South Xtra: Seton-LaSalle came long way to win


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Game by game, the Seton-LaSalle boys lacrosse team seemed to get better since the program started four years ago.

The first time the Rebels took the field in their inaugural season in 2010, they lost to Baldwin, 30-1.

But later that same year in the regular season, the Rebels lost just 12-3 to the Highlanders and finished the year by winning their only game in 13 tries.

"We got better and better every single game," said Josh Kurz, who coached Seton-LaSalle from 2010-12.

Last season, Seton-LaSalle was able to beat Baldwin on senior night, 9-4, to clinch its first playoff berth, where it lost in the first round to the eventual WPIAL Division II champion, Hampton.

"From the moment that game [against Hampton] ended, we started talking about being back here for the championship this year," Kurz said.

Kurz had to give up the coaching job in February, however, to take a job in Boston, and Brian Yates took over the coaching duties. But Kurz told the Rebels before he left he would return to watch them play if they made it to the WPIAL final.

He kept his promise.

Seton-LaSalle fittingly beat Baldwin in the semifinals to reach the championship match, where Kurz watched from the sidelines as the Rebels took down Quaker Valley, 13-8, Thursday at Baldwin Stadium.

"The difference-maker in our improvement has been the kids -- their attitude, their effort, their discipline, their willingness to do whatever it is we said," Kurz said. "They bought into each other, trusted each other and believed in one another from the beginning that we would get here."

The Rebels are still a relatively young team, with just six seniors on their 33-man roster. Two of those 12th-graders, Robert Lomire and Matthew McGervey, scored in the first eight minutes of Thursday's championship game against the Quakers to help the Rebels build a 4-0 lead.

Junior goaltender Kevin Hudson also played a huge role early in the game, as he kept the Quakers off the board despite the fact Quaker Valley had a few power plays, including a two-man advantage at one point.

This is just Hudson's second year of playing lacrosse.

"Kevin came up huge," Yates said. "Kevin has been coming up huge for us all year and he's a phenomenal lacrosse player."

Quaker Valley cut it to 4-2 by the end of the first period and it was 6-3 at halftime. But the Rebels were too strong offensively, as they scored the first four goals of the third quarter and never led by fewer than three the rest of the way.

Junior Colin Bashaw and sophomore Connor Quinlan each finished with four goals, while McGervey netted two.

The championship was the exclamation point on the uphill four-year journey, but it was an ending that Kurz believed was possible even in that first scrimmage against Baldwin.

"I knew it was possible because of the caliber of the kids and the way they didn't put their head down when it was 30-1," he said. "You would have thought it was a tie game. They just kept fighting."



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