Garnet Valley rallies in semifinal

Garnet Valley's players rejoice after Matt Taulane scored in sudden death to beat top-seeded Radnor, 7-6. The Jaguars will face Avon Grove in the final.
Garnet Valley's players rejoice after Matt Taulane scored in sudden death to beat top-seeded Radnor, 7-6. The Jaguars will face Avon Grove in the final. (RON CORTES / Staff)
Posted: May 22, 2013

Thanks to Jon Vandenberg's late goal in regulation and Matt Taulane's sudden-death tally, Garnet Valley is returning to the PIAA District 1 boys' lacrosse final.

After Vandenberg scored with just seven seconds left in regulation, Taulane's tally early in overtime lifted the No. 5-seeded Jaguars to a 7-6 triumph over top-seeded and host Radnor in a semifinal Tuesday night.

"I just saw everybody working the ball around," Taulane said. "The defense must have lost me. I found an open gap and took advantage of it."

Vandenberg assisted on Taulane's winner.

"That was a great pass," Taulane said. "He deserves a lot of credit for that score."

In Thursday's final, at 7:30 p.m. at Radnor, Garnet Valley (17-5) will face No. 10 seed Avon Grove (18-3). The Red Devils rallied in the fourth period for a 6-5 win over No. 3 Conestoga (12-9) in Tuesday's semifinal opener.

Against Radnor, the Jaguars trailed by 4-1 at intermission.

"We needed to relax," Taulane said. "As long as we play as a team, nobody can beat us."

The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Taulane, a senior who will continue his lacrosse career at Division I Bellarmine in Louisville, scored two goals, as did teammates Brandon Dowd and Robert Raucci.

Of Taulane, a cornerback in football last season, Garnet Valley coach Frank Urso said, "He's playing phenomenally right now. He's kind of unstoppable."

In the third period, Raucci and Taulane scored to trim the deficit to 4-3. Raucci's second goal of the night evened the contest.

With a little less than two minutes remaining in regulation, Connor Burns gave Radnor a 6-4 advantage. Dowd made it a one-goal game with 1 minute, 18 seconds to play.

"We're a second-half kind of team," Taulane said. "It's awesome how we play when the game is on the line. That's when we really turn it up."

With goals from Alex Manderack and Mike Cherry, the Red Raiders (17-4) were ahead, 2-0, after the opening 12 minutes.

Garnet Valley 0 1 3 2 1 – 7

Radnor 2 2 1 1 0 – 6

Goals: GV-Robert Raucci 2, Brandon Dowd 2, Matt Taulane 2, Jon Vandenberg; R-Connor Burns 2, Alex Manderack, Mike Cherry, Ben Savitch, Tom Hemcher.

Saves: GV-Mitch Rose 7; R-Brendan Manderack 11.


Contact Rick O'Brien at robrien@phillynews.com. Follow @ozoneinq on Twitter. Read his blog, "The O'Zone," at www.inquirer.com/ozone

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