Quaker Valley boys lacrosse gears up for playoffs coming off dominant regular season
Sunday, May 15, 2022 | 11:01 AM
Quaker Valley’s performance this season in boys lacrosse has been off the charts.
It’s been the case of 12 up and 12 down in games played through May 8.
The perfect 12-0 record vaulted the Quakers into first place in Section 1-2A. They were the only undefeated team in the section and held onto first place ahead of the likes of South Fayette, Sewickley Academy, Franklin Regional and Trinity.
The Quakers also were ranked second in PIAA Class 2A behind Mars, another undefeated team at 14-0.
QV (6-0) took a one-game lead on South Fayette (5-1) after defeating the Lions, 11-5, on May 5.
The Quakers have been led by the team’s four senior co-captains, midfielders Will Campbell and Patrick Cutchember, defender Justin Richey and goalie Callahan Bedard.
“We are moving the ball well on offense and we’re playing with great heart,” QV coach Chip Hansen said. “Our defense is playing with high energy and intensity, and goalie Callahan Bedard is having an outstanding season.
“We have great team chemistry and leadership. The team has a great work ethic, is getting better at every practice and the players are having fun.”
QV’s starting lineup consists of senior Kellen Auth, junior Ben Thomas, junior Kyle Hammond and freshman Marcus Richey at the attack position; Campbell, Cutchember and junior Christian Brown at midfield; senior long stick middle Tim Smith; Justin Richey, senior Maston Diemert and junior Ben Carlson on defense; and Bedard at the goalie position. Another starter coming back from injury is senior midfielder Archer Eubanks, while Logan Richey, a junior attacker, is out with an injury.
“Logan was a starter for the first few games of the season and recently had to have season-ending knee surgery,” said Hansen, who is in his sixth season as head coach.
Top reserves include senior midfielders Henry Wagner, Luca Raymond, Nate Dicks and Brennan Edwards, senior Hayden Earlwine at LSM and junior Dom Floro on defense.
Campbell, a U.S. Military Academy recruit, is a faceoff specialist for the Quakers. As of May 8, he had won 90 faceoffs.
“I am extremely proud of our team and the brotherhood we share,” Campbell said. “Both on offense and defense, our system of quick ball movement and off-ball flow has yet to be outclassed. This is due to outstanding coaching by Chip Hansen, Connor Mangan (a WPIAL champion at QV and a new addition to the offensive staff), Darrell Schmitt and Justin McLiverty. They create a competitive and tough culture which shows up in big ways on game day.
“Personally, I’m very excited with how we have been playing this season. As for myself, like many other players, I have a specific job (taking faceoffs and as a two-way middie) which I take pride in doing well and focus on doing the little things right. I take faceoffs, and with our wings, our faceoff unit is one of the best in the WPIAL.”
Campbell will travel to West Point following his high school graduation.
“I head there this summer,” he said, “where I am excited to take the leadership lessons I learned on this team with me.”
Through 12 games, led by Hammond and Cutchember, QV outscored the opposition by a resounding 172-46 margin and reached double figures 10 times.
The Quakers averaged 14.3 goals per game with their high-powered offensive attack while allowing just 3.8 goals.
“Our defense is led by captain Justin Richie,” Campbell said. “And his younger brother Marcus, a freshman, has stepped up in a big way this year.
“Our strength no doubt comes from the unity and brotherhood we share on the team. Every player works well within our system and has the backs of the boys around him. This value was instilled by our coaching staff, especially when we get into rough matches.
“Another team strength is our gritty and physical style of play; our boys move fast and hit hard.”
Hammond led the way offensively with 38 goals, four assists and four ground balls, followed by Cutchember, a fourth-year starter, with 27 goals, eight assists and nine ground balls.
They were complemented by Thomas with 23 goals, 15 assists and six ground balls, Campbell (19-3-7), Auth (14-24-5) and Marcus Richey (16 goals).
“All the seniors have scored goals this year,” Hansen said. “This is a very balanced team.”
Wagner and Smith were the team leaders in ground balls with 14 and 13.
Quaker Valley lacrosse is flourishing. There are 31 athletes in the program, including 13 seniors, 10 juniors, one sophomore and six freshmen.
“The seniors set goals of winning the section, finishing in the top three of the WPIAL that would qualify the team for states and wining a state playoff game,” Hansen said. “We have four captains and they are all having outstanding seasons.”
The Quakers accomplished their first goal by winning the section championship.
“Before the season even started, the senior leadership and coach Hansen set very specific goals,” Campbell said. “We were able to accomplish one of those goals when we beat South Fayette in a very gritty, physical match. Callahan Bedard had some incredible saves and our defense caused visible frustration.
“Coming up, we hope to make it to the WPIAL finals and be the first team in Quaker Valley boys lacrosse history to win a state playoff game.”
“I would just like to add how grateful I am to be a part of this team,” he said. “From the bond our players have, to the outstanding mentorship of our coaches, to the support of the parents and boosters who allowed the season to happen, we are very blessed.
“I am excited to see what we can do in the playoffs and hope to help lead this team to a season for the record books.”
Tags: Quaker Valley
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