Brendan Meagher, La Salle lacrosse make PIAA playoff push

Sports cliches usually earn rolled eyes or sighs powered by exasperation.

They also, however, hold some truth and utility for those who employ them.

On Saturday at 7:30 p.m., La Salle senior midfielder Brendan Meagher leads the Explorers against District 11 top-seed Parkland (20-3) in the quarterfinals of the PIAA Class 3A boys’ lacrosse playoffs.

La Salle lost to Central Bucks East last season in the same round and fell to eventual state champion Springfield Delco a year earlier.

“We need to win one game four times,” is a familiar refrain in the locker room these days, Meagher said.

He added: “I guess this time of year we treat every game like it could be our last.”

For Meagher, who has earned All-American, All-State and All-Catholic League honors, the end will eventually come soon.

“Yep, this is my last ride,” the 5-foot-9, 170-pounder said.

Meagher verbally committed to Boston University as a sophomore, but, after reflection, will forgo college lacrosse and attend the University of Miami.

“For me, you only have so much time in life to figure out what you want to do and the kind of person you want to be,” he said. “I think in my college career that’s the perfect time to explore that and discover who I want to be.”

Unburdened by the demands of Division I lacrosse, Meagher hopes self-discovery will put him on the proper path for the future.

That also means he’s savoring every moment with his La Salle teammates.

The Explorers (17-4) last won a state championship in 2013 and also own titles from the 2004 (prior to the PIAA championships), 2008, and 2009 seasons.

Meagher said this year’s team doesn’t have one dominant offensive player and instead scores by committee.

Seniors Matthew Clibanoff, Ethan LaMond, Ethan Masucci and junior Christopher Mockaitis have been consistent catalysts.

Fellow All-Americans Joey Burnham (long pole), Daniel Jordon (long-stick middie) and Michael Clibanoff (goaltender) help anchor La Salle’s defense.

“We don’t have any major stars on offense and our defense is very solid, but where we win the games, I think, is with ground balls and kind of the nitty-gritty stuff, hustle plays,” Meagher said.

The Explorers are winners of eight straight and last lost to Central Bucks East in an overtime thriller on May 5. Meagher hopes that will be his last loss in lacrosse.

“It’s bittersweet because I still love the game and I’ll always want to be around it,” he said. “But, right now, it’s just like taking every single practice as a gift. I just consider it a privilege to being playing right now.”