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Wissahickon shuts down Upper Dublin, closes in on SOL American title

Wissahickon's Kyle Lehman (14), celebrates a goal with Jason Michaels (9) during a game against Upper Dublin. (Ed Morlock/MediaNews Group)

LOWER GWYNEDD >> Wissahickon didn’t have the start it imagined against Upper Dublin – surrendering the first goal and not scoring itself for more than seven-and-a-half minutes.

But once the Trojans got going, they never stopped.

Wissahickon scored three goals in a 1:48 stretch before holding the Cardinals scoreless over the final three quarters of a 13-2 Suburban One League American Conference win at Wissahickon High School.

The win puts the Trojans (10-4, 7-0 SOL American) in the driver’s seat for the league championship. With two league games remaining against Quakertown (2-11, 1-5 SOL American) and Plymouth Whitemarsh (3-9, 2-4 SOL American), Wiss needs a split to clinch a share of the title and two wins to secure its second straight outright championship.

Wissahickon’s Sam Baker moves towards the net against Upper Dublin. (Ed Morlock/MediaNews Group)

“For the past couple years this rivalry, these two teams, have always competed for the championship title,” Wiss senior Sam Baker, who circled this game when the schedule came out, said. “It’s always gritty games, absolute chaos out there.”

“We were so excited we’ve been thinking about this game since the season started,” Wiss junior Kyle Lehman said. “We’ve been going with ‘Beat UD’ as a slogan for the last month and we’ve been preparing for this game and we’ve been scouting them. As it was shown on the scoreboard, we really pay attention to what they do and offense and defense were prepared for the game.” 

Baker, Dean Wolfe and Lehman scored the Trojans first three goals in a 108-second stretch. The Cardinals (9-5, 6-1 SOL American) got their first goal from Al Eby and second from Kyle Spirt to make it a 3-2 game after 12 minutes.

Wissahickon took complete control of the game in the second quarter, winning the frame, 6-0. Nick Donofrio scored three goals in the second while Baker added two and Wolfe one to build a 9-2 halftime advantage.

“Coach told us, ‘It’s a close game, but we just need to focus and play Wissahickon lacrosse,'” Lehman said. “That’s what we did in the second, third and fourth quarters.”

Lehman scored the only two goals in the third quarter for an 11-2 edge while he and Baker scored in the fourth for a 13-2 win.

Wissahickon’s Kyle Lehman looks to pass the ball during a game against Upper Dublin. (Ed Morlock/MediaNews Group)

Lehman and Baker tied for a team-high with four goals while Donofrio scored three and Wolfe two. Lehman added four assists.

“It wasn’t just a one-man show,” Lehman, who also hit the post a handful of times, said. “We played collectively as a team. We really moved the ball well, coaches drawing up great plays. It was just a great team effort. We found the weakness in the defense and we really penetrated through their best players and we just found the open seals to feed. Our finishers did a great job finishing the ball around the crease. Great job overall from everybody on the team.”

“We let Kyle (Lehman) get to his space, dodge, we get a slide,” Baker said. “When that happens he finds me, Andrew (Slackman), Nick (Donofrio), Dean (Wolfe) backside open for a goal. It’s pretty easy.”

Wissahickon’s defense held Upper Dublin scoreless for the final 37:34 of the game. Jake Licata, Quinn Fonash, Matt Bauer, Joey Connolly, Gavin Myers and Matt Slovin led the defensive unit while Andrew Beans made eight stops in goal.

“Our defense has been stellar this season,” Baker, who helped on the defensive end, said. “Especially with new goalie Beans this season, he’s just been an absolute leader out there. Especially with Jake (Licata) returning as an all-state player – we’ve really been nice on D this year.”

Wiss is No. 7 in the District 1-3A power rankings while Upper Dublin is No. 19. The top 24 qualify for playoffs, which start Wednesday May 17.

Wissahickon 13, Upper Dublin 2

Upper Dublin 2 0 0 0 – 2

Wissahickon 3 6 2 2 – 13

Goals: UD: Al Eby, Kyle Spirt. W: Kyle Lehman 4, Sam Baker 4, Nick Donofrio 3, Dean Wolfe 2.

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