TUNKHANNOCK — Regardless of who emerged victorious, both teams knew history was on the line – someone had to win a district playoff game for the first time.
Crestwood scored four times in the final 2:25 to push past Tunkhannock 11-7 in the District 2 boys lacrosse quarterfinals Thursday.
For the Comets, it was their first playoff win in program history. They will now play Tuesday in the district semifinal either at Dallas or at home against North Pocono.
“Early in the season, we were up 9-2 against Tunkhannock and they came back to beat us 11-10,” Crestwood coach Shaun Rohland said. “It was good to have the early lead, but we knew they could come back. We have a very resilient team and they rose to the occasion.”
The Comets scored the first four goals of the game and appeared ready to cruise into the semifinals. Between the third and fourth Crestwood goals, Bailey Bauman was a wall in the crease. He made five saves in the first four minutes of the second quarter as the Tigers put on some furious offensive pressure.
“Believe it or not, he’s a first-year goalie,” Rohland said of Bauman, a sophomore. “He picked up a lacrosse stick for the first time this year. You can see he’s going to develop so well. He’s already doing so.
Bauman finished with 20 saves, an impressive total even before learning he’s playing with a cracked rib.
Trailing 5-2 at halftime, the Tigers scored the first three goals of the second half to tie the score. Coolbaugh got things started when he streaked to the net, followed by tallies from Jensen Healey and Sean Andres.
“We were controlling the game and getting all the shots,” Tunkhannock coach Eric Janiszewski said. “We said at halftime that, eventually, those shots were going to start to fall.”
The game teetered back and forth from Crestwood control to a Tunkhannock tie until some diligent work on ground balls by John Macri and Tommy Armstrong gave the Comets possession for what would stand as the game-winner. Brian Collins rushed the ball up the right wing and passed to Jay Popson in the slot.
Popson’s third goal of the game made it 8-6 with 2:25 remaining.
Tunkhannock hoped to be ready to find that elusive first postseason triumph in its first playoff home game. Delaware Valley knocked the Tigers out of the first district tournament and Lake-Lehman did the trick last season.
“We’ve been trying for a couple of years,” Janiszewski said. “These seniors gave their hearts out there but just came up short. It’s been a roller coaster type of season, but 6-6 (in the WVC) is a lot better than last season (0-14).”
The Tigers did cut it to 8-7 just seconds after Popson’s hat trick on another Coolbaugh tally, but they could get no closer.
Steve Roberts led Crestwood with five goals.
Scoring (G-A): CRE, Steve Roberts 5-1, Jay Popson 3-3, Brian Collins 2-5, Johnny Macri 1-0; TUN, Colton Coolbaugh 2-0, Sean Andres 2-0, Matt Dymond 1-3, Liam McClurg 1-1, Jensen Healey 1-0.
Saves: CRE 20 (Bailey Bauman); TUN 11 (Joe Cordero).