Shady Side Academy boys beat Mt. Lebanon for WPIAL lacrosse title on J.P. Henry highlight-reel goal in OT

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Thursday, May 26, 2022 | 12:42 AM


Shady Side Academy and Mt. Lebanon came into the WPIAL 3A tournament as the top two seeds. The teams met in the regular season in a tight, one-goal match one by the Bulldogs.

So, it was no surprise that the championship rematch was close as Shady Side Academy’s J.P. Henry scored the game-winning goal with a behind-the-back shot at 2:59 of overtime to give the Bulldogs the 12-11 win and the school’s second lacrosse title and first since 2014.

“Honestly, we play these guys every year in the regular season,” said Shady Side coach Cam Thompson. “I think every year since I’ve been here (five seasons) it’s been a one-goal game. They are really well coached, and it’s always a good test, so we love playing them.”

Tied at 11-11, Shady Side won the opening faceoff in overtime and immediately called timeout. The Bulldogs set up a play and as a delayed penalty was being called on Mt. Lebanon, the junior Marquette recruit Henry found the loose ball and his only goal of the game set off the celebration.

“The set we drew up didn’t go as planned,” Thompson said. “But our guys are pretty high-IQ lacrosse players, and they’ve done a really good job of buying in on what we teach them, and that was a perfect example of it at the end.”

Shady Side jumped out to a 6-3 first-quarter lead and had a two-goal cushion at halftime. But the Blue Devils battled back to make it 8-8 at the end of three. That set up the back-and-forth final quarter.

Ethan Salvia, another junior Marquette recruit who was named Class 3A player of the year for the second straight season, scored his fourth goal to put the Bulldogs in front. Salvia also added an assist.

But Jack McCann and Miles Halter each netted hat-trick goals to give the Blue Devils a 10-9 lead. Freshman Seamus Riorden tied the game for Shady Side Academy before Mt. Lebanon’s Aidan Conway scored his second goal of the night with 1:56 remaining to make the score 11-10.

Sophomore Mac Mohn answered for the Bulldogs 50 seconds later with his fourth goal of the game to knot the score 11-11 and set up Henry’s overtime heroics.

“J.P. has had a handful of behind-the-back shots this season,” Thompson said. “He has great hands inside and he’s a goal scorer for us. We knew he was going to get one eventually, and he stuck it when we needed him to.”

Both Shady Side Academy (16-5) and Mt. Lebanon (14-7) have qualified for the state playoffs. The first round of the PIAA tournament is set to begin Tuesday.

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