Lewisburg boys face Lansdale Catholic in Class AA quarters
Tuesday’s win over Wyoming Seminary was just another example as to how dangerous the Green Dragons are.
Solid defense? Check.
Multiple scoring threats? Check.
A standout goalie? Check.
No matter what facet of Lewisburg’s team you look at, they’re nearly flawless. The Green Dragons cruised to a 4-0 win over Wyoming Seminary at Danville on Tuesday night in the first round of the PIAA Class AA playoff and showcased all of those above attributes. And with that win, Lewisburg’s quest for a fourth state title in program history continues.
Up next, Lewisburg (21-0-1) turns its attention to Lansdale Catholic (15-5-1) on Saturday at Northeastern High School in Manchester at 2 p.m.
This isn’t a team that Lewisburg is unfamiliar with either. In 2016, the two met in the state semifinals as Lewisburg won, 2-1, as it went on to win a second consecutive state championship.
Lansdale Catholic played a thriller against Lancaster Mennonite, winning in penalty kicks, 4-3, after the two teams played to a 1-1 double overtime tie. Lansdale Catholic also had a shootout victory in the District 1-12 regional final against New Hope-Solebury before Tuesday’s win.
It was also a bit of a revenge game for Lansdale Catholic on Tuesday. The Crusaders lost to Lancaster Mennonite in the first round of states each of the last two seasons.
After that state win, Lansdale Catholic coach Casey Farrell told the media that his team didn’t panic at all and that “they’re ice cold.” That same mentality of not getting flustered or panicking when facing a tough team or barrage of shots will be key if Lansdale Catholic hopes to defeat the Green Dragons.
Much like Lewisburg, Lansdale Catholic is also an extremely stellar defensive team. It lost just five times and only one game was a loss by multiple goals — the season opener against North Penn, a favorite to win in Class AAAA.
Kellan Ward has 11 shutouts in goal for Lansdale Catholic and the back line is anchored by Corey Toburen, Owen Webster, CJ McNaley and Declan Mahoney. Jimy Alff leads Lansdale Catholic with eight goals and two assists, Eric Fernandez has six goals, Brendan MacKay has four and Tom Cusumano, Sean Cole and Mahoney all have three goals each.
That offense will be in for a test against one of the toughest defenses in District 4. The Green Dragons yield very little to opposing offenses and Tony Burns has an area-high 11 shutouts.
Ben Liscum scored twice in Lewisburg’s first-round win to increase his goal total to 22 this year, second on the team behind only Anthony Bhangdia’s staggering 40. Liscum also has a remarkable 31 assists, meaning he’s been a part of 53 of Lewisburg’s goals this year.
That duo makes Lewisburg dangerous, but add in Alan Daniel and James Koconis, and team’s quickly realize they don’t have just one player to key in on.
Lewisburg can strike from anywhere, and that was the case Tuesday. In addition to Liscum’s two goals, Daniel and Eli Adams both scored and Carter Hoover and Nick Passaniti both added assists for the unbeaten Green Dragons.
“Anthony (Bhangdia) was a little off (Tuesday), but guys on the bench were able to come in and pick up the energy. James (Koconis) said he was off today and Ben (Liscum) was able to pick up the slack and we realized he only scored one goal in districts, but he can put the ball in the back of the net at any given moment,” Lewisburg coach Ben Kettlewell said after Tuesday’s victory.
That’s what makes Lewisburg a tough team to slow down defensively, and that’s going to be the task at hand for Lansdale Catholic.