Foster, Rama each score 3 goals, Upper Dublin holds off Haverford


Upper Dublin’s Brett Rama scored three goals in the Cardinals’ 8-6 win over Haverford on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. (Mike Cabrey/MediaNews Group)

UPPER DUBLIN >> A quick burst by Haverford erased the Upper Dublin boys lacrosse team’s three-goal lead and had Tuesday afternoon’s nonleague contest tied early in the fourth quarter.

But the host Cardinals didn’t panic, regained their composure and found a way to regain the lead.

“You can never just let the momentum get ahead of you, you always got to keep it under control,” UD senior Brett Rama said. “We went up 4-1, I think, got a little ahead of ourselves and then we took a time out, talked it over with our coaches, had to remain cool, just do what we always do.”

Andrew Sowers broke the 6-6 tie with 4:20 remaining while Vijay Foster struck just 43 seconds later as Upper Dublin held off the Fords’ rally and claimed an 8-6 victory for its first win of the season.

“I think what’s great is that we’re starting to come together as a team,” UD coach Patrick Lacon said. “The loss of last season, it’s affected everybody but we’re looking at it as well as trying to become closer as players – as individual players and that will carry over to being able to play together on the field.

“We’re starting a lot of kids who have not had much experience at the varsity level so playing some of the tougher nonleague games will get us battle tested for when we really want to peak towards the end of the season.”

Rama and Foster both finished with three goals while Sowers scored twice for Upper Dublin (1-1), which went out to a 4-0 lead after the opening quarter and led 5-1 at halftime.

Haverford tallied the first two goals of the third quarter before Rama found Foster for a 6-3 UD advantage entering the fourth.

But less than two minutes into the final quarter, the Fords pulled level – Curran Kranick collecting back-to-back goals while Jimmy Klein found the back of the net off a drive to level the contest at six with 10:07 left.

“We wanted to make it 50/50 groundballs best we could and we were successful in that so they couldn’t get grooving,” Lacon said. “And when they went on that run, we had some defensive breakdowns to bad bounces, dropped pass to a goal, so then they regained that momentum.”

The Cards prevented Haverford (1-1) from taking their first lead of the afternoon, allowing Sowers to strike for the go-ahead score. Denied a path to goal, Sowers got just enough space going away from the net to unleash a low shot that went in with 4:20 left in regulation.

“He does a great job of finding seems and finding some holes,” said Lacon of Sowers.

Foster pushed the lead to 8-6, completing his hat trick less than a minute later by getting space down the right side on a drive and ripping an overhand shot that bounced into the net at 3:37.

“We definitely need a lot more practice,” said Rama, a Franklin & Marshall commit. “We got a young squad so they’re not really used to playing varsity ball and especially with the gap of COVID, losing the season, everyone could use a lot of practice. Couldn’t be more happy to be out here but we still need a lot more work.”

Kranick and Andreas McKendry each scored twice to pace the Fords.

Haverford goalkeeper Matt Davis made nine saves while UD goalie Nate Fechter stopped seven shots.

Upper Dublin, which in 2019 split the Suburban One League American Conference title with Wissahickon and Springfield-Montco, is back in action Wednesday as it visits Central Bucks West in a SOL nonconference game at 7 p.m.

“I think we’re super excited to be able to go out against some of the teams that are traditionally in very strong conferences and we know where we are and we know where we can go,” Lacon said. “And I think that along our journey we hope to be able to peak at the right time.

Haverford next play Tuesday, April 6 at home against Upper Darby.

Foster gave Upper Dublin the 1-0 lead at 9:39 in the first quarter, ripping in a shot off an assist from Stevie Pileggi. Sowers doubled the advantage, coming from behind the net, spinning off a defender to get in front of the goal and scoring at 6:10.

“We were comfortable and I think that we were able to dictate a little bit more and we kind of built that momentum and it went in our favor,” Lacon said. “And I thought that was very, very, very helpful because once you get one group of guys going and then it’s contagious – it gets the other groups going. That was nice.”

Rama made it 3-0 at 4:39 in the first, eluding a defender than blasting a shot into the top left corner. Rama tallied his second goal by spinning free and sending the ball into the net with 1:10 left in the opening period for a 4-0 UD edge.

“Just being myself, just going out there, being aggressive,” Rama said. “Looking for my teammates, trying to find the open man, just drawing slide, go to goal. Just be aggressive.”

McKendry put the Fords on the scoreboard at 3:21 in the second quarter but Rama collected his third goal on a drive with 1:23 remaining before halftime.

Haverford made it 5-2 on McKendry’s second strike at 7:06 in the third while Nick Hand’s goal off a drive had the Ford within two at 5:54. Rama, however, found Foster for goal on a jump shot at 4:26 to put the Cards up 6-3.

Kranick scooped up a ground ball and scored just 15 seconds into the fourth. Kranick then cut the Fords’ deficit to 6-5 by getting to the front of goal and bouncing in a shot at 10:56. Klein posted the equalizer at 10:07 off a drive.

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