BOYS' LAX: Manheim Township downs Cumberland Valley for district title
Cumberland Valley's early punch didn't necessarily send Manheim Township out to lunch.
Still, the Blue Streaks certainly had to earn their hardware in the District 3 title game Thursday night at Hershey Park Stadium, besting the Eagles 8-3 in a physical matchup between defensive-minded opponents.
After Cumberland Valley (19-3) took a 2-0 lead in the first quarter, Township (22-2) rallied to tie the contest two-all on a pair of second-period goals by Chris Augeri and Kevin Curcio.
Meanwhile, freshman goalkeeper Caton Johnson (10 saves) kept the Eagles at bay with some incredible saves. A transition play left the Eagles' Stevie Peters one-on-one with Johnson, who stepped up to make the save, keeping the score 2-2 entering intermission.
"We got off to a little bit of a slow start but we just had to stay calm, we worked our way back in it like we always do," Johnson said. "You have to stay resilient all the time."
Coming out of the half, Township took control with a five-goal third quarter to take over the contest.
"They did a great job of coming after us and setting the tempo a little bit, where ordinarily we're the guys that are setting tempo," said Township head coach Kyle Wimer. "At halftime we told them when you go to work sometimes if you're having a bad day you have a little bit extra lunch. Then you come back out and finish your work and go home for the day."
Township took the lead on Dylan Speitel's goal past Eagles' net-minder Nicolas Brown (8 saves) four minutes into the third, as the Blue Streaks' began to figure out Cumberland Valley's defense.
"Step in and be a threat," Wimer said. "That's what they did. Davis Carr had a nice hard dodge, Dylan Speitel stepped in and when he had the chance to bury his shot he capitalized on his opportunity."
Carr assisted on two successive goals, first by Ryan Miller (two goals, assist) and then another by Curcio (two goals, assist). Less than a minute to play in the third, a Miller goal from Curcio and Carr's lone tally on a Reagan Ketchum assist made it 7-2 Township heading into the fourth.
"That's what we needed to do, settle back in, get away from the situation at halftime, collect our thoughts, collect our heads, and get back on track," Wimer said, "and when we got that first goal we got the second, third, fourth, and a nice little run for us."
Meanwhile, Cumberland Valley still couldn't solve Johnson as the freshman posted his second straight goose-egg in the third.
"They did a good job taking that momentum from us and you get a five goal quarter, that's tough to beat," said Eagles' coach A.J. Bogaczyk. "Their goalie is fantastic; he made some incredible saves."
Augeri capped the Township scoring with a beautiful deke, finishing for the 8-2 lead with 7:14 to play. The Eagles' finally found the net with under three minutes to play on a goal by Devon Heckman, but by then the outcome was already decided.
"They started to press a little bit at the end because they were pressured," Johnson said. "We held on to it and rode the wave, now we're district champions."
"It means a lot to get back here after not being here last year," Wimer said. "We set the expectation to be here, not only just to get here but to win it. Guys did that; it (shows) some of the freshman that are playing for us to go after their goals in the next four years."
Boys' High School Lacrosse
District 3 Final at Hershey Park Stadium
Manheim Township 8, Cumberland Valley 3
MT 0 2 5 1 - 8
CV 2 0 0 1 - 3
Manheim Township Scoring-C. Augeri 2, R. Miller 2, K. Curcio 2, D. Speitel 1, D. Carr 1
Manheim Township Assists-R. Ketchum 2, D. Carr 2, R. Miller 1, K. Curcio 1
Cumberland Valley Scoring-M. Dengler 1, S. Peters 1, D. Heckman 1
Cumberland Valley Assists-D. Heckman 1
Total Shots-MT 17; CV 21
Total Saves-MT (C. Johnson 10); CV (N. Brown 8)