Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Centurions Battle to Stay in Contention

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Centurions Battle to Stay in Contention

Article excerpt

Two of the more solid WPIAL Division 2 boys lacrosse teams met in a game played April 7 at Quaker Valley.

By the time the match was over, the host Quakers had rolled to a 17-3 victory against Greensburg Central Catholic, a team that has competed in three of the past five WPIAL Division 2 championships, and currently is ranked No. 21 in Laxpower.com's ratings for all boys teams in Western Pennsylvania, regardless of classification.

"They are a very good team with some very good players," Greensburg Central coach Mike Evans said of the Quakers, currently ranked No. 2 in the ratings. "But I told [Quaker Valley coach] Mike Marcotte that if we meet again, it will be a different game."

Evans isn't so bold to proclaim a Centurions victory the next time the two teams play, but he believes the return of several key players could make a big difference for his team and make it a much closer game.

"We were missing sophomore midfielder Brad Caric, who was injured in that game and was out for the past four games with a hamstring injury, and junior midfielder Nick Frank, who has been out the whole season after suffering a concussion during hockey season. With those two guys healthy, we hope to be able to qualify for the playoffs."

Caric and Frank rejoin a team that is solid defensively, and has several offensive threats. Key to that defense is senior defenseman Nick Benjamin.

"He anticipates things very well, and I haven't had a player like that in the 11 years I've been coaching this team," Evans said.

Another key defender is Jimmy Stunja, one of three seniors on the team. Three juniors -- defenders Tim Szekely and Joey Tritschler and goalie Zach Ringling -- are also huge in Evans' defensive alignment.

Going into Wednesday's game at Norwin, the Centurions were 4-4. Through seven games, they were paced offensively by junior midfielder Barrett Naugle with 16 goals and 4 assists and junior attack Will Croker, who had 11 goals and 3 assists. …

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