Gratterford >> Things are back to normal at Buck’s Boys’ Lacrosse – in more ways than one.
Two years after cancellation, the first PAC Final Four since 2019 is over as have all the others in the past decade – the Rams of Spring-Ford celebrating their league championship.
Top seed No. 3 Owen J. Roberts topped 8-2 at Thomas J. Keenan Stadium in Bercumene Valley Thursday night, claiming her 10th league title since 2011 and 11th place in program history.
“We have a group of players who have worked really hard for the last two years, looking after the important things,” Victorious coach Kevin Donnelly said. “It wasn’t always these things [the program’s] control. But we are grateful to be here, and cherish the opportunity.”
Final: Spring-Ford 8, Owen J Roberts 2, Back Boys Lacrosse Championship 🏆
Excellent performance 11 times from PAC champions pic.twitter.com/iC7V0N0cKW
– Austin Hertzog May 13, 2022
This year’s undefeated round was accomplished by PAC using Spring-Ford’s tried-and-true formula for consistency, depth, and contributions through the roster. But the rams added a little buzz this time.
A defensive unit headed by assistant coach Kevin Chabor and backed by goalkeeper Brad Venela delivered their best performance of 2022 Thursday night, a big statement for the unit that went into effect and allowed only 3.9 goals in the league competition.
That average dropped Thursday, as Vinella’s 14 saves were an effort that left SF holding the Wildcats goalless in the first 35:55 of the game. Venella stopped dozens of shots he saw, highlighting a short break from OJR middie Gabe DellaPenna before the break.
“The coach always says, ‘Best next game,’ and so I focus on what’s right in front of me,” Venella said. “At that play I saw the ball, I walked out, I made myself big and got a piece of it.”
Meanwhile, defense and midfield ensured Venella had all the help he needed, causing 21 turns and so frustrating OJR that simply setting up an attack was often a challenge.
“We keep working, getting better — frankly, we still have a lot of goals on our minds,” said Captain Parker Smith. “We continue to push to improve and stay motivated.”
OJR coach Micky Zadroga admitted that the cruelty of rams can hit opponents’ heads in.
“Our team is not confident that we can compete with the Spring Ford,” he said. “This is the biggest thing we need to take out of this match, because even we think we can play [the Rams]Nothing will change.”
“But that’s why I call them the standard. They are disciplined, they are dominant in singles matches, and they control the tempo.”
“Our defensive effort was stifling today,” Donnelly said. “We knew what we had to do, we knew our tasks, we went out and we did it. I give credit to Owen J. Roberts because he played hard, it’s a strong team that made us win it all.”
“I don’t think of us as a scary team, but I do think the legacy of the players who came before might have an impact.”
Offensively, Rams distributed the goals to half a dozen players, with Will Bonaweitz and Christian Marchini each leading the two goals and three assists each. Will Fish, Lance Terese, Hayden Wiedemer, and Justin Wicksted also calculated SF.
“We always say, in this team, we only love athletes,” Marchini said, who added three things that caused shifts in his stats line. “We put a stick in your hand, and you chase it down both sides of the field. If you can run the field, we will find you a place, especially in the middle of the field.”
The result was to complete Spring-Ford’s first, and perhaps primary, goal of the 2022 season – reclaiming the PAC title they lost a year earlier. Perkiomen Valley topped the Rams 8-7 in the first game of the 2021 season with no Final Four at the end of the campaign, and Spring-Ford was left to watch as the Vikings made their way to the program’s first PAC Championship. Date.
“It’s a beautiful feeling,” said captain and midfielder Carson Bogdan. “For us, this is a return to tradition.
“We wanted this; We were hungry. We knew we were going to have the best match of all, so we came out ready for battle.”
Meanwhile, the Wildcats broke through late with two goals from Will Jaeger, the latter being the 100th point of his high school career. Added to his teammate Josh Devine’s 100th point in 2022 from Tuesday night, the two seniors at OJR have had some impressive accomplishments, especially for players who have marked a full year into their careers.
It’s something they both should be proud of,” Zadroga said. “Both guys are working their butts, so they deserve this feat.”
Owen J. Roberts (14-6, 8-3 buck) will continue his strongest season in modern history in playoffs 1. The Wildcats, seeded No. 10 in District 1-3A at the start of Thursday, will host a first-round match on Tuesday. The full field and matches will be announced on Saturday.
“It’s a new season, an individual elimination,” Zadroga said. “So nothing from the past matters. Tonight it doesn’t matter. You attend, and either you win or you go home.”
Spring-Ford (14-4, 10-0 PAC) entered play Thursday as the No. 7 seed in the same classification, numbers to be safe in the top eight, which means goodbye to the first round and a full week rest before the zones start at Coach McNelly on Thursday next.
“We’ve had very strong competition this year, and we know we can play with those teams,” Donnelly concluded. “We know our defense is strong, and our attack saw a lot of area, which increases our comfort level.
“We know how to respond in every situation.”
After two years full of unpredictability, perhaps the strongest sign of a “return to normal life” is the Springford Backpacker Lacrosse Championship.