and every other phase firing, Spring-Ford was superb throughout in a 14-3 victory over Owen J. Roberts Friday night on the Wildcats’ home turf.

It was the perfect first course for the Rams’ weekend feast as they geared up to face fellow unbeaten Upper Dublin (9-0) on Saturday (4 p.m.) at the Katie Samson Festival at Radnor, pitting the top two teams in the LaxPower East rankings against one another.

DellaCroce, Danny Cassidy (one assist) and Jake Hvazda (two assists) had hat tricks while Kevin Todd had two goals and an assist for Spring-Ford (9-0, 11-0). Jack Colt scored all three goals for OJR (7-2, 7-3), which fell 12-4 in the first meeting on April 1.

“I think we came out to play. We were ready for this game mentally. We played tough and really wanted it,” DellaCroce said. “Last game (vs. OJR) we came out a little slow; our stick skills weren’t the best that game. We weren’t on. But we wanted to make up for that. We were hungry.”

DellaCroce and Schwenk were the cooks of the five-star performance, owning the faceoffs and letting the attack get to work. It’s an embarrassment of riches for Spring-Ford with a pair of future Division I faceoff men (DellaCroce is bound for Michigan, Schwenk to Monmouth).

“We’ve always split time. I think we push each other harder every day. It’s a battle,” DellaCroce said. “When one guy’s not doing good, the other guy pushes him harder. I think having faceoffs with Justin being on the same team is a great thing. I love it.”

In past years, DellaCroce was a FOGO, also known as “face off, get off.” This year it’s about “FOgoals.”

“I’ve been working on my stick skills and shooting, working in with the offense and I’m really happy to get my shot,” said DellaCroce. “I want to contribute more to the team and do everything I can.”

Cassidy and star defenseman Liam Hare join on the faceoff, but have an easy job in the many occasions the pair control the faceoff on their own.

“I just sit here and cheer them on,” Cassidy said. “We have two of the best faceoff guys in the state and for me it’s great – it’s like playing ‘make it, take it.’ Most of the time they don’t even get the ball to me.”

Cassidy, a senior midfielder, was a contributor in all phases, pitching in with goalie Chris Morgan and defenders Hare, Nick Crawford and Tanner Romano and a defense that seemed to turn OJR over after one shot or fewer every possession.

“We played defense the whole time because we couldn’t get the ball,” Neese said. “And when we would get the ball we weren’t creating enough.”

Spring-Ford's Kevin Todd works around the defense of Owen J. Roberts' Colten Pence Friday. (Austin Hertzog - Digital First Media)
Spring-Ford’s Kevin Todd works around the defense of Owen J. Roberts’ Colten Pence Friday. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Cassidy staked the Rams to a 2-0 lead after the first quarter, which is when Todd, Hvazda and the attack found their shooting range.

It was 6-0 before the Wildcats got on the board and 8-2 at halftime, a second quarter highlighted by quick-trigger goals from Todd and Ray Orcutt (one assist).

Back-to-back faceoff goals from DellaCroce had it 13-2 at the end of three, leaving little doubt.

Not a bad way to gear up for a showdown with Upper Dublin that will draw the eyes of the rest of District 1.

“One thing coach (Kevin Donnelly) has stressed for forever is to take every game one game at a time. It’s just that next step and we try not to look past it. We play every game like it’s a championship,” DellaCroce said. “We needed to get our game going tonight. It was a big one and we played well and hopefully that rolls into (Saturday) and we can play even better.”

NOTES >> Rounding out the Spring-Ford scoring was Jarrod Marenger (two assists), Tate Pijanowski (one goal) and Schwenk (one goal). For OJR, Austin Koury and Ben Gindhart had assists. … OJR coach Neese will be out for an undetermined length of time due to hip surgery scheduled for Monday. … It was the most lopsided result in the OJR-Spring-Ford rivalry since a 17-4 Rams win in 2011.


Owen J. Roberts02013


# Player Goals Assists Saves Goals Allowed
Danny Cassidy0000
Matt DellaCroce0000
Jake Hvazda0000
Jarrod Marenger0000
Chris Morgan0000
Ray Orcutt0000
Kevin Todd0000
Justin Schwenk0000
Tate Pijanowski0000

Owen J. Roberts

# Player Goals Assists Saves Goals Allowed
Jack Colt0000
Austin Koury0000
J.C. Capaldo0000
Ben Gindhart0000
Connor Beard0000


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