Connect with us


Lacrosse: Delco contenders ready for District 1 tournament

Springfield's Allie Hunter, left, carries the ball upfield as Carroll's Cate McConaghy defends in the first half last week. (PETE BANNAN - DAILY TIMES)

The 2021 lacrosse season culminated with three Delaware County teams lifting PIAA trophies.

The 2022 postseason beings with two Delco teams as the top seeds in the District 1 tournaments.

Action will start on four weeks of lacrosse postseason chaos Tuesday, wending its way to the June 11 PIAA finals at West Chester East’s Zimmerman Stadium. It’s a journey sure to feature Delco schools prominently.

Radnor’s run to a PIAA Class 3A boys title last year was a tale of domination on the defensive end. While they graduated 2021 Daily Times Player of the Year Grant Pierce, many of the attacking threats remain from last year, including All-Delco and Cornell signee Ryan Goldstein. Goldstein is third in the county with 83 points this season. Radnor (16-2) has won 14 straight games, losing only to La Salle on opening day and an 11-8 setback at New York power Garden City.

With that powerful attack, the Central League champion is the top seed in District 1, with the same mark as the two Downingtown schools that occupy seeds two and three, in alphabetical order.

Springfield (15-3) is the fourth seed; the top eight, which includes Garnet Valley (13-5) in sixth, receive first-round byes and play on Thursday.

Radnor could open with a rematch of the state final, with No. 16 Kennett hosting No. 17 Council Rock North in the opening round Tuesday. Radnor smothered the Blue Demons, 10-2, in the final last spring. Eighth-seeded Central Bucks East is the team on a collision course for Saturday’s quarterfinals. (Six teams make states, with the four quarterfinal winners plus two from playbacks.)

Springfield gets the winner of Methacton and Upper Dublin on Thursday. The Cougars have won seven straight since a five-overtime loss to Downingtown East. Springfield would get fifth-seeded Perkiomen Valley in the quarterfinals should the seeds hold, though there’s a chance the Central League could spoil the party: The Vikings have to go through No. 12 Conestoga or No. 21 Haverford, who play Tuesday. Conestoga beat the Fords, 13-6, in the regular season.

Garnet Valley is one of only two teams to beat Downingtown West this season, a 9-8 decision. Before they can collide in a three-vs.-six quarterfinal, Garnet Valley will have to see its way past either Pennsbury or Wissahickon. If it’s the Trojans, it would mean a meeting of two of the top prospects in the area: Penn State commit Kyle Lehman of Wissahickon and Delco point leader Max Busenkell, an All-Delco bound for Notre Dame who has 52 goals, 71 assists and 123 points this season.

Class 2A might have the most drama on the boys side. The bracket is roughly constructed the same as last year, when Penncrest, as the five seed, dismantled No. 2 Bishop Shanahan to win the title.

This time, Penncrest is the top seed, off a 12-5 season, including a 6-5 run through the Central League. It remains a stride behind the 3A leading lights, but the gap is tighter.

Shanahan is lurking as the sixth seed, the perennial powerhouse having gone 10-8. That sets up a first-round date Wednesday with third seed Marple Newtown (14-4), which Shanahan dispatched in the semifinals last year. The Tigers have lost just once in their last 13 games, led by the Box brothers – Charlie with 48 goals and 87 points; Brian with 64 goals, second only to Penncrest’s Jason Poole (68) in Delco. Marple has beaten Penncrest, an 11-10 home win on April 28. Only two teams make states.

On the girls side, the path to states is knotty as ever, with so much depth within the top eight.

Conestoga, the Central League champion whose only loss is to Archbishop Carroll, is perched atop the bracket – as it was last year in falling in the semifinals. The second seed is unbeaten Owen J. Roberts, which is relatively untested: Its May 7 win over Garnet Valley, 7-3, was just its second game decided by single digits. As the fourth seed last year, the Wildcats fell in the quarterfinals to eventual champ Unionville but made states via playbacks. Garnet Valley (12-6) could await in Saturday’s quarters, if the seventh seed can see off Great Valley or Council Rock North on Thursday.

Radnor (14-4) owns the fourth seed, which could mean meeting Conestoga in a semifinal. First, the Raptors would have to take down the winner of Kennett and Council Rock South on Thursday. Unionville could await in the Saturday quarterfinal as the five seed, though another Central League team may take its shot at the Longhorns first, with No. 12 Penncrest (13-5) and No. 21 Phoenixville playing Tuesday for the right.

The other Delco team in the field is Springfield (12-6), which hosts Upper Dublin in Tuesday’s opener. The winner travels to No. 3 North Penn. Springfield has lost three straight.

Like the boys, six District 1 teams advance to the PIAA tournament in Class 3A.

The inflated Class 2A tournament sends four to states. The most serious Delco contender is last year’s PIAA runner-up, Strath Haven. The Panthers (11-6) are the second seed, drawing No. 15 Merion Mercy in Tuesday’s opening round. The winner gets Upper Perkiomen or Dock Mennonite in the next round.

The Panthers are the lone Delco single-digit seed. Marple Newtown (5-13) is the 16th seed and visits No. 1 Bishop Shanahan. Sun Valley (7-11) is 13th, traveling to No. 4 Upper Moreland. Delco Christian (8-8) earned the 12th seed and a voyage to fifth-seeded Mount St. Joseph.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Recent News