Emmaus tests Trojans in OT loss
Thirty nine seconds. That’s all that was left for the Emmaus boys lacrosse team to earn a victory in its regular season finale. But in lacrosse, thirty nine seconds can be a long time.
In a back-and-forth emotional roller coaster of a game, the Hornets were two goals ahead with that much time left on the clock. But Parkland scored twice in that span to force overtime, and then scored the golden-goal 49 seconds into the overtime to win a thrilling Eastern Pennsylvania Conference game, 15-14 Monday night at Parkland High School.
“We had our chances to close it out, and so did they,” said Emmaus first-year head coach Desi Gonzalez. “They were just able to do so. Credit them for coming out with the victory tonight. We’re going to see them again.”
The loss snaps a four-game win streak for Emmaus (12-6 overall, 9-4 EPC).
For a portion of the game, it did not look like the Hornets would be able to withstand another loss to the Trojans (15-3, 12-1), which defeated Emmaus 11-3 back on April 19.
But a strong second half, particularly the fourth quarter, gave Emmaus a ton of momentum, and put the Hornets in a favorable position late in the game.
Trailing 11-8 heading into the final quarter, the Emmaus scored six of the next seven goals, including four unanswered, to take a two-goal advantage with a little over one minute remaining.
“I thought that the guys really answered the call after halftime,” Gonzalez said. “And even after the third quarter when we were down three, I challenged them and told them that we’ve been in this situation before. I was proud of their effort.”
But Brady Groff, who had a game-high five goals, along with Luke Summers netted, two in the final :39 to tie the game, and then James Cipolla, the thorn in Emmaus’ side, scored the winner less than a minute into the overtime period.
The Hornet duo of Hunter Krauss and Devon Boyko helped give Emmaus the lead late in the fourth. Krauss tallied his lone goal of the night to put his team ahead with 5:42 to go. It was the first lead for Emmaus since the 3:09 mark of the first quarter. Then, Boyko raced to the offensive end of the field from his defensive post and ripped a shot past Parkland goalie James McLaughlin (five saves) for a two-goal cushion with 1:03 to play.
Emmaus scored the first two goals of the game with Bailey O’Connor and Bennett Nakao each putting one in. But the Trojans scored the next five to go up 5-2 in the second quarter before Michael Leschinsky answered with two goals himself to cut the deficit to 5-4 at halftime. Leschinsky and Brent Meilinger had team-highs with five goals.
Evan Bhagat had two goals and Sam Conway and Chris Schmitt each contributed on goal for Emmaus. Krauss recorded two assists and Boyko and Leschinsky each had one.
Goalie Gabe Kleis finished with 15 saves. Parkland outshot Emmaus 30-23 over the course of the game.
Both teams will move on to the Eastern Conference playoffs this week. The Trojans will be the top seed, while the Hornets will be the third or fourth seed in the four-team bracket.