Log In

Reset Password

Freedom boys look to defend D-11 title

Freedom’s boys’ lacrosse have dealt with obstacles all season long, but the defending District 11 champions are right where they want to be.

The second-seeded Pates coasted to a 16-2 win over Northampton in the opening round of the district tournament and then took on third-seeded Delaware Valley in Tuesday’s semifinal round, which was past Press deadlines.

Head coach Tony Fabrizio knew Tuesday’s showdown with Del Val would be a challenge, but it’s nothing his team isn’t prepared for following the gauntlet of the regular season.

“I think we match up well,” Fabrizio said of Del Val. “I think we have to play a team game to win. We can’t rely on one person to win us the game. We suffered a huge loss with losing Jake Ballerini to an injury, so we’ve been searching on the best game plan to win without him. We’ve tried a lot of different combinations and tried fine tuning to help us win.”

After losing to Easton 10-9 in the opening round of the EPC tournament, the Pates (14-3) have had time to regroup and focus on districts.

Fabrizio’s message has been simple.

“Our message to the team was that we’ve always been the underdog,” he said. “With losing Jake, a lot of people would say we’re the underdogs going into districts. We embrace that role. This year is no different. Our season motto was ‘Nobody cares, work harder.’ That especially applies now. We need to give 100% all the time to repeat this year.”

A win on Tuesday would set up a date on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Lehigh against Parkland or Easton. Freedom lost to the Trojans during the regular season and split both of their matchups with the Rovers.

Freedom’s girls saw their season come to an end on Monday following a 17-9 loss to top-seeded Pleasant Valley.

“I have a lot of respect for Pleasant Valley and the job their coaching staff has done,” said head coach Charis Innarella. “They won the EPC and are undefeated. They’re solid on defense and have a strong midfield and generate a lot of speed and quickness on the attack.”

Freedom knocked off Parkland 19-5 in their district opener, getting revenge on a 16-15 defeat to the Trojans late in the season. They finish the season 11-7 overall and Innarella is proud of what the team was able to accomplish.

“I am so proud of how much this team has improved and gained confidence down the stretch,” she said. “We played a complete game against Parkland and the kids were locked in. It was great teamwork and effort from everyone.”

Press photo by Mark Kirlin Jared Karabinus and the Freedom boys lacrosse team, shown here in the EPC playoffs against Easton, is looking to defend it's D-11 crown.