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Central Bucks East falls to Downingtown East


It wasn’t exactly a growing pain.

But it still hurt.

The Central Bucks East boys lacrosse team lost a non-league game to visiting Downingtown East, 11-6, on Tuesday night at First Lt. Colby Umbrell Field at Patriot Stadium.

It started off well enough for the Patriots. Although Downingtown East got on the board first, Ryan Atkinson evened it up with an assist from Michael Smallwood and the first quarter ended with the score knotted at 1-1.

Blake Bishop opened up the second quarter by scoring on the first shot on goal of the period to give CB East a 2-1 lead. The Cougars scored twice to make it 3-2, but Bishop netted his second goal of the evening to send the teams into halftime tied, 3-3.

Atkinson opened up the second half with a goal to put CB East ahead, 4-3. It was the last time the Patriots would see the lead. By the end of the third quarter, they trailed, 8-6, and they could not find the net in the fourth quarter but surrendered three goals to Downingtown East.

“Our offense and our whole team in general needs to realize that when we’re down by a few goals, that it’s not the end of the game,” said CB East junior Adam Volm, who scored a goal. “I think it’s hard for the younger players to understand that. When I was younger, if we were down in games, I didn’t understand but once you get older you realize that three goals is nothing, four goals is nothing, you just have to keep your head in the game.

“We don’t have a particularly young team but my freshman year we had five freshmen starting on offense. We’ve been playing together ever since so now we’re a pretty built team. I love our team a lot. We just need to learn a few things. It’s the beginning of the season so we can fix that.”

It was just the second game of the year for CB East, which defeated Council Rock South, 11-7, in a Suburban One League National Conference game.

“It easy to say that this game was a step in the right direction, but I would say it was more of a flat-footed step,” Volm said. “We weren’t really going anywhere with this game. I definitely think this was a beatable team. They gave it to us pretty good last year but I feel like this year we could compete with them. I feel like we can make the playoffs. This just wasn’t a good game by us and we need to do better.”

Downingtown East reached the quarterfinals of the PIAA Class 3A tournament last season, while CB East did not make the postseason.

“Our defense is all veterans,” CB East senior defenseman Patrick Coleman said. “Everyone who’s starting now played together last year so we all know each other, we all know how to play.

“We’re all unhappy with last year and we want to make a statement this year. We didn’t make the playoffs last year and that’s on my mind every day. I think about what people think of us now. We used to be known as the top team in the SOL, making states all the time, and we want to get that back.”

Coleman, who will play at Denver next year, led the team with four ground balls.

CB East sophomore Jackson Jagoda is in his first year as the faceoff specialist for the team.

“I was a swing player last year,” said Jagoda, who is also a defender for the soccer team at CB East. “Last year we didn’t have anyone doing faceoffs so I started doing it this year. It is a bit of pressure but we’ve had faceoff coaches come here and run me through what to do and the tricks and everything, so I feel pretty confident. I could definitely be better but I think as I grow and get more experience with it I’ll get there.

The Patriots had a hard time holding on to the ball, amassing over 20 turnovers in the game.

“The turnovers were bad but we can work on that,” Jagoda said. “Definitely, our clears could be better, too. We were not able to clear the ball very well and our rides could have been a little better. We could have held onto the ball longer and made the smarter pass. We have to protect the ball. We weren’t doing that and it hurt us.”

Thomas Williams contributed a goal and Smallwood ended the game with two assists to round out the scoring for CB East.

The Patriots are back in action on Thursday, traveling to St. Joe’s Prep for a non-league contest.

“We have Prep on Thursday and we learned things in this game that we’ll take into that one.” Coleman said. “First off, our communication. In the second half we became a bit complacent. We thought if we just rode it out, we’d win the game and of course that didn’t happen and it slipped through our fingers. We were winning this game, we had them on the run, and then we stopped communicating and it fell apart.

“We learned a lot from this game. We all know that we could have competed and won this game. Now it’s time for us to pick up the intensity and show everyone what we’re really about.”

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