Gateway boys lacrosse celebrates senior night with dramatic victory
There have been more losses than wins for the Gateway varsity boys lacrosse team in its first full season in the WPIAL.
But Friday's 10-8 triumph over Moon on senior night at Gateway's Antimarino Stadium, head coach John Washington said, will go down as memorable victory for the young program.
The Gators trailed 7-3 at halftime and were down 8-4 in the second half before rallying to score the game's final six goals.
“I told the kids after the game that I have been coaching and involved in sports since I was 5 years old, and I have won multiple championships in many different sports, but I have never been so elated and more proud to be involved with a group of young people,” coach Washington said.
“I've known all along that they could compete and win in this sport, and to see them finally realize it and see the joy on their faces was amazing. I feel like we finally turned the corner.
“Moon is a very, very good team. They beat us 14-1 the last time we played, so nobody expected us to beat them. Everything just came together, and I can't recall being involved in something so special.”
Gateway tied the game 8-8 in the fourth quarter on a goal from junior Jack Washington, who took advantage of a miscue by the Moon goalie and buried the equalizer in the back of the net.
Junior Dylan Roney then scored the eventual game winner when he split a double team to beat the Tigers netminder.
Coach Washington called a timeout with 3:14 on the clock to set up a strategy of patience.
“We took a quick shot trying to add one more after we took the lead,” he said. “We decided we would try to take the clock down under two minutes and then attack the goal. We drew up a new offense to try to get the matchup we wanted.”
Coach Washington said Roney had the hot hand, and so he was isolated with his defender. Roney saw an opening, beat his defender and another defender in front of the goal and scored to put Gateway up two with 2:14 left.
“We have been in the same situation so many times this year, and we'd let it slip through our hands,” coach Washington said.
“But on this night, something clicked, and our kids decided they wouldn't be denied another opportunity to win.”
Gateway improved to 3-10 overall and 1-3 in Section 1 of Division II.
Roney finished with a hat trick, while Jack Washington and senior Shawn Chaudry had two each.
Also scoring goals were senior Rob Milne and juniors Sam Passalinqua and Greg Paladin.
Junior Mark Wiesemann had a team-best two assists.
Coach Washington again credited the defense, including the long-pole duties of seniors Quint DiLucente and Nick Zervoudis and juniors John Yakim and Jared Campbell.
He said seniors Chris Frazier and Jordan Mardirossian and juniors Dorian Eathorne and Matt Harris, “stepped up like I've never seen them step up before. They were winning faceoffs, cutting off shooting lanes, securing ground balls, creating fast breaks and playing the physical style of defense that we know we can play.”
Coach Washington said he was pleased with the play of junior goalie Collin Berdis in the second half. Berdis gave up only one goal over the final two quarters.
“He stopped everything, cleared the ball cleanly and even had the presence of mind to run the ball out himself when everyone was covered,” coach Washington said. “He has really developed into a solid player.”
Gateway was slated to travel to Norwin on Wednesday in its final section game of the season.
The game was to be played past the deadline for this week's edition.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.