Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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Township dominates Ephrata


It may have been a while, but the memories were still fresh for Manheim Township's boys' lacrosse team.
 
It was a little under a year ago that Township had its Lancaster-Lebanon League championship hopes dashed by an 8-5 loss to Ephrata in the title game.
 
Time, it turns out, doesn't heal all wounds.
 
"We were very excited to play (Ephrata again)," Blue Streaks' senior attacker Tyler Karpinski said Friday afternoon. "It's a game we had marked on the calendar. And I think we came out and played pretty well."
 
Safe to call that an understatement.
 
Powered all afternoon by Karpinski and Chris Augeri -- both of whom finished with a game-high four goals -- Township ran out to an 8-1 lead after one quarter and rolled to an 18-5 drubbing of the Mountaineers Friday in Neffsville.
 
The win gives the Streaks (10-0 L-L, 13-1 overall) a two-game cushion over Ephrata (8-2, 10-5), Hempfield (8-2, 11-4) and Penn Manor (8-2, 11-3) in the league standings with two regular season games remaining.
 
The top four teams earn berths in the L-L playoffs, which begin May 8.
 
Granted, it wouldn't be fair to compare Friday's rematch to the battles Township and Ephrata waged last season, with the Mounts having graduated 10 key players from last year's team and Township returning virtually its entire roster.
 
But no one could have expected Friday's outcome to be this lopsided, could they?
 
"If we didn't come out and play hard, yeah," Ephrata coach Kevin Pletz said afterward. "I tried to stress to (Ephrata's players) that (Township is) going to come out hard and we've got to come out harder."
 
The first part of that statement was certainly true.
 
Fueled by three goals apiece from Karpinski (game-high three assists), Augeri and Griffin Schultz in the first half, Township built a commanding 15-1 advantage by the break, with the Mounts' lone goal coming from Scott Gordon 4:00 into the first quarter.
 
"We just wanted to make a statement," Karpinski said. "We were really pushing the ball. I was a little surprised when I saw it was 8-1 (after the first quarter), but we just wanted to keep going."
 
The end result was an astounding 26-9 shot advantage for the Streaks by game's end.
 
"They were real aggressive," Pletz said of Township. "They won a lot of ground balls and took advantage of a lot of (Ephrata) mistakes."
 
In the end, the Streaks had gotten goals from eight different players and points from 11.
 
With the mercy rule in effect for the second half, Township took its biggest lead of the game, 17-2, on back-to-back goals from Ryan Miller and Augeri late in the third quarter.
 
All good signs for Township, which will be seeking its second L-L crown in the last three years in a couple of weeks.
 
"We feel pretty good," Karpinski said. "The younger guys are getting more experience and I think we're starting to get hot at the right time."
 
Certainly looked that way Friday.