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High School Boys Lacrosse: St. Francis makes its own statement in win

Alex Misterman, pictured here in a win over Nichols, helped St. Francis pull out a MMAA upset over St. Joe’s on May 6. (Photo courtesy of Ron Larson)
St. Joe’s surprising overtime win over Timon-St. Jude a few weeks back altered the landscape a bit of Monsignor Martin boys lacrosse and helped put the Marauders square in the spotlight.

That’s until Monday when St. Francis stole some of the attention when it pulled off an upset of its own, beating the same St. Joe’s team that had just ended Timon’s six-year unbeaten run against MMAA teams.

The Red Raiders, which led most of the way, scored three straight goals to start the fourth, then held on for dear life in the final minutes of the quarter to knock off St. Joe’s 13-12.

“We relish the underdog role, that’s fine with us,” St. Francis second-year head coach Greg Van Remmen said. “This is just another link on our chain, another step in the right direction.”

It’s safe to say St. Francis (8-6) turned some heads in handing St. Joe’s its first MMAA loss this season and in process, earning one of the program’s biggest wins over the past several seasons. It’s also a third straight victory for the Red Raiders after losing three of the previous four games.

“Coming in, we knew it was going to be the biggest game of the year to this point,” said senior Brett Benzinger, who scored twice, including the first of three consecutive fourth quarter goals to open a four-score lead for St. Francis. “The way we came out, we came out strong. Our attitude has changed from our little mid-season slump. It worked out well.”

St. Francis took a 7-4 lead into halftime. St. Joe’s came back to tie the score 8-8 late in the third before the Red Raiders scored two quickly and took a 10-9 advantage going into the final quarter. Senior Alex Misterman led the offensive attack in the win with four goals.

After St. Joe’s scored three times in 44 seconds to cut the St. Francis lead to one with just over a minute to play, Scott Doser came up with a key steal to take the ball away from the Marauders who were attempting to set up a final offensive opportunity.

Brad Whitford made a handful of key saves in the fourth quarter, including stopping a long last-second shot to end the game. Tyler McTigue scored what turned out to be the game-winner with 4:43 left in the game. Jarrett Dolegala, who scored the goal prior, set up the tally in transition. Both McTigue and Dolegala finished with two goals.

“There was no quit, it was all hard work,” said Van Remmen, who credited the continued effort of his 15 seniors. “That’s what we preach every day and that’s what we go today. They worked their butts off and those seniors are why we are here right now.”

St. Francis gave St. Joe’s a good run in a 10-6 loss the first time the teams played April 17, but this time, the host Red Raiders showed off their new-found enthusiasm.

“We took last time’s loss and made a whole attitude switch,” Benzinger said. “We just needed a little refresh. It was all in the attitude…This win is huge because we’ve got this momentum now but we can’t take anything for granted. We’ve got a lot still ahead of us.”

Though he liked the effort of his team, VanRemmen wasn’t ready to declare that the group has accomplished anything big just yet. “We’ve still got a lot of work to do,” he said.

Also during the win streak, St. Francis beat St. Mary’s 18-2 in Monsignor Martin action behind Dylan McDonald’s three goals and downed Nichols 10-4 in Monsignor Martin play with Ryan Hornberger finishing with two goals and a pair of assists.

Elsewhere, Hamburg had to come-from-behind to defeat an upstart Iroquois 10-8 in Class B. Lucas Shafer finished with four goals and an assist. Austin Bishop added two goals and four assists for the Bulldogs (10-2).

Also, Frontier secured at least the third seed in the upcoming sectional playoffs with a 7-6 overtime win over Lancaster on April 30.

Jimmy Smith led the Falcons offense with three goals, while Phil Stamer posted wins on 11 of 12 face-offs, notched his first career goal and added five ground balls. Jake Kocic added one goal and an assist. Connor Kacmarski and Ian Woods each notched goals.


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