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Boys lax passes test against young Tigers

When the Parkland boys lacrosse team looked over to the other sideline Tuesday night, they saw some familiar faces. Trojan alumni and former assistant coaches Marcus Janda and Joe Labella teamed up to coach the second-year program of Northwestern Lehigh High School.

Janda had his team ready to play against the defending Eastern Pennsylvania Conference champion Trojans, as Parkland had to hold on to defeat the Tigers 11-8 in a nonconference game at Parkland High School.

“I was hoping for the Cinderella story tonight, but unfortunately we came up just a little bit short,” said Janda. “We know that program well and how good they are, but our kids showed up ready to compete tonight.

“For being one of, if not the youngest team in District 11, to take a perennial district contender to the final whistle, I’m proud of them. It was great to see everyone over there and see them continue to grow in the sport. But at the end of the day we want to beat them.”

Matt Geroulo tallied a game-high four goals to pace the Parkland attack. It was the fourth win in a row for the Trojans (4-1 overall), who lost their opener to Nazareth on March 29 by one goal, but have bounced back in a big way.

“It feels good to be back out here on this field playing again,” said Geroulo. “We don’t care who the opponent is, we just want to play and win. These guys tonight (Northwestern) really showed up and played hard. You have to give them credit, they gave us a fight. And we figured they would with who their coaches are.”

Northwestern broke two different ties in the first quarter to take separate leads of 3-2 and 4-3, the latter of which was the score they led with at the end of the opening frame.

Drew Sabo, who led the Tigers with three goals, scored with just 0:03 left in the first quarter to give his team plenty of momentum early on. The Northwestern offense in the opening 12-minute quarter was efficient, scoring its four goals on just five shots.

The teams split a goal apiece to start the second quarter before Parkland scored three straight, via Drew and Will Filipovits, in the final 3:02 to take a 7-5 lead into halftime.

The Tigers were still right there within striking distance as the second half began, but neither team seemed to be able to create any offense.

The Trojans netted two quick strikes with Geroulo and Matt Barraco in just eight seconds, followed by a goal by Northwestern’s Cade Christopher with 0:04 left. All three goals were scored under 0:35, and Parkland was ahead 9-6 heading into the final quarter.

The Trojans took control of the game with two consecutive goals from Cipolla and Geroulo, and their lead spiked to 11-6.

“We knew that third quarter was going to be important in deciding who was going to win,” Geroulo said. “It was just a two-goal game so momentum could swing in anyone’s favor. You could see how intense it was with the defenses playing the way they were. Winning that quarter proved to be important for us.”

Mason Zaun also recorded a goal, and Jake Hurd added an assist. Zayd Afif finished with two saves in goal.

Parkland finishes off its week with a game at Moravian Academy Thursday.

PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERB Matt Geroulo takes a shot from a Northwestern defender while carrying the ball upfield for the Trojans.