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Boys lax remains unbeaten

Early on it looked as if Parkland would roll to its 12th straight win this season. But Upper Dublin had other plans coming out of halftime.

Fortunately for the Trojans, they were able to hold of the District 1 Cardinals in Tuesday’s nonleague matchup. And Parkland got a big boost from one of its senior leaders when it needed it most.

James Cipolla finished with a hat trick, his final goal coming with just over two minutes remaining to help propel Parkland (12-0) to a 6-4 victory over Upper Dublin. The Cardinals cut a four-goal deficit to just one early in the fourth and final quarter.

“I think what happened late is they came out firing,” Cipolla said. “They are a really good team. They are from District 1, so they play good teams all the time. I think to hold them off it was just staying poised and not forcing anything on the offense. I think we ended up doing that. At the end we ran through our set and were able to get a win.”

Cipolla was the recipient of Parkland’s patient offense down the stretch. Upper Dublin’s Brett Rama ripped a shot into the top left corner of Parkland’s goal to get within 5-4 early in the fourth quarter, and the Trojans needed an answer offensively.

After scoring four goals in the first half, Parkland scored just once in the third and was held scoreless for the opening six minutes of the fourth.

But defense quickly turned into offense. After the Trojans stopped Upper Dublin’s potential game-tying score, Cipolla found the back of the net after a couple of stutter-step jukes to give Parkland a two-goal cushion with 2:01 remaining.

“They are a tough team,” Parkland head coach Mike Bender said. “They won the first five minutes there in the second half and scored a couple on us early. Every possession was so important there with a low-scoring game. They took advantage of some of our mistakes, but we continued to fight back and ended up pulling it through.”

Cipolla got Parkland on the board late in the opening quarter and Parkland took a 1-0 lead after 12 minutes of action. He added his second not even three minutes into the second period to put the Trojans in front 2-0.

Zach Poremba and Joe Dorenzo each scored not even two minutes apart, and the Trojans looked to be in complete control with a 4-0 advantage with 4:54 to play in the first half.

But Upper Dublin made its adjustments at halftime, and it didn’t take long for the Cardinals to strike. Brian McCarry finally got Upper Dublin on the board three minutes into the second half after a 27-minute scoring drought. A goal from Jayden Santangelo just 47 seconds later cut Parkland’s lead in half at 4-2.

“They play a little bit different of a style, and we had to adapt and make some adjustments throughout the game,” Bender said. “But overall it was a good win.”

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZJoe Derenzo (1) scored one of Parkland's four first-half goals against Upper Dublin Tuesday.