HARRISBURG - Hershey’s boys’ lacrosse team watched and learned Tuesday as Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic erased a seven-goal deficit and beat Trinity in overtime in the District Three Class AA semifinals.
“We knew that if we got a lead, we had to stomp on that team and not let up,’’ said Hershey coach John Schein. “They fight for the entire four quarters.’’
The Trojans fired on all cylinders from beginning to end of Thursday’s final, rolling to a 18-6 win and the school’s first district title.
“Give (Hershey) credit,’’ said an emotional Zach Lombardo, Country Day/Lancaster Catholic’s fourth-year coach. “They’re a good team. We’ve got to get better and come back next year. I’m proud of our team, but this is hard.’’
Hershey (16-5) took some lumps this year, losing to Trinity, among others. Schein said that due to injuries, he could never keep a lineup intact.
The upshot is a deep, polished, veteran team that began substituting 25 seconds into Thursday’s game. The Trojans have a face-off specialist, Niko Lilla, who often won a draw and sprinted immediately off the field.
Hershey also won the ground ball battle by a whopping 31-19 and were thus able to dominate the game territorially, especially early.
Hershey scored twice in the game’s first 97 seconds, the goals coming from Mark Sickler and Colin Kondracki.
Cougar fans got tired of hearing those names. Kondracki, a 6-3, 265-pound lefthanded junior attacker, scored eight goals. Sickler, a senior who’ll play college lacrosse at West Point, had six goals and two assists.
Hershey led 5-1 early, 7-3 after a quarter, and 11-5 at halftime.
The second half was actually more even territorially and in terms of faceoffs, but the Cougars were unable to connect on attack against a Hershey defense, and University of Colorado-bound goalkeeper Brady Bowman, that came in allowing just 6.6 goals per game.
The Cougars managed just one goal in the game’s final 28:41.
“We did better on the face offs (in the second half), but we just couldn’t put it together all at once,’’ Lombardo said.
Country Day/Catholic did get a superb game from Noah Wolfe, a lanky senior attacker who scored five of his team’s six goals, to reach 62 goals on the year, and was seen consoling his coach afterward.
“We’re not done,’’ Lombardo said. “We need to focus on states, and we will.’’
The Cougars begin the AA state tournament Tuesday against Cardinal O’Hara of the Philadelphia Catholic League, which beat Archbishop Carroll 15-14 for the District 12 title Wednesday.
The time and site of that game are to be determined.