LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP — Mark this one as a revenge win.
The last time Trinity faced Berks Catholic, on March 23, it was a resounding 10-3 loss.
That was not the case Thursday night at COBO Field in the District 3 Class 2A boys lacrosse quarterfinals. The No. 3 Shamrocks (14-5), the reigning district champs, were ready this time. Everything clicked in a 12-8 takedown of the sixth-ranked Saints (13-6), returning Trinity to Tuesday's semifinals.
The win also secures a spot in the PIAA tournament.
"They were a completely different team [from our first meeting], and we noticed it against Lower Dauphin," Trinity head coach Dave Heisey said. "They sucked the life out of the game the first time around. Long possessions, we couldn't win any face offs. The whole tempo of the game was different."
Unlike that first meeting, Trinity got out to a quick start in this one, going up 3-0 thanks to goals from Jack Penwell, Danny Scott and Connor McCarthy. From there, the Shamrocks played to their pace, pushing the Saints down 5-1 by the end of the first quarter.
Scott finished a hat trick in the second quarter to send the 'Rocks into the half with the 6-3 lead and the momentum still firmly in hand.
— Mallory Merda (@MalloryMerda) May 16, 2019
"The first game was rough, we really wanted to get back at them," said Will Thropp, who tallied five goals in the win. "We knew what we had to do. We had to come out fast, and we did for the most part. I thought we executed well in the beginning."
Trinity never lost its footing, pushing the lead to 9-4 in the third. Thropp and Drew Godfrey pushed two past the Berks goaltender.
But that's when things started to go sour.
Two penalties to Riley Johnson — one locked in — gave the Saints something to build on. Two goals from Jaden Bookster and a third for BC got the visitors dangerously close, 11-8.
"That was kind of the low point of the game, I guess," Thropp said. "That was the spurt they needed for a kick start. We really didn't need those two penalties, we were doing well until then. But we cleaned it up after that."
They did, as Thropp said. The defense buckled down, and Nate Stauffer in net stood on his head for the final 1:35 to secure the victory.
Add in a goal for Thropp with 25.9 seconds to go.
— Mallory Merda (@MalloryMerda) May 17, 2019
The Shamrocks face No. 2 Lancaster Country Day (16-3) in the semifinals Tuesday at a time and place to be determined.
"We just gotta get ready for practice on Friday and clean up a lot of aspects of our game," Thropp said. "We had a lot of stuff that was sloppy tonight and get ready for Tuesday."
"[LCD has] improved a lot during the year," Heisey said. "We don't have any in-common opponents, so it's kind of hard to gauge what they're bringing to the table. They had a nice season, so we'll probably look at [some video] and go from there."
A win Tuesday sends the Shamrocks to their second straight district title game. They had not made that stage any year prior to 2018.
Email Mallory at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @MalloryMerda
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