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Boys lacrosse falls to ACC in EPC semifinals

The Parkland High School and Allentown Central Catholic High School boys lacrosse programs have been perennial Eastern Pennsylvania Conference title contenders for the last decade. The two teams have combined to win the last three conference championships, with 2020 not having a champion due to the pandemic.

The Trojans are the two-time defending EPC champs, having won back-to-back in 2018 and 2019, and the Vikings last won the conference crown in 2017.

But this year, the two teams met in the semifinals so one was going to be playing for another championship and the other would fall a game short. This time around, Central Catholic got the better of Parkland, blitzing the Trojans for 14 goals on the way to a 14-1 victory in the EPC semifinal round Monday evening at Parkland High School.

“It’s always fun to play against them,” said Trojan head coach Mike Bender. “They’re a great team and they showed that tonight. They got to us early and we were put in a hole that we just couldn’t climb out of.”

The second-seed Vikings (16-1 overall) started early and scored the game’s first 11 goals and were never really put into any trouble. The Vikings led 3-0 after the opening quarter and 9-0 at halftime, before opening up the third quarter with two more goals.

“They were tough to stop defensively tonight,” Bender said. “They come with a lot of offensive firepower, but tonight they were just on a whole other level.”

It was a similar outcome to when the two teams met during the regular season, but it was a little bit closer. Central defeated Parkland 9-6 back on April 21 as the Trojans (10-4) were in that game until the very end.

“I’m not really sure what the difference was tonight compared to the last game,” said Bender. “They just played with a lot of energy.”

The third seed, Parkland, scored its lone goal in the third quarter off the stick of Brett Cipolla. But by that point the game was out of hand and in control of Central.

Goalie Zade Hadid finished with 12 saves.

Parkland will now set its sights and hope to regroup for the District 11 Class 3A tournament, set for next week. The Trojans won the district title in both 2017 and 2018.

PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERB Mason Zaun (17) and his Trojan teammates fell to Central Catholic Monday, but they'll be back in action next week in hopes of advancing through the District 11 playoffs