Log In

Reset Password

Northwestern downs Devon Prep

One could easily make a long highlight reel of Cade Christopher’s accomplishments at Tiger Stadium.

So, when the multi-sport Northwestern senior says something ranks high on his list of memories from his home stadium, it’s worth noting.

“This (will) be one of my favorite (memories) ... it’s right up there,” said Christopher after Northwestern downed Devon Prep 12-10, on Tuesday night in the opening round of the PIAA Class 2A State Tournament. “This is something I’m going to remember forever. I’m going to be able to tell it to my grandchildren. This was really fun.”

Christopher scored three goals and assisted on another in the win - the first-ever in the state tournament in program history. All three of his goals gave the Tigers the lead in the game, as did the assist to football and lacrosse teammate Blaine Snyder.

Christopher’s assist came on what was the most impressive goal of the night.

Goalie Bailen Smargiassi gave a long outlet pass to Jared Meck, who found Christopher deep in Tide territory. From there, Christopher worked the ball inside to Snyder, who nailed the goal to put Northwestern up 5-4.

That goal broke the third of what would be seven ties in the game - the last five of which were broken by Northwestern.

Austin Sosnovik opened the scoring with a shot under goalie Cole Brassington’s arm, only to see Prep tie the game shortly after the opening goal. Devon Prep then opened a 3-1 lead, but Northwestern got a goal off a steal by Snyder that he sent forward to Stone Sosnovik, who made it 3-2. Forty-six seconds later, Austin Sosnovik notched his second goal of the game on a long range shot to tie the contest at 3-3 after one quarter.

Devon Prep went up 4-3 early in the second quarter for what would be their its last lead of the game. Again, Northwestern snapped right back on a goal from Devon Hildebrand to make it 4-4.

After the Tigers used their long transition game to go up 5-4, the Tide again knotted things up with a goal just seven seconds before halftime.

“We knew coming in that they were tough, and that we were going to be facing better and better teams,” said Northwestern head coach Marcus Janda. “We also know that we can play tough teams and be competitive against anybody, so we just tried to stick together and play hard, and these guys did it.”

Coming into the district championship game, Northwestern switched up some of its offensive schemes and has given Hildebrand more opportunities for goals. The junior has taken advantage of that switch with a goal against Central Catholic in the district title game, and two against Devon Prep.

“I think I found my place back at the ‘x.’ It has helped me get open and helped other teammates get open, and it’s working well,” said Hildebrand of the change. “We were seeing the same opponent for a second or third time and knew they were going to be watching film and targeting players and schemes, so we switched it up to give another look.”

To start the second half, Northwestern broke the tie when Christopher took a feed from Ty Meck, ran the field, and put a shot past Brassington.

The game was again tied three minutes later and this time, Christopher beat three defenders to put the Tigers up 7-6.

Austin Sosnovik gave Northwestern its first two-goal lead of the night when he made a quick move around a defender to give himself a hat trick and the Tigers an 8-6 edge. Just as it did before, Devon Prep battled back and tied the game at 8-8 after three quarters.

“We were a little nervous coming into that third quarter because we were tied again, but we had been there before and we knew that we had this,” said Ty Meck. “We knew we had that little bit of dog in us, and we came out with the victory.”

Shortly after the final quarter began, Janda called a timeout. Just 12 seconds later, Austin Sosnovik put the Tigers up 9-8 with his fifth goal of the evening. Hildebrand followed with a leaping shot over a defender to make it 10-8, but there was still 9:48 left in regulation.

Over a span of six minutes, the Tide would again tie the game at 10-10. Northwestern would go up by one when Christopher scooped up a loose ball and scored his third goal of the game. The Tigers then got some insurance against another Devon Prep comeback when Austin Sosnovik scored his sixth when he launched a bounce shot from long range to make it 12-10.

SIBLING STORY ... Brothers Ty and Jared Meck have had the opportunity to play with each other, and be a part of the program’s first district championship and first win in states. “I love my brother. He’s been killing it this year,” said Ty Meck, a senior. “He’s a guy that stepped up at the beginning of the season, and he has turned heads. He’s making plays that we needed this year, and it’s special.”

UP NEXT ... Northwestern will now play West Chester Rustin, who beat Scranton Prep 17-2 on Tuesday night. The quarterfinal game will be played Saturday with the site and time still to be announced.

GOOD COMPANY ... District 11 has not been known for going deep into states in boys lacrosse. Northwestern joins Allentown Central Catholic, Emmaus, and Parkland as the only schools to have their boys lacrosse team win a game in the PIAA tournament. The win came in just the Tigers fourth season of play.

Northwestern's Devon Hildebrand (left) is defended by Devon Prep's Joey Chomko. NANCY SCHOLZ/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Northwestern goalie Bailen Smargiassi (1) makes a save against Devon Prep in Tuesday's PIAA Class 2A state tournament game. NANCY SCHOLZ/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS