The Spring Grove boys' lacrosse team made a statement about its program on Wednesday night.
The Rockets have never qualified for the postseason since the sport was sanctioned by the PIAA. And, yes, Spring Grove has a lot of catching up to do before they can begin to join the pantheon of the York-Adams League’s top teams.
Still, on a cold, blustery and windy evening at York Suburban High School, the Rockets sent a clear message to the rest of the league.
This team can't be overlooked.
After allowing a one-goal lead to evaporate late in regulation, the visitors got a big defensive stop early in overtime against a potent Suburban offense. Instead of calling a timeout, Spring Grove coach Scott Toman decided to let his players take a shot at the win on their own.
Starting at the top of the box, Rocket midfielder Madison Moore found teammate Zeb Hollinger to the right of the cage. Hollinger swung behind the goal before rushing toward the right side. Hollinger spun away from two defenders before flicking a shot over the Suburban goalie.
Hollinger’s third tally of the night with 1 minute, 37 seconds left in overtime gave the Rockets a thrilling 5-4 triumph.
“I was just trying to do my best,” Hollinger said. “This is just amazing. I love how this team came together and worked hard to come out and get this win.”
The Spring Grove senior was mobbed by his teammates and coaches after scoring the game-winner. The enthusiasm and excitement on the Rocket side was understandable considering that it was the first time Hollinger and his teammates have ever beaten Suburban.
“It’s still early,” Hollinger said after his team improved to 3-1 overall and 3-0 in the Y-A. “But getting this win tonight is definitely something that we can build on.”
Rocket defense shines: While Hollinger’s goal will be the thing that the Spring Grove fans will remember all year, it was the Rocket defense that really proved something. Limiting Suburban to four goals is something that is no small accomplishment, according to Toman.
“They (Suburban) had the ball (in overtime),” Toman said. “And they easily could have put it in the goal. They’re a talented team and to hold them to just four goals is just an attribute to just how hard these guys have worked.”
Tough stretch looms: After taking on Dover Thursday, the Rockets will get to find out where they stack up in a deep and tough Y-A League. Spring Grove will face contenders Red Lion, York Catholic, Dallastown and Susquehannock over a 10-day stretch starting next week.
“We have a lot of work before we can get to (the district or league playoffs),” Toman said. “Tonight was a good stepping stone, but we have a lot more work to be able to compete with the Dallastowns, the Centrals and York Catholics, absolutely.”
After trailing 3-2 at the break, the Rockets held Suburban (0-2 overall, 0-2 Y-A) without a goal for much of the second half until Dominic Corto evened up the score 4-4 with just more than four minutes left.
Both goalies were outstanding. Blake Wallace came up with a 16 saves in net for the Trojans, including a pair in the final two minutes. Robert Wood finished with nine saves in the victory for Spring Grove.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.