Penncrest storms into title game

Posted: June 05, 2014

   Will Manganiello walked past his team huddle after the first quarter.

Penncrest had a one-goal lead, but before he got to the water cooler, he turned his head to the right and shouted to his teammates: "We're not just going to win. We have to work for it."

Manganiello led by example Tuesday night and scored five goals as Penncrest beat Mount Lebanon, 15-10, in the PIAA boys' lacrosse semifinals at Cumberland Valley.

"We knew we could beat any team, but they're not just going to lay over and give it to us," Manganiello said. "It's the state semifinals - everyone is good. We had to go out there and win the game."

Penncrest turned its 3-2 lead after one quarter into a 9-4 lead at halftime. Before taking its starters out late in the game, Penncrest led by 15-5.

"We came out stagnant," Manganiello said. "We came out tired. It was hot. But we came out strong in the second quarter, and we just rolled with it."

Penncrest will play Avon Grove in the state final at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium.

The Lions won their first 19 games this season before losing to Springfield (Delco) in the quarterfinals in the District 1 tournament. That loss is fueling Penncrest's run through the state playoffs.

"A loss helped us because we were getting a little cocky and a little stagnant out there," Manganiello said. "We were just rolling through things. . . . That loss made us that much better because we came out the next game nasty, and it carried us all this way."

"We're 24-1 for a reason," Penncrest coach Wayne Matsinger said. "They're unflappable. The pressure doesn't get to them."

Manganiello stopped before he moved too far past his teammates later in the game.

This time, however, he had to stop sprinting.

With less than five seconds left, he took off toward the field but had to pull up just short of the sideline with 1.6 seconds left.

He yelled "dang it" toward the field.

This time, he was not sending a message to Penncrest. Mount Lebanon had scored, but his biggest concern was the delay before he could lead his team again, this time into celebration.

Mount Lebanon 2 2 0 6 – 10

Penncrest 3 6 2 4 – 15

Goals: ML-Brian Ward 3, Brian Kelly 3, Louis Lucerne 2, Sam White, Brendan White; P-Robert Logan 3, Will Manganiello 5, Drew Hanna 2, Alex Bonnett 3, Ryan Kinnard, Matt Young.

Saves: ML-Matt Lee 9; P-Dylan McCleaft 7.

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