La Salle rolls to state semis in boys' lacrosse


Garnet Valley coach Frank Urso had a sense, even before the opening face-off against La Salle in Saturday's PIAA boys' lacrosse quarterfinal, that his players were running on fumes after an emotional week.

"You could just tell," he said after his Jaguars were pounded by the Explorers, 13-4, at West Chester Henderson. "All of our coaches noticed it. "We were like, 'Oh my gosh, we're in trouble here.' "

The Garnet Valley community has been reeling since Tuesday. That's when one of its own, Kip Taviano, 17, was killed after losing control of his car and swerving into traffic in Concord Township.

Taviano attended the Haverford School, but grew up playing with many of Garnet Valley's players. Urso coached the Glen Mills resident for four years with the Brandywine Youth Club.

"It was the toughest coaching week I've ever had," Urso said. "Our seniors were trying to deal with so much. Kip lived about 100 yards from our high school."

La Salle registered five goals in the first period, did the same in the second, and cruised to its 21st straight victory since a 10-5 loss to Gilman School (Md.) way back on April 5.

Sean Coleman, a senior midfielder and Harvard commit, spurred La Salle's attack with five first-half goals. He missed the early portion of this season with a broken left tibia.

"I'm still trying to get my speed and strength back, but it feels pretty good," said the 5-foot-10, 175-pound dynamo.

Tuesday, at a site and time to be determined, La Salle (21-2) will take on District 7 runner-up North Allegheny, which ousted District 3's Carlisle by a 9-5 decision Saturday, in a semifinal.

Down by 12-0, the Jaguars (18-7) finally got on the scoreboard when Brock D'Annunzio found the net two minutes into third period.

For the Explorers, a defense that Coleman said has been "playing lights out lately" was spearheaded by Stefan Bergman, Conor Resch, and Andrew Eidenshink.

La Salle boss Bill Leahy substituted freely in the second half. Senior Nick Hreshko was replaced in goal by junior Colin MacDougall midway through the third stanza.

"They're talented, they play well as a team, and they know how to find each other," Urso said of La Salle. "Great teams make you pay for mistakes, and that's what they did against us."

In an earlier quarterfinal at Henderson, with Beau Kush and Stephen Cyron each scoring twice, Avon Grove handled District 3's Wilson, 7-4.

Garnet Valley 0 0 1 3-4

La Salle 5 5 3 0-13

Goals: GV-Brock D'Annunzio 2, Jake Snow, Jon Vandenberg; LS-Sean Coleman 5, Brian McNamara 3, Adam Schaal 2, Jeff Cimbalista, Steve Hudak, Mike Rihm.

Saves: GV-Mitch Rose 3, Mark Barnes 1; LS-Nick Hreshko 4, Colin MacDougall 8.

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