Penn-Trafford savors 1st boys lacrosse playoff victory

Sunday, May 22, 2022 | 9:01 AM

Nothing was going to stop the Penn-Trafford boys lacrosse team from making history May 16.

Not an opponent in Pine-Richland that has been a thorn in the Warriors’ side in recent years or a 30-minute lightning delay that could’ve been a momentum zapper after Penn-Trafford had built a four-goal lead in the first quarter.

The Warriors shook every obstacle put in front of them and walked out of Pine-Richland with the program’s first playoff victory, a convincing 17-8 win in the Class 3A first round.

Seton Hill recruit Carter Green led the way with five goals.

Green quarterbacked the Penn-Trafford football team to a PIAA title in the fall, and he played a big part in helping the boys lacrosse team have a historic moment.

The Warriors exacted a bit of revenge on Pine-Richland in the process. The Rams bounced the Warriors from the playoffs last season and picked up a tight 13-11 win March 28.

“Pine-Richland is always a good program and last year the script was flipped for us,” Green said. “This year we came out hungry and we wanted that first (boys lacrosse) playoff win in Penn-Trafford history.”

The Warriors jumped to a 5-1 lead buoyed by a pair of goals from Braedan Mastine. Then a storm rolled in, forcing the 30-minute lightning delay.

Any worries of the delay being a momentum buster were put to rest when play resumed. Green, Mastine and Bennett Dupilka scored consecutive goals to up the lead to 8-1.

“We talked about it and how we had to come back out like it was a 0-0 game,” Penn-Trafford coach Charlie Hach said. “You’re concerned about losing that intensity after jumping out 5-1 and then sitting for a half hour, but our guys came out sharp. They were focused the entire game. I’m proud of them.”

The Rams made a run late in the first half with a pair of goals from leading scorer Cooper Zancosky and a tally by Owen Luellen, but the Warriors answered with a 3-0 run, including a goal by Gavin Weaver in the final 30 seconds to make it 11-4 going into halftime.

Penn-Trafford, which saw its season end with a 20-3 loss to North Allegheny in the quarterfinals on May 18, used a 5-1 margin in the third quarter to put the game away.

Not only did Green lead the way in the goal department, he consistently won faceoffs, giving the Warriors a huge advantage in time on attack.

“Some teams have a FOGO, which is a face off, get off. Carter is a FOSO, face off, stay on,” Hach said. “He’s up around 60-70 percent on faceoffs, and he kills it on the offensive side of the ball. A couple times he got caught back on defense, and he can play defense too.”

The Rams were without one of their leading scorers, Andrew Mellis, who was out due to injury.

Zancosky and Zach Sporrer had a pair of goals each for the Rams.

Dupilka scored four for the Warriors and Mastine had a hat trick. They displayed great chemistry throughout with Green and the rest of the offensive group.

“It’s great playing with them and knowing you can count on them,” Green said. “When I draw a double team, I know they are going to be in the right spot to pass it to them. It’s been fun playing with them the last few years.”

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer


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