MEDFORD – Coming off two losses in its previous three games, the Shawnee High School boys’ lacrosse team needed to return to its winning ways.
But since the recent defeats were against elite out-of-state squads, the Renegades didn’t lose any confidence and they certainly weren’t in a panic mode.
Shawnee didn’t waste any time in creating distance Monday between rival Lenape, scoring the first three goals.
Seniors Jack Tyrrell and Dave Smith scored two goals each in the 7-4 Olympic Conference American Division win.
“We knew they were going to be coming at us,” said Tyrrell, a senior midfielder who will attend the University of Tampa, about Lenape. “We had to play our game and give it our best effort.”
Shawnee, ranked No. 2 in the Courier-Post Top 15, improved to 9-3.
The Renegades’ only loss in South Jersey was to No. 1 St. Augustine. The other losses were to Salesianum (Del.) and the Hun School (Pa.) in two of their previous three games.
“We look at them as good losses because it teaches us how to play against the harder teams,” Smith, a midfielder, said. “Lenape is an underrated team and they are a great team, but teams like Hun and Salesianum are sort of setting us up for the Clearviews, Moorestowns, Princetons and then hopefully the Ridgewoods down the road.”
Smith, a University of Virginia recruit, is looking for the big prize this season, already sizing up some of the top Group 3 teams in the state.
Meanwhile, No. 6 Lenape dropped to 6-5 with their second loss to Shawnee. The other losses for the Indians were against No. 1 St. Augustine, No. 5 Clearview (in their previous game) and No. 7 Cherry Hill East.
The Indians are in Group 4. The cutoff is Saturday for the seedings.
“If we do the right things that we take away from it, then it will help us,” said Lenape senior Vinnie Alfinito about the second loss to Shawnee. “It gives us the feeling of losing and no one likes that.”
In the first meeting, Smith scored all three of his goals in the fourth quarter with the Renegades trailing, including the game winner with 7.6 seconds remaining in a 6-5 win three weeks ago.
“They are a little bit better than us, we are still looking up at them, “Lenape coach Bill Sutphin said.
The Renegades, who play Cherry Hill East Wednesday, jumped to a 3-0 lead on goals by Curtis Corley, Tyrrell and Mike Githens when Lenape called a time out with 5:52 left in the first quarter.
The Indians responded on a Matt Ingersoll goal off an assist from Tim Montgomery, but Smith scored unassisted with 56 seconds left in the opening period for a 4-1 lead.
Connor Wolfe opened the second quarter with a goal for Lenape on assist from Anthony Brunetti. However, Shawnee answered when Tyrrell scored his second goal on an assist from Smith at 2:58. Then, 14 seconds later, Smith scored his second goal unassisted for a 6-2 lead at the half.
Shawnee goalie Ryan Miller had six saves while Lenape goalie Manny D’Alessio made 12 stops.
“We want to try and get the best competition on our schedule as we can and obviously playing Salesianum, St. Augustine and the Hun school, it helps us to realize what we need to do as we go on,” said Shawnee coach Erik Stilley, who played for the Renegades. “It teaches us a lot about our team. They are very well coached and they are very athletic teams and we learned about our defense and our offense and it helps us going into the playoffs.”
Kevin Callahan (856) 486-2424; email@example.com
David Smith of Shawnee Lacrosse collected 2 goals and 2 assists in 7-4 win over Lenape
SHAWNEE 7, LENAPE 4
•Player of the game: Shawnee senior David Smith collected two goals and two assists.
•Play of the game: Smith, a University of Virginia commit, assisted and scored a goal just 14 seconds apart late in second quarter for a 6-2 lead.
•Well said: “Those were good losses.” – Smith said about recent defeats against Salesianum (Del.) and the Hun School (Pa.).