The Saucon Valley Panthers boys lacrosse team has already clinched the #4 seed in the 2019 District XI playoffs, but the games must go on. Monday afternoon the Panthers hosted the Freedom Patriots and treated area lacrosse fans to an exciting and competitive clash. The game became even more exciting with a wild 4th period finish that extended the contest into sudden-death overtime.
The game started quickly when Panther sophomore Colin Zyck sprinted around the goal and placed his wrap-around shot into the lower right corner of the Patriot goal less than a minute into the game. Freedom came back, however, on their very next possession to tie the score.
At the 9:02 mark of the 1st quarter Colin Johnson scored a goal after accepting a feed from Tommy Austin as he cut toward the goal. Freedom, once again retaliated to tie it up at two apiece with 6:21 on the clock.
About three minutes later Colin Johnson again lit the scoreboard. Johnson drove hard toward the goal and rifled a bouncer to beat the Patriot goalie to his stick side. Once again, Freedom evened things up with another score with under three minutes left in the opening quarter. Panther goalie, Kyle Patton, kept the score even at the buzzer when he turned away a tough Patriot shot. At the first intermission the scoreboard read 3-3.
Near the start of the 2nd quarter Colin Johnson was feeling it and took a great pass and tossed it into the back of the Freedom goal only thirty seconds in to get the lead back for the Panthers at 4-3. But, once, again Freedom had an answer at the 10:15 mark.
At 8:47 Saucon Valley was penalized for unnecessary-roughness and had to play a man down. However, a spirited defense led by the tough stick-work and play of Evangelos Hahalis and Curtis Clifford kept the Patriots off the scoreboard. The Panther defense held and their offense rode the momentum and earned three consecutive goals. Colin Johnson was credited with the first goal after he took a Tommy Austin pass and snapped it in for a 5-4 lead. About three minutes later after another tough defensive stand, Saucon Valley’s C.J. Stump ripped a sidearm laser for the second score. Then, a sweet Stump to Johnson to Owen Petiet sequence led to paydirt. Petiet’s goal gave the Panthers a 7-4 halftime lead.
The 3rd quarter was all Freedom. Goals by the Patriots at 9:07, 6:41 and 4:54 brought the teams all back to even.
Colin Johnson stepped up once again for the Panthers and scored two minutes into the 4th quarter. Freedom responded with a goal at the 7:32 mark to tie it up at 8-8. Almost three minutes later Colin Zyck drove hard to the goal and pulled up with a jump shot that found the back of the net. Saucon Valley held a 9-8 advantage with 4:53 remaining.
The two teams traded possessions and the goalies for each team came up big with saves. Freedom however was flagged for a penalty with only :35 seconds left in the game. With possession, Saucon Valley was playing “stall-ball” to kill the clock. However, the Panthers got antsy and took a shot that deflected out toward midfield with about :13 seconds left in regulation. As the teams battled frantically for possession it was Saucon Valley who was called for a penalty and had to play a man-down with only :10 seconds left. Freedom quickly moved the ball up field and drilled a shot into the Panther goal from about 12-yards out. With :02 seconds left, Freedom had tied it up and rode the momentum into overtime.
With the score becoming deadlocked 9-9 at the end of regulation time, the game was extended into a four minute sudden-death overtime period. Freedom won the opening draw and went right to work in the Panther zone. The Patriot offense created a quality chance, but Kevin Patton made another one of his magnificent saves.
Patton found his outlet and the Panthers went on the attack. With possession, Colin Zyck circled the net to his left as he nimbly avoided Freedom’s pressure defense. As Zyck circled around the goal and climbed out on the wing to his right, he delivered the ball with a crisp pass to fellow super-soph Colin Johnson who was cutting toward the goal. Johnson dodged one defender, loaded and then fired a shot that beat the Patriot goal-keeper into the lower right-hand corner of the net. In dramatic fashion, Saucon Valley defeated Freedom by a 10-9 score.
Panther Net Flicks: Sophomore Colin Johnson struck it rich with six goals. Colin Zyck, also a sophomore, added two scores. Senior C.J. Stump and sophomore Owen Petiet each added a goal for the Panthers. Junior Kyle Patton was outstanding in the cage for Saucon Valley with a number of great saves.
Up Next: The Panthers will prepare for a home contest against a tough Southern Lehigh Spartan program scheduled for May 6th at 4:30 p.m. The showdown with Southern Lehigh will serve as preparation for the District XI championships where #4 Saucon Valley will most likely battle #1 Allentown Central Catholic in the semifinals.
Good luck Panthers, the Source is with you!