Boys lacrosse falls to CBE in state playoffs
It was a welcome sight for head coach Scott Ketcham and his Emmaus boys lacrosse team last Wednesday night. Ketcham said before the opener of the PIAA tournament that this year's squad was the most prepared team he has had in the last three years, with those two other teams also reaching states.
And the Green Hornets showed that they came in prepared. After having to scratch and claw back from deficits in the District 11 semifinals and finals, Emmaus (14-8) held a 3-2 advantage at halftime.
But just like in the previous two years, the Green Hornets could not get over the hump of the opening round game.
Central Bucks East, the fourth-place team from District 1, blitzed Emmaus with six straight goals, four of which came in the third quarter, and finished off the game with an 11-5 victory at Nazareth Area High School. The Patriots advanced to the second round to face Springfield Delco.
"It wasn't anything that they did," Ketcham said. "It was pretty much everything that we didn't do, and that's the frustrating part. These kids fought tonight. It wasn't for a lack of effort. It was just, when they get in pressure situations, some of the younger guys go back to their bad habits. And we've got to stop doing that."
Ketcham was referring to a rough third quarter in which his team managed only one shot on goal, and CB East dominated on the offensive end. The Green Hornets did not help themselves out by not being able to clear the ball out of their defensive zone when they had opportunities to do so.
When Dustin Buchanan found the back of the net off a turnover, the Patriots went up 8-2 with 8:29 to go. Their 14-6 edge in draws helped out their cause tremendously with keeping possession.
"It's a bitter pill to swallow because we had them on the ropes," said Ketcham. "We know we can play with them, and we just let them off with some poor fundamentals tonight. We had opportunities all first half to get seven or eight goals, and we didn't execute. We finally got off to the start that we kind of needed and we faded out."
Senior Pat Camilli finally broke the scoreless drought with one of his three goals, but there was just five and a half minutes left, and CB East didn't let up.
Senior goalie Matt Horton stopped 10 first-half shots and finished with 17 saves to keep Emmaus in it.
"We have a lot of pride," said Ketcham. "Those seniors have a lot pride. We're all still here, and we're all still playing for it. We only have six seniors, but they're about the gutsiest group I've ever had."
Those seniors include Camilli, Horton, Andrew Davidson, Claude Bradshaw, Troy Brennan and Jacob Baker.
Hunter Krauss and Gabe Kozel also tallied goals for the Green Hornets. Tyler Corpora, Colin Mason and Claude Bradshaw recorded an assist each.