MORGANTOWN — The University High boys’ lacrosse team clinched the top-seed in the state playoffs with a 15-6 win against Morgantown on Saturday May 5.
In his final regular-season home game, Gavin Yondura netted four goals to pace the Hawks (11-4, 6-1 WVSLA Division I) in the cross-town rivalry win.
“I’m really happy about (the win),” UHS head coach Brian Houk said. “This is the culmination of three years of hard work since I came here in 2016 when all these seniors were sophomores. They were deer in the headlights playing varsity and they have really developed into highly-functional, efficient players.”
University got things started by opening the game on a 4-0 run. Mathias Turner got things started off after about three minutes, then Reis Snider followed about 45 seconds later. Gavin Yondura and Antonio Mascaro would net goals in the first quarter to complete the opening run.
Cody Calvert would score for the Mohigans (11-4, 6-2) with 39 seconds left in the first quarter to avoid a shutout.
After three more goals by the Hawks, scored by Yondura, Quinn Napolillo and Nate Gibson, to go up 7-1, MHS began a comeback.
Cole Hadrych started things off with a goal with 7:07 left in the half. Noah Yohn would score again two and a half minutes later to cut the lead to four.
Calvert and Yohn would both score goals within 14 seconds of each other in the final two minutes to send the game to halftime with a 7-5 Hawks lead, but a Mohigans 4-0 run.
“It just came down to sticking to the gameplan, fundamentals and winning ground balls,” MHS head coach Jeremy Bennett said. “We got a lot of momentum out of doing those things.”
The momentum was short lived as University outscored Morgantown 7-1 in the third quarter behind two goals in the period by Yondura and Brayden Wilson to go up 14-6 with only the fourth quarter to play.
Both teams traded goals in the fourth quarter.
“We talked about it at halftime, lacrosse is a game of runs,” Houk said. “We’re going to get a run, they’re going to get some runs. We just accepted that it’s part of the game. We kind of took a deep breath, regrouped and stayed out of the penalty box.”
Gibson would net two goals and four assists in the win. Mascaro added two goals and Napolillo scored two goals and grabbed two assists.
Calvert led the Mohigans with a hat trick. Noah Yohn scored two goals as well.
With the win and the top-overall seed, the Hawks will host Linsly on Friday night in the quarterfinals of the WVSLA Playoffs. UHS beat the Cadets, 8-5, on the road earlier this season.
“Gosh, Linsly gave us all we could handle the last time we played them,” Houk said. “Despite Linsly being the eighth-seed, they’re a really good team.”
Morgantown drops down to the three seed after the loss and will host Spring Mills on either Friday or Saturday. The Mohigans opened up the season with the Cardinals and won a very defensive matchup, 5-3.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Spring Mills,” Bennett said. “We can’t sleep on them. We can’t take them for granted and I don’t think we will.”
Preston split a doubleheader, beating St. Albans, 11-8, and falling to George Washington, 9-4.
Hannah Rosenberger totaled seven goals in the two matches, while teammate Kaylee Tennant combined for three.
PHS goal keeper Emilie Roth combined for 23 saves in both matches. The Knights (6-6) will travel to George Washingtoin, at 6 p.m. Friday.
Laurel Highlands 0
Andrew Kerzak carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and also scored the winning run.
It was Kerzak’s second shutout of the season. His no-hitter ended with two outs in the sixth and he allowed two for the game. He also walked four and struck out seven.
He scored the game-winning run in the third, scoring off Caleb Taylor’s RBI single.
The Mohigans (16-8) will host Buckhannon-Upshur, at 7 p.m. Monday, in the first round of the sectional tournament.