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 BY JEFF FALK

 HARRISBURG – It’s something that no one will ever be able to take away from you. But perhaps the best thing about the first one is that it’s something to build upon, to build from.

 The way it turns out, the act of garnering championships is both a science and an art.

 On a gloomy Thursday evening at Central Dauphin Middle School’s Landis Field, the Palmyra boys’ lacrosse team captured the Mid-Penn Conference championship with an impressive 16-11 victory over Trinity. After trailing by two scores at the break, the Cougars netted 13 goals in the second half, seven of which came in the decisive third quarter.

 Senior Jake Herman showed the way for the Cougars by tallying three goals and contributing three assists. Herman was supported by midfielder Grant Haus, who potted four goals and picked up an assist, and sophomore attacker Seth Robertson, who scored four times.

 The Mid-Penn Conference title was Palmyra’s second straight and the first of the Cougars’ three stated goals for the season. With the triumph, Palmyra, champions of the Keystone Division, improved to 17-2 on the year.

 The Cougars’ next action will come on Wednesday, May 16th at 7 p.m. at Lebanon Valley College’s Arnold Field, as the third seed in the quarterfinals of the District Thre Class AAA tournament.

 Trinity, champs from the Commonwealth Conferece, dropped to 13-5 on the spring. During a regular-season meeting in Camp Hill back on April 23rd, the Cougars had beaten the Shamrocks 16-9.

  “This is our first goal,” sad Palmyra head coach Dave Ondrusek. “We have three goals every year, to win the league, to win districts and to win states. It doesn’t make the other two goals any easier. But it puts in perspective what we can accomplish.

 “We knew how good a group of guys we had at the beginning of the season,” continued Ondrusek. “We have definitive leaders, and the expecation was that we’d have success. How has it played out? We were 16-2 during the regular season, and our two losses were two very good teams (Manheim Township and Hempfield). So far, so good. So far we’ve been doing what we were supposed to be doing. I couldn’t be prouder of these guys.”

 “The past few years we’ve had a lot of success,” said Herman. “This was our first goal. It’s great to start this way. It’s a good group of seniors. Now we just want to go out and see how far we can take it.”

  Following a lackluster first 24 minutes of play, Palmyra found itself facing a 5-3 deficit at halftime. But the Cougars came out on fire in the second half and outscored the Shamrocks 7-2 in the third stanza to establish a 10-7 lead it would never relinquish.

 A pair of Robertson goals 23 seconds apart in the opening 1:44 of the second half tied the game and got the Cougars off and winging. A Haus tally midway through the third period put Palmyra ahead, and 45 seconds later teammate T.J. Caton padded the Palmyra lead.

 Goals from Herman and Haus made it 9-6 Cougars. But the third-period goal that really put Palmyra in the driver’s seat was one from Caton, off a rush with five seconds left in the frame.

 “It was a combination of both,” said Ondrusek of his strategical and emotional message at halftime. “We had to make some technical adjustments. We thought we saw some things we could do. Emotionally, we said, ‘This is the last time we’re going to play Trinity. If you’re going to make a statement, let’s do it now.’ To beat them twice is tough.

 “Basically the message was that we had to start playing better defense, and we had to execute more on offense,” added Ondrusek. “But halftime was the turning point.”

 “We knew we were better than that,” said Herman of the first half. “We weren’t playing up to our standards. We just started playing in the second half.”

  The Cougars’ momentum carried over into the final quarter, in the from of four goals in a 1:46 span. Herman posted a pair of those goals – both from in close – and assisted on one of Haus’ two goals, as Palmyra extended its lead to 14-8.

 Robertson accounted for the Cougars’ final two tallies, late in the period.

 “I don’t think we played poorly in the first half,” said Ondrusek. “We just didn’t play up to our potential. We made some strategical adjustments. We started playing faster.”

 “We started really slow,” said Herman. “We were sloppy. We weren’t connecting our passes or our shots.”

 The Cougars grabbed a 1-0 lead 2:31in,on a goal from Caton, then opened a 3-1 margin early in the second period, after tallies from Andrew Cleck and Herman. But Palmyra went the final 11:23 of the first half without a goal, which allowed Trinity to build its 5-3 advantage.

 “I’m extremely proud of this group,” said Ondrusek. “We have a lot of seniors, and they’re significant contributors. We were down at halftime, but our guys came through.”

  “It’s a great feeling to win it for the second year in-a-row,” said Herman. “The first half wasn’t a good spot for us. It just worked out tonight. It’s a team game. We got it together.”

 According to the final stat sheet, Palmyra out shot Trinity 29-19. Palmyra netminder John Pallone logged eight saves.

 

 

 

 

 To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2019 Palmyra Boys’ Lacrosse Results

Date Opponent Outcomes
3/2210:30p
Location: State College High School
(W) 16 – 3
3/2511:00p
Location: Hempfield High School
(L) 15 – 12
3/264:15p
Location: Palmyra High School
(W) 17 – 3
3/294:15p
Location: Palmyra High School
(W) 16 – 14
4/38:15p
Location: Palmyra High School
(W) 18 – 2
4/54:15p
Location: Carlisle High School
(W) 17 – 9
4/610:00a
Location: Palmyra High School
(W) 17 – 2
4/94:15p
Location: Palmyra High School
(W) 17 – 3
4/128:15p
Location: Palmyra High School
(L) 14 – 9
4/157:00p
Location: Hershey High School
(W) 11 – 4
4/174:15p
Location: Cedar Cliff High School
(W) 19 – 3
4/237:00p
Location: Trinity High School
(W) 16 – 9
4/258:15p
Location: Palmyra High School
(W) 19 – 0
4/2710:00a
Location: Palmyra High School
(W) 11 – 9
4/2911:00p
Location: Palmyra High School
(W) 19 – 3
5/28:15p
Location: Central Dauphin High School
(W) 14 – 5
5/36:30p
Location: Bishop McDevitt High School
(W) 18 – 2
5/75:30p
Location: Mechanicsburg High School
 
5/99:30p  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 PIAA District Three

 Class AAA Power Rankings

AAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Manheim Township 14- 0- 0  0.803125  1.000000  0.562500  15.4  126.9  0.0  98.7
2 Wilson (3) 14- 3- 0  0.725322  0.838323  0.587209  14.0  161.6  2.7  113.6
3 Palmyra 16- 2- 0  0.713963  0.901099  0.485242  16.4  149.6  1.8  158.7
4 Central York 13- 2- 0  0.701197  0.852349  0.516456  12.7  122.4  2.2  114.6
5 HEMPFIELD 12- 3- 0  0.695606  0.819876  0.543722  13.2  131.2  2.9  110.1
6 Red Lion 13- 3- 0  0.663826  0.809211  0.486133  12.3  122.7  2.9  129.7
7 South Western 12- 3- 0  0.648626  0.789116  0.476917  11.6  112.6  3.1  123.5
8 Ephrata 14- 4- 0  0.628510  0.781609  0.441389  13.6  128.4  3.8  162.5
9 Cumberland Valley 12- 6- 0  0.621316  0.677778  0.552307  12.2  170.0  5.8  137.8
10 Exeter Township 12- 6- 0  0.602115  0.681818  0.504699  12.0  145.0  5.6  142.3
11 Warwick 9- 6- 0  0.590720  0.637584  0.533442  9.5  130.8  5.4  114.4
12 State College 11- 6- 0  0.575034  0.649123  0.484480  11.1  143.6  6.0  152.8
13 Penn Manor 9- 8- 0  0.560000  0.563636  0.555556  9.3  153.5  7.2  122.8
14 Governor Mifflin 10- 6- 0  0.550774  0.623377  0.462037  9.6  121.1  5.8  141.0
15 Chambersburg 9- 7- 0  0.517600  0.563291  0.461756  8.9  130.4  6.9  152.0
16 Carlisle 8- 8- 0  0.508242  0.512195  0.503411  8.4  140.2  8.0  138.3
17 Dallastown 7- 8- 0  0.487365  0.440559  0.544571  6.3  128.9  8.0  107.8
18 Central Dauphin 8- 8- 0  0.483748  0.518519  0.441250  8.4  122.8  7.8  155.5
19 Conestoga Valley 7- 9- 0  0.436382  0.398734  0.482397  6.3  128.8  9.5  138.2
20 Cedar Crest 3- 14- 0  0.392151  0.194969  0.633151  3.1  173.8  12.8  100.7
21 Elizabethtown 2- 16- 0  0.330703  0.129412  0.576725  2.2  168.0  14.8  123.3
22 Mechanicsburg 3- 15- 0  0.299437  0.170330  0.457235  3.1  142.2  15.1  168.8
23 Muhlenberg 1- 10- 0  0.255820  0.079646  0.471143  0.9  84.9  10.4  95.3
24 Cedar Cliff 1- 16- 0  0.244821  0.064327  0.465424  1.1  137.3  16.0  157.7
25 Central Dauphin East 0- 18- 0  0.213319  0.000000  0.474043  0.0  146.1  18.2  162.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-Penn Conference

 Past Boys’ Lacrosse Champions

 2019 – Palmyra

 2018- Palmyra

 2017- Cumberland Valley

 2016- Hershey

 2015 – Hershey

 2014 – Hershey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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