LOWER GWYNEDD >> Even from the midfield, if there is a hint of a scoring opportunity Wissahickon’s Kyle Lehman is going to try it.
“So they’re 10-man riding which means the goalie’s out on the field locking off one of our attackmen and I kind of noticed that right off the bat,” Lehman said.. “They made a call and the coaches did a great job beforehand yesterday going over that. So right when I heard that call I knew exactly what they’re in. Caught the ball, turned and the net was just wide open so I just chucked it and just got by the defender’s stick which was pretty funny.”
Lehman’s effort from beyond long range found the back of the net for the Trojans boys lacrosse team’s first goal after halftime of Thursday night’s District 1-3A second round matchup with visiting Souderton.
It was also the first of four straight tallies by sixth-seeded Wissahickon, Lehman capping the run with a strike at 10:09 in the fourth quarter for a 9-2 lead. The Trojans held off a late charge for the No. 11 Indians and advanced to the quarterfinals for the second time in three seasons with a 9-5 victory.
“I was just feeling it the whole game,” said Lehman, a Penn State commit. “I kind of just had a different type of energy. And I saw the open net and knew there was a defender kind of in the middle but I just wanted to rip it. And with my luck tonight, I had a lot of great goals that goalies took a lot of effort to try to save but they just snuck through. So with my luck tonight I think that one could’ve went in which is awesome.”
Lehman scored the night’s first three goals and finished with a game-best six as the Trojans (15-2) reversed the result of the teams’ April 22 meeting at Souderton – an 8-6 victory for the Indians – to move on and face No. 3 Pennridge Tuesday for a spot in the semifinals and berth in the PIAA tournament. Pennridge topped No. 14 Ridley 12-10 in their second-round game.
“That team is very good coaching-wise and when they scouted us for the first time, they knew just to slide to me right away and I was not prepared for that,” said Lehman of the first matchup with Souderton. “And after that game we lost, we kind of looked over the film, we knew exactly what they were doing. So we took that same game plan to today and we fixed up a lot of things and we just looked really good offensively as a team.”
John Martin Vince had a hat trick – scoring the games’ final three goals – while Tyson Bui added two goals for Souderton (13-7), which fell in the district second round for a second straight season.
“We know they’re a good team, we played them earlier in the year and we know they didn’t play their best,” Bui said. “And we knew they were going to throw punches here at home. And going down 5-0, you can’t do much, but all you know for the next 10 minutes is don’t let them outwork you. And that’s what we tried to embody.
“They’re still a good team so they’re going to fight, they’re going to make plays but we tried to just outwork them and we didn’t have enough. We just were missing a little bit.”
Wissahickon took a 5-0 lead on Lehman’s fourth goal at 7:17 in the second quarter with Bui getting the breakthrough for the Indians with 6:32 before halftime.
Bui pulled Big Red to within 5-2 with his strike at 8:05 in the third but Lehman’s strike from the midfield five minutes later had the Trojans up four.
“I went straight overhand, straight down as hard as I could,” Lehman said. “And luckily it just got right by the defender.”
Gavin Myers’ goal off a Nicholas Donofrio assist at 2:23 sent Wissahickon into the fourth quarter leading 7-2.
Kyle Doll increased the advantage just 51 seconds into the final period while Lehman registered his sixth goal by rifling in a shot at 10:09 to make it 9-2.
“I think we got a little rattled,” Bui said. “We got away from our gameplan a little bit. Just long dodges that weren’t effective when like I said earlier the quick ball movement is what was successful and we got away from that going into the third quarter.
“But then we actually started finding that rhythm again in the fourth quarter, it was just a little too late at that point.”
Vince scored his first at 9:43 then struck again at 7:04 to cut Souderton’s margin to five. Vince completed the natural hat trick with 5:23 remaining to make it 9-5 but the Trojans did not let its lead dip any lower.
Emotions boiled over a bit at the final whistle but things cooled down for the Suburban One League sides to have no issues with the standard postgame handshake.
“It one million percent carried over from the first game,” Lehman said. “This team is the most competitive team we’ve played yet and most physical. And during the first game they were doing the same I wouldn’t say cheap hits cause, I mean, hey it’s lacrosse, that’s just how it goes but they were playing really aggressive and they brought that out again tonight.
“And we knew that was coming so we kind of gave it right back to them. I know you guys saw the end we kind of chirping around with each other but that’s just lacrosse – that comes with the sport.”
Lehman provided all of the scoring in Thursday’s first quarter. The senior put the Trojans up 1-0 off a feed from Andrew Slackman at 8:41, doubled the lead at 6:59 then struck for a third at 3:49.
“I just knew the mentality of this season needs to stay alive,” Lehman said. “And when I have the open shots I capitalized luckily. And all those great shots kind of came off of I can’t let this season end, I can’t let our 12 years of these same six guys playing together end. So we just got to keep the season alive. And that’s what we did tonight.”
Donofrio made it 4-0 at 11:42 in the second quarter off a Slackman assist with Lehman putting Wissahickon up five with his fourth tally at 7:17. Bui scored 45 seconds later for Souderton’s lone goal of the half.
Wissahickon 9, Souderton 5
Souderton 0 11 3 – 5
Wissahickon 3 2 2 2 – 9
Souderton Goals: John Martin Vince 3; Tyson Bui 2.
Wissahickon Goals: Kyle Lehman 6; Kyle Doll; Nicholas Donofrio; Gavin Myers.