PHS boys capture program’s first district gold
Pretty much everything tried to stop Parkland from making history last Thursday night. Not only did a fast start from Emmaus put the Trojans’ first ever district boys lacrosse championship in jeopardy, two 30-minute weather delays also threw a kink in the their plans.
But in the end, nothing could stop the top-seeded Trojans from writing history.
Following a quick 3-0 deficit, Parkland quickly tied the game at 3-3 and took the lead in the second quarter. The Trojans pulled away from No. 3 Emmaus in the second half by outscoring the Hornets 5-2 and earning Parkland’s first ever District 11 championship with a 15-9 victory at Lehigh University.
“It feels amazing to do it playing with the kids I’ve been playing with my whole life,” said senior midfielder Ryan Geroulo. “When we got to high school, we’ve always been chasing that district championship. It feels amazing right now. I don’t even know what kind of feelings I’m feeling right now.”
After Emmaus shocked much of the crowd by jumping out to an early 3-0 lead in the opening minutes, Geroulo played a key role in tying the contest by the midway mark of the quarter. The Trojan senior scored back-to-back goals within 47 seconds of one another to deadlock the score at 3-3.
“Well going down 3-0 we knew someone had to make a play,” Geroulo said. “I just got out there and was trying to go to the goal, just make something happen and get some life in our team because we came out pretty slow. That obviously gave us a little jump-start.
“We obviously didn’t expect that, but we know every time we play Emmaus it’s going to be a dog fight. We knew they were going to come out because they wanted to beat us and not go 0-4 against us.”
Parkland was able to take its first lead of the game at 7-5 midway through the second quarter before the first of two lightning delays stopped play. When play resumed after a 30-plus minute break, Emmaus quickly tied the game at 7-7 with two quick goals from Tyler Corpora.
But a game-defining run was on the horizon, led by one of the Trojans’ underclassmen. Sophomore attacker/midfielder Greg Santa-Anna gave Parkland the lead back just 46 seconds after Corpora knotted it up. Santa-Anna pushed the advantage to 10-7 with his tally in the final 13 seconds of the half before another 30-minute weather delay started at intermission.
“I think it was big, but anyone could have done it,” Santa-Anna said. “I definitely needed my teammates for that to happen.
“We were so close last year. We wanted nothing more than to get back and win it for our seniors. Everyone on the team, we are all so close and we love each other.”
Emmaus came out of the break in action much like the first, scoring early to get within two goals. But Parkland would score the next four of the third quarter to regain control completely.
Geroulo gave the Trojans a bit of a cushion at 11-8, and then Santa-Anna gave Parkland its biggest lead of the game just two minutes later. Luke Summers and Gavin Saylor added goals to close out the quarter.
“We’ve always struggled in the third quarter,” Geroulo said. “It’s always been our downfall. Even against Easton we came out super hard. We knew we had to come out because we were coming right back out into that dogfight.”
The best season in the history of the program came to an end Tuesday evening when Parkland (20-3) fell in the first round of the state playoffs, 7-5 to Central Bucks East.