by Tom Utescher
After launching the 2012 boys lacrosse season with one four-goal victory and four losses decided by a total of seven points, Penn Charter rippled the nets repeatedly last Wednesday in a 16-0 romp against visiting Father Judge High School.
There were hat tricks for senior Tyler Earley and sophomore John Horan, and senior Brian Lee and junior Eric Berger each struck twice for the Quakers. The rest of Charter’s total was fleshed out by single goals from sophomores Nick Bambino, Drew Murray, and Dean Roseman, and freshmen Nile Hodges, Peter O’Malley, and James Vandergrift.
Senior goalie Jackson Tamasitis, a three-year starter headed for the U.S. Military Academy, was called on to make six saves.
Several other Quakers upperclassmen have made their college choices. Attackman Shane Carr, out of action at the moment with a shoulder sprain, will attend Yale University, while defensemen John Moderski and Tom Monzo have picked Villanova and Stony Brook, respectively. Earley, Lee, and midfielder Brent Gagne are still sorting it all out.
Penn Charter, which finished 12-11 last spring after reaching the semifinals of the Inter-Ac Invitational Tournament, suffered more graduation losses on offense than defense. Among the seven departing seniors was scoring ace Joey Sankey, who is already a key contributor at North Carolina this spring. Another potent player on offense, current PC junior Ray Vandegrift, has been sidelined by injury.
“We’ve got some young guys out there and it’s showing in the early games,” related Quakers coach Pat McDonough. “We’ve made some mistakes due to inexperience, and when you play good teams those things come back to haunt you.”
Two weekends ago PC made a southern excursion to play a couple of Virginia stick squads, defeating St. Anne’s Belfield, 9-5, and falling to Episcopal High School, 4-2. In their first game back in Philly, the Quakers were topped by St. Joseph’s Prep, 8-5, in a game played at Drexel University’s Vidas Field. Last Wednesday’s meeting with Father Judge (0-2) didn’t challenge Charter as previous games had done, but it provided other opportunities.
“There’s a lot of guys who have been working really hard and hadn’t gotten into any games because of our tough schedule,” McDonough pointed out. “This was a good chance to get those guys some minutes.”
The Quakers were ahead 8-0 at the quarter and 11-0 at halftime, and were able to cruise the rest of the way.
“I think that on the defensive end we’re very deep right now,” PC’s skipper stated. “We had a lot of guys injured last year, including underclassmen, so the guys who went in in their place got some good varsity playing time. So we have those guys back, along with a lot of the guys who were hurt.”
McDonough said that on the attack end, “We don’t have as much depth, and we’re looking for people to step up, although we have a good foundation with Carr and Earley, who are three-year starters. We don’t have anybody that’s exceptionally fast or exceptionally big, so the more we can move the ball around and create openings, the better things will work out for us.”
The Inter-Ac League will be a meat grinder, as usual, and the Quakers are starting out against Haverford, who graduated a dozen Division I recruits but have still been ranked second in the nation in a major poll.