Mounts escape Warwick, retain Ream Cup
Even after Ephrata snapped an 11-11 tie on Koty Keefer’s goal with just 2:22 remaining last Friday night, the Warwick boys lacrosse team didn’t panic.
Why should they have?
Led by Kobi Biemesderfer’s four goals and Shane Galway’s three, the Warriors had already reached a season-high in offensive production in a high-scoring shootout with the Mounts.
“A 12-11 game … that’s not normal,” Warwick coach Wayne Hummer said.
Ultimately, however, Keefer’s goal proved to be the difference in the game, as L-L power Ephrata survived a gutsy test from Warwick and held on for a 12-11 victory in cold, damp conditions at Joseph Grosh Field in Lititz. With the decision, the Mounts also retained the Ream Cup, which is annually presented to the winner of this rivalry.
“Honestly, it was a good game,” Hummer said, “I’m proud of my guys, I’m proud of the way they finished. Like you said, it’s not the result I would have wanted, but they left their heart on the field and that’s all I can ask.”
Justin Hoover was the offensive star for the Mounts, burying a team-high five goals and handing out one assist, helping Ephrata improve to 5-2 overall (4-0 L-L).
“Hoover’s got a really nice stick &tstr; he carries the ball very well,” Hummer said. “He’s able to manipulate defenses into doing kinda what he wants. He kept taking the ball toward the alley and he’d roll back across the top to get the shot he wanted. So he knows how to create his own shot and he was very effective at that, especially in the first half.”
Alex Bushong and Shane Galway were effective for the Warriors as well, scoring to give Warwick leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the first quarter. After Jeremy Kachel’s tally with 3:23 left in the stanza tied it for Ephrata 2-2 after one, Galway scored into the left corner of the net with 1:05 elapsed in the second, putting the Warriors back in front.
“This is the first time that Shane found the back of the net in a game this year, so that was big for him to have a night like this,” Hummer said. “He’s been just a little off on a lot of his shots, but he was able to execute tonight and that was big for us.”
Hoover struck for back-to-back tallies, giving the Mounts their first lead with 7:08 left in the half, but WHS keeper Cameron Epple (7 saves) kept it a one-goal game with two key stops and then Anthony Ciccarone connected, pulling Warwick even with 3:06 left on the clock.
From there, Biemesderfer stole the show, scoring three straight over the next 1:47 to put the Warriors up 7-4. Brogan Galbreath and Galway assisted on the first two of those.
“Just like Hoover was creating his own shot for (Ephrata), Kobi was creating his own shot fur us for a lot of those,” Hummer said. “Even though we had a wet night, (our guys) were moving the ball around really well and obviously when you can do that, you get defenses moving and you can create openings for yourself. So we were creating a lot of openings and gaps in their defense, so Kobi could get in, and Alex and Shane Galway could get in.”
Following a goal by Ephrata’s Austin Sensenig, the Warriors carried a 7-5 lead into the break.
Later, as Ephrata was playing with the man advantage, Colin Cammauf got the Mounts tied 8-8 with 1:21 to go in the third.
“They’ve got some guys that are real dangerous on offense and they showed it tonight,” Hummer said.
Bushong was dangerous in his own right, answering just 42 seconds after Cammauf’s equalizer, putting Warwick up 9-8 going to the final stanza. Alex Dagen picked up an assist.
For the game, the Warriors had a slight 30-27 edge in shots. Justin Mease finished with four saves between the pipes for Ephrata.
In the fourth, Mease and Ephrata’s defense held Warwick off the scoreboard for the first 7:58 of the stanza. In the meantime, the Mounts grabbed an 11-9 advantage, with Cammauf scoring at the right post following a feed by Keefer with 4:30 left.
Biemesderfer answered unassisted, and then with Mease off the field serving a penalty, Galbreath scored with 3:14 to go, on a helper from Ciccarone, to knot things up at 11-all.
Less than a minute later, Keefer got the go-ahead tally, then won the face-off and went to a stall game. Warwick gained possession, but lost it on a turnover to Ephrata’s Sensenig. With just :11.4 left, Hoover left with a penalty, giving the Warriors one final chance to get the equalizer. But it wasn’t meant to be for the Warwick boys.
“The end of the game was a whirlwind, to tell you the truth,” Hummer said. “I think maybe we got a little too excited and maybe made a panic pass here and there that resulted in a turnover. (At the end), we had 11 seconds, so it one of those where you can’t really set up a set play, you’ve just got to go and their defenders packed around the crease there and they knocked down a pass and were able to polish off the game. But it was an exciting game to be a part of, I’m sure it was an exciting game for people to watch. I think that where the guys are at right now, getting a big win on Wednesday from Henderson, this in no way is going to hurt us our development and progress throughout the year. I think we’ll be able to regroup and come back at it.”
Those words proved prophetic as the Warriors bounced back with wins in their next two games over Bethel Park and Lampeter-Strasburg.
Warwick (3-1 L-L, 5-3 overall) took a 4-0 first-quarter lead against L-S on Monday and held on for a 6-3 L-L League win in Lititz on Monday. Bushong netted a pair of goals, and Biemesderfer, Galway, Galbreath and Allen Wenger also connected for the Warwick boys, who held a 25-22 edge in shots. Connor Kilgore chipped in with an assist and Epple finished with 15 saves.
On Saturday, Bushong’s OT goal boosted the Warriors to a 9-8 non-league win over Bethel Park in Lititz.
Playing their third game in four days, Warwick was led offensively by Bushong, who finished with four goals and two assists. Trent Sell and Dagen each connected twice, while Biemesderfer added one in front of Epple, who had eight saves.
Last Wednesday, Biemesderfer and Sell scored two goals apiece to lead a balanced attack in Warwick’s 8-7 non-league win over West Chester Henderson. Bushong, Galbreath, Tyler Bogda and Coleman Wagner also found the back of the net.
Bruce Morgan is the sports editor for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 721-4451.