Cumberland Valley’s Patrick Martin received an out pass about 10 yards outside the shooting range, sped towards the cage on a smooth turf pitch at Eagle View Stadium and popped his shot into the back of the net , ahead of Central York goalkeeper Luke McGlaughlin.
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There were two minutes and 30 seconds left in the third quarter in a tight fight between the non-conference boys’ lacrosse rivals Friday night, and the Eagles hadn’t scored since the first half of the second quarter. More importantly, Martin’s goal put the Eagles back within striking distance — a two-point margin — and seemed to ignite a fire within CV.
Central York’s Jimmy Kohr had other ideas.
After another goal from Martin in the final 30 seconds of the third put Panther ahead at one, Kohr came out in the fourth and denied any potential late push from Eagle. Pocketing a pair of scores in the first two minutes of the last frame and taking his tally to five goals, Kohr guided the Panthers to a 7-4 win over the host Eagles in the match between the two unbeaten teams.
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“We didn’t play our game tonight with the offense,” CV head coach Phil Helms said. “Some guys were trying to do a little more than they should have. They were pressing, trying to get through the doubles or even the triples teams.
And it wasn’t that the Eagles didn’t have an offensive frequency. Cumberland Valley (4-1, 2-0 Commonwealth) was the first to put a dash in the scoring column after three good looks at goal early. The Eagles broke five minutes when Tristan Hall found a cutting Justin Buchenauer behind the net and hit the senior CV in stride to score the opening goal.
But as Friday’s game progressed, the Eagles’ ball movement gradually faltered. They began to settle for shots from 15 to 18 yards, which whizzed around and over the pipes. The Eagles racked up 17 shots on goal, managing just four on target.
Cumberland Valley recorded assists with three of four goals. Max Wilken’s goal – the only unassisted – early in the second quarter came in a fight for a ball on the ground. As the ball neared the crease, Wilken gained possession and made his way to McGlaughlin to drive his shot into the top left corner of the cage.
“If you watched three of the four goals,” Helms said, “[they] were exactly how our attack is supposed to work. … It’s the goals (assisted goals) that have to happen for us because it has to be about the movement of the ball for us, and that’s when we play at our best – that’s when we move the ball quickly at the offensive side. When it gets stuck in the kids’ sticks, that’s when we struggle.
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Defensively, minus Kohr’s goal barrage, the Eagles back unit held firm. Between the posts, main goaltender Jonah Burd compiled 14 saves, including five in the third quarter where the Panthers were shut out. CV’s defensive line, led by Colin Chizmar and Dalton Forsyth, also forced its share of Panther turnovers, which unofficially totaled eight.
At 9:52 of the second quarter, Kohr had already earned his hat trick. Along with Kohr, Jonathan Nagy and Dayton Bagwell each scored a goal for Central York.
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Going into Friday’s fight, Central York averaged 14.25 goals per game. The Eagles limited the Panthers to their weakest performance of the year so far.
“Our defense has been phenomenal,” Helms said. “You get a kid like Jimmy Kohr there, No. 9 for them, he’s a dynamic player. He can change a game and [he had] five goals for them. … We can slow him down, but we can’t stop a kid like that.
Despite the defensive effort, the offensive struggles proved too much to overcome.
The Eagles are aiming to restore their offensive signature — crisp, consistent ball movement — when they return to the field on Tuesday against Cedar Cliff.
“We held them to seven,” Helms said. “A few we should have done better – it could have been a better result. [But] if we can hold them at seven again, I think we can do better offensively next time.
Christian Eby is a sports reporter for The Sentinel and cumberlink.com. You can contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at: @eby_sports