Avon Grove broke its huddle with a little less than a minute left in the first half of Tuesday night's District 1 boys' lacrosse semifinal against Springfield (Delco).
Red Devils coach Eric Jackson had told his players that they needed a goal before halftime of their 8-5 win at West Chester Henderson. A two-goal advantage, he said, would give them needed momentum.
The quick offensive set failed to create a clear chance. Senior attackman Tanner Peck charged from the right side, but did not have an angle to shoot on. Springfield's righthanded goalie, James Spence, was hugging the post. So Peck improvised - he called it a spontaneous move - and flicked a shot behind his left shoulder.
It gave the Red Devils (17-4) the goal their coach had requested en route to an 8-5 victory at West Chester Henderson. Peck said he never used the fancy move in a game, only when he is messing around with friends.
"You practice it just in case," he said. "If you have to do it, it's there. It's in your backpack, your bag of tricks."
The momentum doubled just after halftime on a quick goal from Beau Kush. The sophomore fired a shot into a corner of the net. He later was credited with a second goal in the fourth when Springfield (17-5) walked the ball into its own net.
Bryce Reid scored three times, including twice in the second half. His third goal dashed Springfield's spirits, coming less than a minute after the Cougars had made it a one-goal game.
The Red Devils, defending District 1 champs, will meet Bishop Shanahan (19-1) at 6 p.m. Thursday at West Chester Henderson in the district final. It will be an all-Ches-Mont League affair.
The Eagles held off Radnor, 10-8, behind three goals from senior Dylan Alderman. The midfielder came from behind the net with 3:51 left in the fourth to give Shanahan a three-goal lead. That proved to be too much for Radnor (15-5), which had made it a one-goal game late in the third.
John Mehok and Sam Montgomery each added two goals. Jason Yoquinto had 13 saves. Jack Wilson scored three times for Radnor.
"We've been working four years for this one," Alderman said. "We've never had this opportunity, and it feels really good."
The two teams met earlier this month in a game that proved to decide the Ches-Mont title. Shanahan won, 10-7, handing Avon Grove its lone league loss. Kush said Shanahan is tough, but his teammates remember that the Eagles dashed their title hopes.
"We're ready. We're ready," he said.
Radnor 1 3 3 1 – 8
Bishop Shanahan 3 4 2 1 – 10
Goals: R-Owen Scheuerle, Jack Norton 2, McKenna Touey, Jack Wilson 3, Jack Fischer; BS-Dylan Alderman 3, John Mehok 2, Sam Montgomery 2, Ryan McNulty, Jacob Guinan, Eric Giannetti.
Saves: R-Alex Anderson 2; BS-Jason Yoquinto 13.
Avon Grove 1 3 2 2 – 8
Springfield (D) 1 2 1 1 – 5
Goals: AG-Bryce Reid 3, Jake Pousson, Tanner Peck, Beau Kush 2, Stephen Cyron; S-Brian Todaro, Lucas Spence, Luke Charamella, Dan Dickinson, Dan Wasson.
Saves: AG-Will Schreiner 9; S-James Spence 11.