See the top five plays from the Cougars 19-0 win over the Panthers Tuesday. Matt Catrillo/GameTimePA.com
PALMYRA – Coming off the most successful season in program history that saw 13 wins and a first trip to the district playoffs, the Palmyra boys lacrosse team had been more than ready for the 2017 season to come, wanting to keep the momentum going.
That energy has no doubt been carried into this season, especially on the offensive side of things, as constant balls in back of the net have led to continually racking up wins.
It’s been the business of this season for the well-oiled offensive machine that is the Cougars, who moved to 11-0 this season thanks to their latest clinic put on Tuesday at the In The Net Complex – this time a 19-0 thrashing of Mid-Penn Keystone foe CD East (1-9) in the conference opener.
Palmyra pulled away with a dominating 12-goal second quarter, led by Grant Haus with a six-point night of four goals and two assists.
“I was feeling good,” Haus said. “Our offense just mainly moved the ball around, making it a team game.”
It’s the sixth 19-goal game of the season for the Cougars, who are averaging 17 goals per game to date, having totaled no less than 11 goals, which came at Warwick last Thursday.
Haus has been a big contributor to this fast-paced start, along with Ethan Gain, Kyle Nolen and Pete Robertson.
“This year we have a lot of talent,” Haus said. “I think we’re all really close knit together, and so we’ve been able to translate that on the field. It really means a lot.”
Robertson also tallied four goals in Tuesday’s win, while Nolen finished with a hat trick and two assists, and Gain added a goal and three helpers.
“They do a nice job working together,” said Palmyra second-year coach Dave Ondrusek. “If you look at our goal distribution, it’s not one guy dominating…we also have Kyle Wasilewski (two goals, assist Tuesday)…It’s a matter of you can stop one, but you can’t stop all of them.”
And scoring in bunches that leads to winning is certainly the best combination of enjoying the ride.
“It’s amazing seeing everyone score,” Haus said. “It’s a great feeling seeing everyone get excited after goals.”
And the Cougars don’t plan to slow down anytime soon, looking to keep accomplishing more “firsts” for the program.
“It feels good, but that’s history,” Ondrusek said. “We have seven more to go for the regular season and we go on from there.”
That starts with continuing to pay attention to the little details, especially as the Cougars have arguably their biggest test of the year looming next Tuesday when they host Cumberland Valley, after a road date with State College Thursday.
“We just have to fine tune those a little more,” Haus said. “Overall we’re playing well, but if we can get them down pat, I think we’ll be good.”
And that type of attitude is the exact illustration of the team philosophy first set by Ondrusek.
“Our motto from last year carries into this year, ‘We’re better than we were yesterday, but not as good as we’re going to be tomorrow,’” Ondrusek said. “We try to keep that motto in line because no matter who we’re playing, we have to continuing to improve, if we want to attain our goals.”