Boys lax starts 5-2 in section, gains experience


Ally Wolling

Anthony Karner looks to make a pass in the Hawks’ game vs. Gateway on March 24.

In a new section and division, the Hawks find themselves in a familiar position, near the top of the section.  

Despite a young roster, Bethel Park currently holds a 5-2 record in the section and a 6-7 record overall. But they still have some stiff competition to face.

They started the season off on March 17 with a 13-7 loss to Canon-McMillan. 

The following game was the first section game and it was against Greensburg Central Catholic on March 20.  The Hawks came from behind in the second half to beat the Centurions, a 2A playoff team from last year.  

The Hawks also added an impressive 20-0 shutout win against Gateway on March 24. 

In a game against Franklin Regional on March 30, the score was 9-1 entering the fourth quarter before the Panthers attempted a comeback and finished the match up with five unanswered goals.  But the Hawks’ defense tightened up at the end to seal a 9-6 section win. 

The other win came on April 5 in a 9-3 win over Chartiers Valley, the WPIAL 2A runner-up from two years ago.  

The most recent section game was against a new rival in Moon on April 14.  The game was back and forth all night.  Moon started the scoring with a two-man-up goal.  Bethel quickly answered after a faceoff win by Zach Bush and groundball by Anthony Karner led to a Gavin Edkins goal.  However, the Hawks had trouble staying out of the penalty box, with Moon scoring on six man-up chances.  Moon would win the game 13-8, but the score wasn’t the best reflection of how the Hawks played.

Two other losses have come to 3A powerhouses and former section rivals in Mt. Lebanon on March 27 and Peters Township on April 17.  Mt. Lebanon lost in overtime to Shady Side Academy in the 3A championship.  Last year, the Hawks lost a heartbreaker to the Blue Devils when they scored the game-winning goal in the last minute to win.  Lebo went on to win the section and lost in overtime to Shady Side Academy in the 3A championship.

St. Andrews College, a private boarding school from Toronto, Canada, played the Hawks on their trip to Pittsburgh on April 15.

The team’s leading scorer so far has been sophomore attackman Max LemMessuier with 20 goals.  Freshman attackman Gavin Edkins and Senior Midfielder Luke Henderson are close behind with 15 and 14 goals respectively.  Another starter on the offense is freshman attackman Aaron Owen.

The battle for starting goalie was won by junior Rylan Jones.  Jones’s first start came against Franklin Regional where he had an impressive 71.4%  save percentage and has a 59% save percentage for the season.

Last season, faceoffs were a big weakness of the team.  This year, the Hawks have improved with the help of senior Zach Bush taking draws.

The defense consists of senior Ian Guarino, junior Brady Remington, and freshman Colt Wahl as the down-low defenseman.  Junior LSM Nick Howrylak, who is the only returning starter, has led the team in groundballs.  Backing him up has been freshman Peter Velisaris.  Anthony Karner has made a big impact in his first year of playing lacrosse.  Karner, a hockey player, used to play baseball but wanted to try something new this year and has brought a lot of grit to the team playing SSDM.

The team’s next matchup comes against Penn-Trafford in a section contest next Tuesday, May 2.