A deeper and more experienced Avon Grove boys’ lacrosse team was able to impose its will and defeat Springfield 11-3 in a District One Playoff match Tuesday night.
The Devils were able to get ahead early and stay ahead throughout. It was a very business-like performance; the type of performance you would expect from the 8th seed in the district playoffs.
“We wanted to play together as a team and take every opportunity to appreciate playing with each other,’ Avon Grove head coach Eric Jackson said. ‘We try to share the ball and it’s never about one person”
Even with the complete team effort, midfielder Doug Jones stood out on this night. He tallied four goals and an assist for the Devils to lead the offensive charge.
“Doug played great tonight,’ Jackson said. ‘I thought the defense did a heck of a job. It was just a good team effort…Any given night seems like a different guy steps up for us, which is a good place to be – when you don’t really have one guy that needs to do everything.”
Also contributing to the score sheet for Avon Grove was JJ Morroz, who scored two goals. In all, the team got points from six different players in the game.
For Springfield it was more about the experience of getting to the playoffs, as this was the first time a boys’ lacrosse team has gotten there in school history. On the field, the Spartans knew they had a tough task ahead of them, which was magnified by a sloppy second quarter.
“I thought in the second quarter we played too much defense, couldn’t get out of our end,’ Springfield head coach Hank Resch said. ‘The other problem was we made like four mistakes that led to goals. I don’t know if we could have beaten them, but I think we could have given them a better game if we didn’t make those mistakes.“
Despite the loss there are plenty of positives to be taken from Springfield’s playoff appearance. One of those was senior Jack Gozzard’s final performance in a Spartan uniform. He scored two goals on the night.
“Jack is actually an attackman, and he’s going to be a very good division III attackman,’ Resch said. ‘He moved to midfield for us this year just because we needed some athletes out there and (tonight is) representative of how he played all year…Jack’s had a great year.”
Springfield also has a great opportunity to look at the bigger picture now that their season has ended. And any season that sets the school record for wins and clinches the team’s first playoff berth can be seen as a success.
“In the beginning of the season our goal was to win 10 games, no one had ever done that,’ Gozzard said. ‘We won 11 and we somehow clinched a playoff berth for the first time, so we’re happy about that. Whoever we played, it didn’t matter; we were just here to have fun. It was a good time.”
“I think the underclassmen get used to the intensity and what it takes to win a playoff game,’ Resch added. “It’s also the kind of experience the younger kids will want to come back for and experience again.
The improvement of Springfield was not lost on their opposition, either.
“I think they have a well-coached team and some good athletes out there,’ Jackson said about Springfield. ‘I think we may have had a little bit more depth tonight, but hats off to those guys for a great showing.”
Jackson will now focus his attention on a rematch from last year against C.B. East on Thursday. The Devils were able to win a district quarterfinal match 9-6 in 2014.
Avon Grove 11, Springfield 3
Goals: AG: Jones (4), Morroz (2), Rafferty, Reid, Pousson, Smith S: Gozzard (2), Baughan
Assists: AG: Rafferty, Reid, Pousson, Jones, Smith S: Donofry, Manshine
Saves: AG: Brodie 10 S: O’Hara 7