La Salle ousts Garnet Valley

Garnet Valley's Jon Vandenberg shoots against La Salle goalie Colin MacDougall as the Explorers' Austin Clibanoff looks on.
Garnet Valley's Jon Vandenberg shoots against La Salle goalie Colin MacDougall as the Explorers' Austin Clibanoff looks on.
Posted: June 03, 2013

Garnet Valley coach Frank Urso had a sense, even before the opening faceoff against La Salle in Saturday's PIAA boys' lacrosse quarterfinals, that his players were running on fumes after an emotional week.

"You could just tell," he said after his Jaguars were pounded by the Explorers, 13-4, at West Chester Henderson. "All of our coaches noticed it. We were like, 'Oh my gosh, we're in trouble here.' "

The Garnet Valley community has been reeling since Tuesday. That's when one of its own, Kip Taviano, 17, was killed after losing control of his car and swerving into traffic in Concord Township.

Taviano attended the Haverford School, but grew up playing with many of Garnet Valley's players. Urso coached the Glen Mills resident for four years with the Brandywine Youth Club.

"It was the toughest coaching week I've ever had," Urso said. "Our seniors were trying to deal with so much. Kip lived about 100 yards from our high school."

La Salle registered five goals in the first period, did the same in the second, and cruised to its 21st straight victory since a 10-5 loss to Gilman School (Md.) on April 5.

Sean Coleman, a senior midfielder and Harvard recruit, spurred La Salle's attack with five first-half goals. He missed the early portion of this season with a broken left tibia.

"I'm still trying to get my speed and strength back, but it feels pretty good," the 5-foot-10, 175-pound dynamo said.

Tuesday, at a site and time to be determined, La Salle (21-2) will take on District 7 runner-up North Allegheny, which ousted District 3's Carlisle by 9-5 on Saturday, in a semifinal.

Down by 12-0, the Jaguars (18-7) finally got on the scoreboard when Brock D'Annunzio found the net two minutes into the third period.

For the Explorers, a defense that Coleman said has been "playing lights out lately" was led by Stefan Bergman, Conor Resch, and Andrew Eidenshink.

La Salle coach Bill Leahy substituted freely in the second half. Senior Nick Hreshko was replaced in goal by junior Colin MacDougall midway through the third quarter.

"They're talented, they play well as a team, and they know how to find each other," Urso said of the Explorers. "Great teams make you pay for mistakes, and that's what they did against us.

Garnet Valley 0 0 1 3 – 4

La Salle 5 5 3 0 – 13

Goals: GV-Brock D'Annunzio 2, Jake Snow, Jon Vandenberg; LS-Sean Coleman 5, Brian McNamara 3, Adam Schaal 2, Jeff Cimbalista, Steve Hudak, Mike Rihm.

Saves: GV-Mitch Rose 3, Mark Barnes 1; LS-Nick Hreshko 4, Colin MacDougall 8.


Contact Rick O'Brien at robrien@phillynews.com.

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