Parkland Press

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PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBParkland’s boys lacrosse team won its second straight District 11 title when it beat Emmaus last week in the championship game. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBParkland’s boys lacrosse team won its second straight District 11 title when it beat Emmaus last week in the championship game. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_

Trojan boys lax beats Emmaus in final

Thursday, May 31, 2018 by CJ HEMERLY Special to the Press in Sports

The last time that the Parkland boys lacrosse team was on the field with Emmaus, it was on the brink of defeat in its regular season finale at home early in May. The Trojans scored twice in the last minute of regulation to force overtime, and then notched the game-winner 30 seconds into overtime for the one-goal victory.

But their latest meeting was a bit different.

Parkland allowed just one first-half goal and then outscored Emmaus 8-4 in the second half on its way to a second straight district championship, winning 13-5 in the District 11 Class 3A title game last Thursday night at Lehigh University’s Ulrich Sports Complex.

“This feels really good, especially as a senior in my last go,” said Luke Summers. “To be able to bring Parkland its first district title last year, and now to do it again, it’s really great to be a part of. We really wanted this one.”

This was the third meeting this season between the two teams, with the Trojans (19-3 overall) beating the Green Hornets (13-8) each time. It was also a rematch of last year’s district championship game, which ended in the same fashion.

Parkland is playing its best lacrosse when it matters most the last two months. It has won 13 games in a row and 17 of its last 18, with the lone setback in that streak a one-goal non-conference loss.

The Trojans scored back-to-back goals to start the district title game. Andrew Albertson, who won 13 of 18 faceoffs, found the back of the net 41 seconds in. James Cipolla followed suit just 14 seconds later after a faceoff win by Albertson for a 2-0 Trojan lead.

“It was important for us, especially after the close game with them last time, to get a lead early,” said Summers. “We didn’t want to be thinking about last game and give them any confidence.”

There was little scoring in the second quarter, as Parkland had the lone goal and took a 5-1 lead into halftime. After they added two straight tallies to begin the third quarter, the Trojans were able to just move the ball around and let the clock tick down.

The Parkland defense, led by junior All-Conference defender Alex Albertson, had one of its best performances of the 2018 campaign. Trojan defenders flew around to the ball and did not give the Green Hornets attack any good looks on net. Goalie James McLaughlin made nine saves on the night.

“James is just standing on his head just like every game, he played great,” said Alex Albertson. “He’s a great goalie and is always communicating with us. Our defense has been preaching all year to just be disciplined and do what we know how to do. When we’re communicating and following our game plan, I think we’re almost unstoppable.”

The Parkland offense once again proved to be one of the state’s best. It boasted six different goal scorers, including a game-high four from Greg Santa-Anna. Andrew Albertson, Cipolla, Ian O’Neill and Summers all scored twice for the Trojans.

Cipolla also had a team-high three assists. Braden Groff contributed two assists, and O’Neill, Santa-Anna and Eli Fisher each added an assist for Parkland.

Parkland opened state playoff action Tuesday with a win over District 1 fourth-place team Upper Dublin. They move on to Saturday’s quarterfinals to take on District 12 champ LaSalle College Prep, which beat District 1 fifth-place team Downingtown East Tuesday.