Conestoga boys advance to lacrosse state title game with win over Radnor

Conestoga's Connor Frisina and Radnor's Dan Michaelson on the move in the semifinal. Conestoga has advanced to the title game each season since the PIAA began sanctioning lacrosse in 2009.
Conestoga's Connor Frisina and Radnor's Dan Michaelson on the move in the semifinal. Conestoga has advanced to the title game each season since the PIAA began sanctioning lacrosse in 2009. (DAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 06, 2012

The Conestoga boys' lacrosse team will play for its third consecutive PIAA championship after beating Radnor, 10-2, in an all-Central League state semifinal Tuesday at Harriton.

Conestoga has advanced to the title game each season since the PIAA began sanctioning the sport in 2009. At 3 p.m. Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium it will face District 12 and Catholic League champ La Salle, which defeated Mount Lebanon of District 7, 12-3, on Tuesday.

"It's great to have a couple more days together as a team," said Pioneers attackman Bradlee Lord, who recorded two goals and two assists against Radnor. "We knew if we lost today, it's the end of the road. . . .

"We're just excited to get back. We have a lot of practice this week, but it's a great feeling to have one more game in our season."

The Pioneers (22-3) jumped to a 5-0 lead before the Red Raiders (18-8) scored with 8 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

Tyler Brooke and Jake Scott also scored twice for Conestoga. Miles Thomas scored 13 seconds into the game. Scott notched a goal 16 seconds into the second period to make it 5-0.

Meanwhile, Conestoga's defense looked impregnable, holding Radnor scoreless in the first and fourth quarters. The unit was physical, disciplined, and staunch in protecting the crease. At one juncture in the second half, a Radnor player on the sideline said, "They just won't budge."

"It was a big team thing," said Conestoga senior defenseman Jamie Ikeda, a Duke recruit. "Everyone played well as a unit. One-on-one we were doing all right, but our slides were there and our whole team was together."

Conestoga, ranked No. 6 in the nation by ESPNHS, swept the season series from Radnor, 3-0. It has won 11 straight since falling to the Haverford School on April 28.

The Pioneers outscored opponents by 118-49 over that stretch, in which they won their fourth straight District 1 crown.

"Conestoga really came to play. They were shot out of a cannon," Radnor coach John Bieger said. "Their defense was excellent; their goalies played well. They're so unselfish on offense. They really brought their 'A' game. It was a tough day for us."

The Pioneers used two goalies. Brody Shea played the opening half and made six saves. Robbie Zonino made four while playing the latter two quarters. Radnor goalie Brendan Manderack was impressive in making 12 saves.

Conestoga outshot Radnor by 28-19, but the Red Raiders managed an 8-7 edge in faceoffs and a 30-25 edge in ground balls. They couldn't parlay those typically crucial possession advantages into offense.

"I think that's a credit to our defense," Pioneers coach Brian Samson said. "They get a lot of extra possessions, and our defense was patient. They made a ton of plays, and we got stops when we needed to and got transition goals at the other end."

Senior midfielder Ben Junior scored both Radnor goals.

Radnor 0 1 1 0 – 2

Conestoga 3 4 2 1 – 10

Goals: R-Ben Junior 2; C-Bradlee Lord 2, Tyler Brooke 2, Connor Frisina, Jake Scott 2, Jordan Klunder, Miles Thomas, Alex Mezey.

Saves: R-Brendan Manderack 12; C-Brody Shea 6, Robbie Zonino 4.


Conestoga teammates Bradlee Lord and Jamie Ikeda talk about the victory over Radnor.

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Contact Evan Burgos at rallysports@phillynews.com.

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