Shawnee stuns Moorestown
Occasionally, the call could be heard coming from the Moorestown sideline: Keep him left. Don't let him go to his right.
Occasionally, the call could be heard coming from the Moorestown sideline:
Keep him left. Don't let him go to his right.
"They thought I couldn't do it," Jake Dean said. "They were forcing me left all game because they thought I couldn't score with my left hand. But I did it."
Out of a timeout with 3 minutes, 48 seconds left in double overtime, Dean sprinted down the left wing toward Moorestown goalie Dan Willis. And with his left hand - his supposed weak hand - the Shawnee midfielder beat one of the state's top goalies, giving the Renegades a 4-3 win over heavily favored top seed Moorestown in Saturday's South Jersey Group 3 boys' lacrosse final.
"This is our 11th year playing lacrosse, and this is definitely a defining moment for our program, no question. I'm just so proud of the way this team has come together," Shawnee coach Tim Gushue said, after a jug of water had been dumped on his head.
Moorestown (16-4) was not just the top seed in the bracket. The Quakers were the third-ranked team in the state, according to laxpower.com. They were also the top team in The Inquirer's South Jersey rankings.
Second-seeded Shawnee (19-4) entered the game ranked No. 4 in South Jersey by The Inquirer and No. 22 in the state by laxpower.com.
These were the first sectional championships in boys' lacrosse in the state. And Saturday's game at Moorestown was widely considered the marquee matchup of the inaugural South Jersey playoffs.
"All of us, everyone on this team, just played out of their minds today," said Shawnee goalie Reese Tursi, who himself had a monster game.
Tursi, a junior, recorded 18 saves, each with increasing pressure on his shoulders.
Dean's winning goal broke a scoring drought of 19 minutes, 30 seconds.
The game took on an overtime feel in the fourth quarter, with both teams taking care of each possession to the point of appearing cautious. Moorestown held possession for close to a five-minute span in the middle of the fourth quarter.
Both defenses played big roles in limiting shots, and when shots were taken, Willis and Tursi made big saves.
"Shawnee played well defensively," Moorestown coach Baron Wallenhurst said. "Their goalie did a great job. We didn't play our best game, but I give them credit."
Michael Handlan's score with 10:19 left in the third quarter gave Moorestown a 3-2 lead, its only advantage of the game. Seven minutes later, Zach McHale bounced in the equalizer, the last goal in regulation.
Dean's winner was set up when sophomore Dave Smith won the second overtime's opening draw.
The Renegades immediately called a timeout, and a play was drawn up for Dean to do exactly what he did.
"We were the underdogs in this game," said Dean, whose Renegades move on to Wednesday's state-championship game at Ridge. "We just came in with the mind-set that we were going to play to our full potential. And every single player on our team did that. We've worked so hard for this, and to win is an amazing feeling."
Shawnee 1 1 1 0 0 1 – 4
Moorestown 0 2 1 0 0 0 – 3
Goals: S-Mike Githens, Jack Tyrrell, Zach McHale, Jake Dean; M-Matt Olbrich, Michael Handlan 2.
Saves: S-Reese Tursi 18; M-Dan Willis 9.