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Pates eye EPC berths

Freedom’s boys and girls lacrosse teams will be fighting for East Penn Conference playoff berths this week, as the regular season winds down this weekend.

The Freedom boys (13-2) should be able to lock up one of the top four seeds in next week’s league tournament, which begins Monday with the semifinal round.

The Pates knocked off Nazareth 13-5 on Monday and finish the regular season on Wednesday against Liberty.

A win over the Hurricanes should clinch at least the fourth seed for Freedom, with Central Catholic (11-0), Easton (13-2) and Parkland (13-2) rounding out the other spots. It would mark the first time in program history that they would participate in the league playoffs.

Freedom suffered their first setbacks of the season last week with losses to the Rovers and Trojans, but could have a shot at redemption against either team in the conference tournament or in the district playoffs.

While the losses aren’t what they wanted, head coach Tony Fabrizio understood it can’t always go your way in a season.

“I think the biggest takeaway from our losses last week is that we don’t have the roster depth to play six games in eight days,” he said. “It was definitely tough not having any rest days before Parkland and Easton, and it showed with our play. We have tough boys this year though. They didn’t complain one time about it, and kept fighting through the fatigue. I think that says a lot about our team as a whole. We’ve also learned from our mistakes from those losses, and look to correct them going forward.”

The season will wind down for both Liberty and Bethlehem Catholic boys programs this week. The Hurricanes (2-10) have games with Northampton, Freedom and Quakertown to end the week, while Becahi (0-12) finishes with Central Catholic on Wednesday.

Freedom’s girls will be the only local team battling for an EPC berth, as the Pates have three games this week against Nazareth, Liberty and Lake Lehman. A sweep of this week’s contests still might not be enough for the Pates (10-4), as Pleasant Valley (12-4) sits a spot in front of them for the last league entry with the Bears more than likely finishing out the season undefeated as well.

Liberty (2-13) and Bethlehem Catholic (0-10) are in identical situations as the boys programs, as they close out their campaigns this week as well.

The Hurricanes have contests with Freedom and Becahi on Tuesday and Wednesday, while the Hawks have Central Catholic on Tuesday before closing out their city rivalry against the Hurricanes. Liberty won the initial meeting this season 13-4.

By Mark Kirlin Kailey Turpening and the girls are looking to make the EPC playoffs.