Trojans top Vikes for title
It was just how it was supposed to be.
Game number three, the rubber match between the Parkland and Central Catholic boys lacrosse teams came down to the final quarter.
Tied 12-12 heading into the fourth quarter, the Trojans tallied four of the five goals scored in the final 12 minutes to win the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference championship game 16-13 last Monday evening at Northampton High School.
Top-seeded Parkland (17-3) won its first league title since 2014 when it won the Lehigh Valley Conference, and in doing so, dethroned the EPC defending champ and two seed Central Catholic (14-5) along the way. These two teams met in the same game last year, with Central winning by one goal. They also split their two regular season games this year.
“This feels really good considering we lost to them the past two years in EPCs,” said Trojan junior James Cipolla. “It’s great because a bunch of my senior buddies will be leaving this year and it’s nice to win the EPC championship against them.”
Once again, Cipolla was a big part of his team’s victory. He tallied a game-high seven goals, and his shots just proved to be too much for Central goalie Nolan Barr (16 saves). Barr had a high number of saves, but the Trojans peppered his goal and were relentless on the offensive and defensive end, especially in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings fought back from down six goals in the third quarter to tie the game and carried all of the momentum into the final period. But the Trojans offense found the back of the net four times, and their defense allowed just one goal over the final 12 minutes in clinching the victory.
“The defense was really on point,” Cipolla said. “Central was finding the net a lot through the game, but when we really needed our defense to step up, they did that. And Andrew Albertson [on face offs] was amazing. That was a key, too.”
After an even first quarter with each team scoring three goals, the Trojans doubled-up the Vikings to take a 9-6 advantage at halftime.
After Central stormed back to tie it after three, Parkland responded with three straight goals from Ian O’Neill, Luke Summers and Cipolla to go up 15-12 with 5:48 left. That was enough, as they held possession and played more strong defense.
“I really wanted this one,” said Summers, who attended Central Catholic during his freshman season. “I’ve been waiting for this one for a while. It feels really good to win the league title over those guys.”
Parkland clinched the number one seed for the District 11 Class 3A Tournament. The Trojans will take on the winner of fourth-seeded Delaware Valley vs. fifth-seeded Freedom matchup on Tuesday at 7 p.m. back at Northampton High School.