Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Undefeated Trinity Boys’ Lacrosse Poised for Playoff Success

Building upon the success achieved last season when the Shamrocks of Trinity High School boys’ lacrosse team won their first ever Mid-Penn Championship, the ’Rocks are undefeated (13-0) as the 2024 league schedule winds down and the playoffs loom in May. While Trinity still has several league games left, it is a safe bet to wager that the Mid-Penn Championship will have the defending league champion ’Rocks vying to keep the coveted cup trophy against State College on May 14 at Landis Field in Harrisburg.

Trinity hosted State College on April 23 at COBO Field in the twilight of a perfect spring evening under the lights in front of a big crowd that witnessed a see-saw physical game with seven lead changes until the ’Rocks were able to outscore the Little Lions 10-5 in the second half to seal a key victory, 16-10. The Little Lions are big, physical and were also undefeated until Trinity aced their toughest test of the season with a statement victory by dominating in the final quarter.

Two days later, Trinity took the short bus ride to Cumberland Valley, where they faced another stern test against the Eagles at Eagle View Stadium. The ’Rocks had not beaten CV in a number of years , and this rivalry is always filled with emotion in a feud-like atmosphere where two bullies are loathe to back down. It’s fair to say Trinity did not play its best game of the year against their archrival, yet the 12-8 victory was a statement win. Every team brings its best game against Trinity, who is the only undefeated team in District 3 as the season speeds into May. Moreover, Trinity is perched inside the top five in the PIAA Class 2A, which puts a distinct target on their backs in every game.

Trinity beat a very good Hershey team earlier in the year, 13-4, bested Bucks County’s Holy Ghost Prep out of District 1, 7-3, and nearly were upset by a gritty, spirited Palmyra team that mounted a fourth quarter charge only to fall two goals short at COBO.

Despite the close battles, Trinity has three shutouts on its resumé; while clearly the offense is a high-octane, transition oriented, quick scoring threat led by attackers Peter Gaudion, Nico Chirieleison and Peyton Cerelius (who are on pace to score 200 goals this season as a group), it is the ’Rocks’ defense that makes this team difficult to beat. Led by senior Bodey Teter (with a save percentage of .695 percent) his close defenders are stingy poles, led by Ryan Smathers, Josh Standford and Caleb Myers-Hanks, who collectively give their goalkeeper rock-solid crease support in the interior. Freshman Parker Will has very ably controlled the face-off X, and long-stick middie Joseph Olivetti has roamed the midfield with pluck finesse on opportunity ground balls, as has sophomore middie Mason Boyer added scoring punch on Trinity’s EMO (extra man offense). Helping at mid-field also is Ari Lane, whose speed has given Trinity ample opportunities to change the field and score in transition.

This season marks head coach Jerry Stanford’s second year at the helm, and his roster has only a few seniors sprinkled in. It’s a young, hungry team that looks extremely poised to be playing well into June in the PIAA Class AA state tournament after achieving their goal of defending their Mid-Penn title and District 3 championship won several seasons ago.

(Photos by Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness.)

By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness

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