Penn Charter sophomore Tone DeMarco drives past Colin Ginley of Moorestown High School. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

After hosting Canadian athletic prep school Hill Academy way back on March 11, the boys’ lacrosse team at Penn Charter would go on the road itself for several weeks. Back at home for the first contest of April, the Quakers moved up out of an early 2-2 tie to defeat Moorestown (N.J.) High school last Tuesday, 8-4.

Not only did UVA-bound senior Gavin Tygh provide half of the goals for Charter, he excelled in his role as centerman to help the hosts win every face-off of the afternoon. Fellow senior Jayce Dyer scored twice and single goals came from sophomores Conor McKee and Kellen Seth, while in the PC goal cage senior Carson Marano piled up a dozen saves.

Along with Dyer, Seth and Tygh, Penn Charter’s regular midfielders for the early weeks of the season have been senior David Gallant, junior Lance Rainer, sophomore Liam La Barge and freshmen Peter Malitas and Donald Turner. Senior Nick DiCicco, normally in the first midfield line, was out with an ankle injury last Tuesday, and senior Sam Keyser moved into the middie rotation.

The starting attackmen were McKee, senior Jack Gottlieb and sophomore Antonio DeMarco, the defensemen were senior Terence Thompson and sophomores Noah Evans and Kyle Jones, and Marano’s understudy in goal is sophomore Benjamin Tomkins.

After the Quakers won the opening face-off and had their first shot saved by Moorestown keeper Gene Martin, the visitors were first on the board when Pat Coleman scored with 7:26 remaining in the first period. Dyer tied it up about two minutes later with a goal in transition, but with four minutes left the visitors (also nicknamed the Quakers) went ahead again thanks to Connor McDonough.

Moorestown’s Martin saved low shots by PC’s DeMarco and senior Kyle Earley, but Charter pulled even with just seven seconds left in the first quarter on a strike by McKee.

Gavin Tygh (right, light uniform), a senior headed for the University of Virginia, shoots the ball past Moorestown goalie Gene Martin. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

The local “Quakers” then took control with a 4-1 second quarter. Less than 90 seconds in, Dyer got it going, and with under three minutes elapsed, Seth made it 4-2. After Moorestown’s Ben Cantwell got his team back within one goal midway through the period, Tygh romped right down from the face-off circle to score just six seconds later, putting Penn Charter’s game-winning goal in the books.

The senior added another marker with two-and-a-half minutes remaining in the first half, and the intermission arrived with PC ahead 6-3.

The scoring pace slowed dramatically in the third quarter, which began with Moorestown in possession of the ball for several minutes. In goal, Charter’s Marano responded well to the visitors’ pressure. He trapped one ball on the ground, turned aside a hard outside shot from the right and later dove to stop a shot by a player coming around the crease on the left.

Both teams survived penalties and were back to even with under two minutes left in the period, but then another Moorestown infraction led to a man-up goal for PC, scored by Tygh with 59 seconds to go. Just after that Tygh took a hit to the head in a sequence that resulted in two penalties on the visitors and one on the hosts.

After the scoreboard paused at 7-3 at the three-quarter mark, Tygh was back in action, finding the top left corner to complete Penn Charter’s game total just 37 seconds into the fourth quarter. A fourth Moorestown goal (by Shane Knobloch) in the middle of the final frame was simply an afterthought, and PC fans celebrated a solid victory.