With his team holding a one-goal lead after the third quarter, Conestoga coach Brian Samson had a simple message for his players before they took the field for the fourth.
"Don't beat yourself."
The message was received, as the Pioneers scored four fourth-quarter goals en route to a 10-8 victory over La Salle in a boys' lacrosse game Saturday at the 14th annual Katie Samson Festival at Radnor.
Samson made his point after Conestoga's lead had been cut to 6-5 and the third period had ended with a penalty, which would send the Pioneers back to the field down a man to start the final quarter.
"We played good, hard lacrosse during the fourth quarter," Samson said. "We stayed away from self-inflicting wounds. Things started to happen. We were winning faceoffs, picking up loose balls, getting saves from our goalie, and clearing the ball."
Conestoga senior Jack Robbins netted two of his team-high four goals in the fourth. Jake Scott scored the Pioneers' other two goals in the period.
"What I said must have worked," said Samson, the brother of Katie. "After you say something like that, you hope it motivates them. Sometimes it doesn't work. But I'm glad it did today."
Katie Samson is a former Radnor goalie who suffered a spinal injury in 1999 and became a quadriplegic. Proceeds from the festival benefit her foundation, which raises money for spinal-injury research and rehabilitation programs.
Robbins, a St. Lawrence recruit, didn't expect that he would put four in La Salle's net, and he said the victory was Conestoga's biggest of the season.
"To come out with the win is huge," Robbins said. "We've had a lot of hard games, and some losses to some big teams. So we really wanted to win this one."
Matt Schleicher, Christian Jobs, and Alex Mezey each scored one goal in the win for Conestoga, and the Pioneers received solid outings from goalies Jack Green and John Roulston, as the duo combined for nine saves.
"As a goalie, you want to give up zero goals, but that's never really the case," Roulston said. "But the win was great for our team. We really stepped our game up."
Conestoga 1 4 1 4 - 10
La Salle 2 1 2 3 - 8
C: Christian Jobs, Alex Mezey, Jack Robbins 4, Matt Schleicher, Jake Scott 3.
LS: Zach Drake, Chris Hladczuk, Stephen Hudak, Aidan Kerrigan, Michael Rihm, Mitch Soufleris 3.