By Phil Anastasia
Andrew Streilein tried not to think about it.
Justin Holl pushed the notion out of his mind.
But deep down, both Lenape senior lacrosse players knew that more than a game was at stake when Wednesday's South Jersey Group 4 second-round clash with Washington Township rumbled into overtime.
More than a season was at stake, too.
Streilein (right in photo) and Holl, four-year varsity athletes, were staring at the end of their careers.
"I knew it but I had to block it out," said Holl, who scored the game-winning goal on a rebound of a blast by Streinlein to lift Lenape to an 11-10 victory.
Lenape coach Bill Sutphin said it was fitting that two of his senior captains combined for the play that kept the Indians' season alive and propelled them into Thursday's sectional semifinals against the Cherokee-South Brunswick winner.
Washington Township coach Dan Fowler, a former Lenape player and assistant coach, said the same thing.
"It was a senior play," Fowler said. "In overtime, it was their senior offense against our senior defense, and they made one more play."
Fowler was pleased with his team's performance as the sixth-seeded Minutemen (7-11) rallied from a 10-4 deficit early in the fourth quarter to force overtime.
"If you are going to lose, this is the perfect way to lose, bonding together as a team," Fowler said.
Streilein (two goals, three assists), Holl (two goals), Connor Wolf (two goals) and Anthony Brunetti powered third-seeded Lenape (13-7).
The Indians seemed in total command with a 10-4 lead with less than 10 minutes to play.
"Give them credit," Sutphin said of Washington Township. "They never gave up. They showed great character. We made a few mistakes with our young defense and they took advantage."
With JoJo Pandolfi (four goals) and T.J. Mulderig (three goals) showing the way, Washington Township surged back into the game and entered overtime with momentum.
But Lenape's Matt Smith won the draw to start the sudden-death extra period, creating a big advantage for the Indians.
"Once Matt won the draw, I knew we were going to win," Streilein said.
Lenape maintained possession for nearly all of the overtime. Streilein, who leads the team with 52 goals, nicked the outside of the post with a shot, and Holl fired high with another.
With a little less than a minute left in the four-minute overtime, Streilein dodged a defender and fired a shot that Washington Township goalie Chris Burns turned away for his 10th save.
But Holl was on the doorstep. He gathered up the rebound and buried a quick shot that brought the entire Lenape team on the field in celebration.
"Right place, right time," Holl said. "It was awesome. It keeps us alive and we're planning on going all the way."
Washington Twp. 0 3 1 6 0 -- 10
Lenape 2 4 3 1 1 -- 11
Goals: WT: JoJo Pandolfi 4, T.J. Mulderig 3, Alex Chalef, Luke Xanthopolous, Wyatt Miller. L: Connor Wolfe 2, Andrew Streilein 2, Justin Holl 2, Anthony Brunetti 2, Brooks Long, Scott Fayan, Vinny Alfinito.
Saves: WT: Chris Burns, 10. L-Manny Dallessio, 4.
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