EAST WHITELAND -- Bishop Shanahan coach John Heisman called this game another grueling Ches-Mont matchup.
Heisman knew the Eagles' showdown against Great Valley was going to be a battle. After winning that battle, Heisman didn't hold back on how tough of a game it was for Shanahan.
"We did some nice things, but (Great Valley) really controlled the tempo,' Heisman said. "They were faster than us today. We're very fortunate to get out of here with a W.'
Heisman's battle-tested team did not disappoint. Sam Montgomery and Alex Wagner each led Shanahan with three goals as the Eagles scored five unanswered goals in the second quarter en route to an 11-5 Ches-Mont victory over Great Valley Tuesday.
The win keeps Shanahan (3-0, 5-0) unbeaten in league play and with a two-game cushion on Great Valley, which they finished in a four-way tie with for the Ches-Mont championship a season ago.
Heisman thought some things didn't go as planned during Shanahan's victory, but credited his team for fighting through the adversity.
"We told the kids there's going to be a day where you go in there and not everything works,' Heisman said. "That was today and they still found a way. It's going to help us down the road.'
Montgomery started Shanahan's offensive output with his first goal of the night to tie the game 1-1 after. Sean Fitzpatrick scored the first goal of the game for Great Valley.
Montgomery felt he needed to provide a spark for the Eagles, since Great Valley was double-teaming Shanahan leading scorer John Mehok.
"Great Valley came out really hard and I thought somebody else had to step up,' Montgomery said. "I had the looks and just finished.'
The Patriots continued to put up a strong fight early as Jack Waite fired a shot past Jason Yoquinto to tie the game 2-2 with 4:18 left to play in the first quarter.
From there, the Shanahan midfield took over.
Led by Pat Corcoran, the senior took a shot which bounced past Braxton Borine to make give Shanahan a 3-2 lead with under a minute to play in the quarter.
On the Eagles next possession, Wagner scored his first goal of the afternoon to give Shanahan a 4-2 lead after one.
"I was getting some good feeds from my teammates,' Wagner said. "The middle in the zone was open and coach fed me some plays.'
Wagner's goal put Shanahan in a comfort zone once the first quarter game to a close. Corcoran saw that and felt the Eagles could get into a flow after a strong start by Great Valley.
"We just had to be patient when we had the ball,' Corcoran said. "From there, we just finished when we did.'
Wagner and Montgomery's second goal, sandwiched by an Eric Giannetti goal capped the five unanswered goal run that put Shanahan up 7-2 late in the second quarter.
Fortunately for Great Valley (2-2, 6-2), the Patriots have the league's leading scorer in Greg Merrill. They weren't about to roll over.
"The motto of our team is Charlie Mike (Continue Mission),' Great Valley head coach Tony Verna said. "When things go a little off, we need to continue mission.'
Merrill scored back-to-back goals to cut the Patriots deficit to 7-4. Then things went from bad to worse in an instant for Great Valley.
Merrill, the Ches-Mont's leading scorer with 27 goals, left the game with an apparent shoulder injury about midway through the third.
Soon after, Wagner netted his third goal of the game to put Shanahan back up, 8-4. From there, the Eagles could play keep away until the final horn sounded.
Heisman is aware Shanahan is a little banged up after playing four games in seven days. The Eagles have three days off before their next league game against West Chester Henderson on Saturday.
"The five senior captains have a goal to be the best team around,' Heisman said. "We're lucky to have that senior leadership. They know what's going on.'
Despite falling two games out of first, Verna doesn't believe his team is off to a slow start. The Patriots travel to Avon Grove on Thursday.
"I think we've played pretty well and I'm happy with where my guys are,' Verna said. "We got to manage it and come back strong for the second half of the year.'
Bishop Shanahan 11, Great Valley 5
Bishop Shanahan 4 3 2 2—11
Great Valley 2 1 2 0—5
Bishop Shanahan goals: Montgomery 3, Wagner 3, Alderman 2, Mehok, Corcoran, Giannetti.
Great Valley goals: Merrill 2, Fitzpatrick, Waite, Hueston.
Goalie saves: Yoquinto (BS) 5; Borine (GV) 8.