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Tigers push Parkland to the limit

He wasn’t looking for any sympathy, or a pat on the back for that matter.

But following the Northwestern High School boys lacrosse 11-8 defeat to Parkland Tuesday night at Parkland High School, head coach Marcus Janda wanted the high school lacrosse community to know that his Tigers are here - and they’re going to be ready for anybody.

“I was hoping for the Cinderella story tonight, but unfortunately we came up just a little bit short,” said Janda, a Parkland alumni and former assistant coach for the program. “We know that program well and how good they are, but our kids showed up ready to compete tonight. For being one of, if not the youngest team in District 11, to take a perennial district contender to the final whistle, I’m proud of them.”

The Trojans are defending Eastern Pennsylvania Conference champions, having won it in spring of 2019, and were two-time district champions in 2017 and 2018.

But, they were on the ropes in a four-quarter tight game from the opening whistle.

Northwestern broke two different ties in the first quarter to take separate leads of 3-2 and 4-3, the latter of which was the score they led by at the end of the opening frame.

Drew Sabo, who had three goals for the Tigers, scored with just 0:03 left in the first quarter to give his team plenty of momentum early on. The Northwestern offense in the opening 12-minute quarter was efficient, scoring its four goals on just five shots.

“Our players brought the juice, and they needed to,” Janda said. “We knew that we had to score goals tonight, and score early so we weren’t put behind the eight ball. The guys did a good job of just putting shots on net and seeing what came out of it. We had some early success.”

The teams split a goal apiece to start the second quarter, before Parkland scored three straight in the final 3:02 to take a 7-5 lead into halftime.

The Tigers were still right there within striking distance as the second half began, but neither team seemed to be able to create any offense

The Trojans netted two quick strikes in just eight seconds, followed by a goal by Cade Christopher with 0:04 left. All three goals were scored under 0:35, and Parkland was ahead 9-6 heading into the final quarter.

The Trojans took control of the game with two consecutive goals from Brett Cipolla and Matt Geroulo, and their lead spiked to 11-6.

“That was a little deflating, to go down by five goals in the fourth quarter,” said Janda. “We wanted to stay within just a couple of goals, but it kind of got away from us there in the end.”

Sabo added two goals in about a minute’s time to cap the Northwestern scoring.

Kane Flickinger recorded three goals, while Taylor Wickert had one to round out the scoring for the Tigers. Austin Sosnovik contributed two assists, and Noah Smargiassi added one.

WHAT’S NEXT ... Northwestern takes on another EPC opponent in Nazareth on Thursday, before taking on Saucon Valley on Saturday. Both games are at Tigers stadium.

HOMECOMING ... Both Janda and his top assistant coach, Joe Labella, played and coached at Parkland and were back on the sidelines in different colors Tuesday.

STOUT IN GOAL ... Daniel Fenstermacher finished with 14 saves in net.

Northwestern's Noah Smargiassi carries the ball up the field against Parkland. DON HERB/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS