Bucks County Herald

Boys' lacrosse:

New Hope shreds George School, closes in on district berth

DAVID CAMPBELL

Carl Corino started to smile.

“This is the future I’ve been waiting for for this program,” the New Hope-Solebury head coach said after last Thursday’s 18-5 rout of visiting George School.

Two years ago, the Cougars roughed up the Lions, 15-2. A year ago, the Cougars prevailed again, but the score was much closer (14-10). This year, New Hope paid George School back – and then some – for 2016.

“It all came together, everything we were trying to do,” said sophomore attackman Tom Raupp, who punched in six goals against the Cougars. “We were dodging and running the two-man. We were unstoppable. There was just nothing they could do against us.

The one-on-ones worked every time. Outside shooting, man-up, everything was going our way. I thought we did a really good job of putting it all together. Same with the defense. Defense came up really clutch today.

“Great performance all-around,” Raupp continued. “No problems.”

“We’ve really worked on fundamentals,” senior long stick middie Andrew Smith said, “and they’ve allowed us to move the ball better. We’ve really worked together. Instead of staying separate, we’ve worked on communicating with each other, so we know where we are and we know how to play together now.”

The Lions (7-4 overall) are in position to make the District One Class AA tournament. New Hope, which was 11th in the latest power rankings (top 12 advance), hasn’t made the postseason in five years.

“We’re trending in the right direction,” Smith said.

“A lot of seniors and we’re playing with a lot of heart,” said Raupp, when asked for a couple reasons for the Lions’ turnaround. “The upperclassmen are coming up big. I’m having a record season (with 27 goals through last Thursday), as is (freshman) Kyle McLaughlin (26, according to Raupp, including four last Thursday). A lot of guys are scoring a lot more goals.”

Junior Liam Curran added a hat trick against George School.

“We have 40 kids this year (Corino said about half are freshmen), which is astonishing,” Smith said. “Three years ago, we had 15.”

“The youth program in this town has made lacrosse more popular than it’s ever been,” said Corino, who is in his fourth season as skipper. “I think I have the same number of freshmen this year that I had on the team – total – a couple of years ago. And these kids are coming in with a good base, a knowledge base of the sport, how to move the ball well, how to shoot, how to get open – a good understanding of lacrosse beyond the basics.”

Corino gave sophomore Will Kelley a shoutout for his work on faceoffs.

“I have these young guys who are making a huge difference for us and we’re able to play some real lacrosse,” Corino said. “It’s exciting for us.”

Senior Derek Donohoe, who intends to play club ball next with former New Hope teammate Matt Firth at the University of Maryland, has always been a force on the field, Corino said. Now, he’s a “true leader,” Corino praised.

Donohoe was part of last year’s team that got raked by Neshaminy, 15-3.

“We’ve flipped a couple of teams this year,” Raupp said. “We beat Neshaminy (13-12 on April 26) in OT. They killed us last year.”

New Hope closes out its regular season with matches against Harry S Truman this Thursday and at Council Rock South on Friday. The Lions blasted the Tigers, 14-4, in 2017.

With a strong week, New Hope could very well find itself in districts. That, among other things, would help keep Corino smiling.

“We’re at the very beginning of what the future is of this program,” Corino said.

dcampbell@buckscountyherald.com

Tweet



www.buckscountyherald.com

Copyright ©2018 Bucks County Herald, Inc. All rights reserved.