Big second half pushes Parkland past EHS
Junior attacker James Cipolla had a night to remember. The Ohio State commit had five goals and an assist in leading the Parkland boys lacrosse team to an 11-3 win last Thursday night against Emmaus in Eastern Pennsylvania Conference action at Emmaus High School’s Memorial Field.
The Trojans (10-3 overall, 8-1 EPC) blitzed the Green Hornets (8-5, 7-3) in the second half, outscoring them 7-0 after intermission, with six of those goals coming in the fourth quarter.
“Patience, poise and execution,” said head coach Brad Schifko. “We actually changed the way we were attacking their zone, which created more opportunities for us. We got a lot of shots throughout the game, but they finally started to fall in the second half.
“Our defense and the (face offs) by Andrew Albertson really allowed us to control time of possession and wear them down defensively. While James had a big day, all of the offensive starters contributed. It was a complete effort.”
Emmaus was leading 2-1 after the first quarter and trailed 4-3 at halftime. But the next 24 minutes proved to be too much for the Hornets to overcome.
Cipolla now has 34 goals and 24 assists on the season.
“This year, I think they [the coaches] want the ball on my stick a little more,” said Cipolla. “I think it’s a great opportunity for me to show what I’ve got on the offensive end. My teammates found me in some open spots and I was ready to shoot. I just made the most of them.”
“James is a special player,” Schifko said. “A once-in-a-lifetime type of player. He is not only a tremendous athlete, but his vision and shot velocity is unlike any I’ve had the privilege to coach. He is also tremendously accurate, and is very adept at getting his hands free to get shots off. His IQ is incredibly high, as well, so he’s able to move off-ball to increase his scoring opportunities.”
The Hornets scored first and were ahead 2-1 after the opening quarter. But a 15-minute drought allowed the Trojans to take the lead. Bennett Nakao, who led Emmaus with two goals, ended the scoring drought with a goal just 2.8 seconds before halftime.
Parkland outshot Emmaus 21-9 in the game, but the key to the second half outburst occurred in the middle of the field.
Andrew Albertson won 15 of the 18 faceoffs, which led to Parkland controlling most of the possession and opportunities on net.
Greg Santa-Anna, Luke Summers and Ian O’Neil all added two goals for Parkland. James McLaughlin made five saves for the Trojans, who aren’t going to overstate the importance of a regular season win.
“For early-season bragging rights as well as potential seeding for league playoffs,” said Schifko. “Otherwise, it’s just another game at this point. I don’t mean to sound cliché, but they don’t crown champions in April. Until we win those meaningful games in May, this one was just a nice win against our crosstown rival. It was nice to quiet the noise a little bit.”