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New Hope-Solebury tops Archbishop Wood in nonleague game


New Hope-Solebury is coming off a season that saw the Lions reach the District One Class 2A boys lacrosse playoffs, but that squad has largely moved on.

“Last year, we had a lot of seniors. We had 10 kids graduate,” said junior Mitchell Lontchar.

This year’s Lions are a lot younger, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t hungry for another playoff run.

On Saturday, New Hope – with a roster that includes one senior and nine freshmen – showed its potential with a 9-7 victory over Archbishop Wood.

“We’re pretty young, but we have a special group of kids who work hard every day,” said six-year coach Jeff Bruemmer.

Wood was scheduled to host the game on its grass field, but the game was moved to New Hope’s turf field due to recent rain.

The Lions improved to 2-4. They are 0-2 in the Suburban One League American Conference, having lost to Wissahickon and Upper Moreland.

“This was a nice bounceback,” Bruemmer said.

Pat Welsh scored three goals for Wood. Andrew DiMaria scored twice. Shane Fiedler and Andrew Pileggi scored a goal apiece.

The Vikings are 2-2 and have won their only Philadelphia Catholic League game, over Archbishop Carroll. They hosted Archbishop Ryan on Wednesday in a game that ended after the Herald went to print.

On Saturday, New Hope enjoyed a 6-4 lead at halftime, but two goals in the third quarter by Welsh tied the score.

The Lions, though, took the lead for good when freshman Parker Taylor scored with 37.5 seconds to go in the third.

Lontchar completed the hat trick with a fourth-quarter goal to make it 8-6. DiMaria’s goal got Wood closer, but Chris Weisbrot scored an insurance goal for New Hope.

Lucas Solis, Colin Foster and Trevor Donohoe also scored for the Lions. Taylor scored twice.

Taylor said he saw improvement in New Hope’s passing, catching and teamwork.

“We took a lot better shots,” he said. “Our defense was good. Overall, we played pretty well.”

While Taylor and the other freshmen weren’t on the team a year ago, they are aware of that veteran squad’s success. The Lions made the district playoffs before falling to eventual champion Bayard Rustin, which went on to the PIAA semifinals.

Eight of the 15 teams in Class 2A make the playoffs.

“We want to keep winning the important games, make the playoffs and hopefully go further,” Taylor said.

Lontchar is a three-year varsity player who has seen the program grow. New Hope was 4-12 his freshman year before last season’s improvement.

Lontchar liked what he saw on Saturday.

“We had significant improvement in stickwork,” he said. “We have a short bench, but everybody played well. We were more locked in on the game and played with a lot more urgency. We took advantage of fast breaks and played well as a team.”

Bruemmer was eager to see how his team fared against Wood, which won an overtime game against one of New Hope’s conference rivals, Hatboro-Horsham.

The coach likes his leadership with junior captains Weisbrot and Solis. He’s got a good top faceoff man in Foster. And freshman Cole Catalano, a former attackman who made several good saves against Wood, is doing an admirable job replacing standout goalie Leo Fowler.

“He graduated, and there was a void,” Bruemmer said. “Cole has stepped up. It’s a tough position. He never played goalie before. He’s a freshman and has done a terrific job. He has a positive attitude and will be a very good goalie down the road.”

Bruemmer was pleased with his young team’s performance on Saturday and hopes it continues.

“I’m proud of the effort the boys put in today,” he said. “It was a good win for us. We’re a work in progress, and our goal is to make the district playoffs.”

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