SILVER SPRING TWP. — Lightning with 2:33 left to play halted what turned out to be the inevitable.
Despite a close, back-and-forth fight, Cumberland Valley edged Governor Mifflin 12-11 in the District 3 Class 3A boys lacrosse quarterfinals, held Thursday night at Eagle View Middle School.
After a more than 30-minute lightning delay Mifflin’s Griffen Ganster and Aaron Grill both tried to beat the Eagles defense, but Matt Hager stood them both up and didn’t allow a shot, forcing a ground ball that the Eagles ran to the other end of the field.
The Eagles stepped out of the box and then got hit with a technical foul, giving the Mustangs the ball back with 24 seconds left. Again, Hager was in the right place and scooped up a loose ball and ran out the clock.
The result: CV gets Wilson in Tuesday’s semifinal. The Bulldogs beat Carlisle 11-5.
“We knew coming in we needed to really play solid one-on-one defense and keep the player in front of us,” Hager said. “We have been working on playing defense and we got a great break when the ball popped out. I wasn’t giving up that ball unless they tackled me at the end.”
Leading 10-9 heading into the final 12 minutes, the Mustangs made an errant pass and the Eagles capitalized to tie the game at 10-10. Devan Heckman and Grill answered goals before Stevie Peters rifled one home at the 4:35 mark to give the Eagles the one-goal lead.
The fourth-seeded Eagles (15-4 ) jumped out to an early 4-1 lead behind goals by Grant Travis, Clayton Miller, Connor Ball and Mitch Schalles. Governor Mifflin, fresh off a one-goal victory over Elizabethtown Tuesday night, rallied and got within one goal at 4-3 and later 5-4 and 6-5 as Griffen Ganster and Aaron Grill led the Mustangs.
Cumberland Valley got the final goal of the first half as Stevie Peters finally got on the board for the Eagles. The home team led 7-5.
Connor Ball scored for the Eagles out of the half but Mifflin tallied three straight goals to tie the game at 8-8. Ganster, Grill and Aidan Ebersole tallied goals.
Governor Mifflin (14-6) finally took the lead as Grill scored on a power play to give the Mustangs a 9-8 lead at the 2:02 mark.
Nicholas Sather of CV and Ebersole exchanged goals and the Mustangs took a 10-9 lead into the final quarter.
There were several penalties, but only one penalty for a minute — all others were technical 30-second penalties. Grill took several hits in the crease to score goals as the Eagle defense, consisting of Schalles, Matt Hager, Jackson Wilkin and Chase Young defended a strong Mustang offense that wanted to attack the net by charging and rolling off the screen.
“We had two opportunities at the end but didn’t capitalize,” Mifflin coach John Verno said. “This was a great high school lacrosse game by both teams and they are both winners, although we lost on the scoreboard. Credit to them — they did what they had to do.”
“I didn’t want that delay especially when we had the momentum,” Eagle coach Matt Healy said. “We did talk about our defense and playing very solid man-to –man, and we expected a stop because that is what they have done all season. I just didn’t expect to give the ball away and give them a power play chance in the final 30 seconds. We have some work to do but we are in the final four and anything can happen.”