NEWTOWN SQUARE–Tuesday night began with honoring its eight seniors at center field, and it ended in a victory the seniors can be proud of as their final high school season approaches its end.
After the seniors were joined by their parents and recognized one at a time, the game kicked off at a healthy pace with both teams knocking each other around and keeping each other off of the scoreboard. At 8:29 in the first quarter, senior attacker Teddy Oleynick broke the stalemate for his first goal of the game.
It looked as though the Royals were about to tie it with the Tigers serving an illegal body check penalty, but senior goaltender Chris Massey made a terrific pointblank save. Shortly after the penalty expired, senior midfielder Cullen Scott made it 2-0. Oleynick netted his second of the game at 4:16 after a nice pass from junior midfielder Nick Ciarrocchi, and the quarter ended 3-0.
The second quarter is when the floodgates opened.
Oleynick rode his personal momentum from the first quarter and completed the hat trick on a rocket from 20 yards out. Senior midfielder Matt Gregory followed suit with a bullet that made it 5-0, and junior attacker Evan Aigeldinger kept things going after the Cougar's goaltender mishandled the ball. The score had jumped to 6-0 after just four minutes of play in the quarter.
Sophomore midfielder Aaron Bryant bull rushed his way past several Cougar defenders and fired a pointblank shot home at 7:38, and a minute later, Marko Katrakazis, a freshmen midfielder, blew it by the goalie from 25 yards out. Less than 30 seconds later, Aigeldinger potted his second of the night. The score had soared to 9-0 just halfway through the second quarter, and the home crowd was roaring.
Gregory's second goal of the game came at 4:45. After that, with the highlight reel goal of the game, Aigeldinger got the Tigers' second hat trick of the night with a no-look, over-the-shoulder shot that found the top left corner of the net. After keeping the gates shut tight with a number of great saves, Massey finally missed a long shot through heavy traffic and Upper Darby got on the board at 2:38.
Halftime brought the onslaught to a halt at 11-1.
Aigeldinger resumed scoring in the third quarter with his fourth of the night. Both teams traded goals midway through the quarter, bringing the score to 13-2 when, at 2:10, Gregory put the finishing touch on a rare team accomplishment: a hat trick of hat tricks—three separate players with three (or more) goals in one game. The quarter ended 14-2.
The Royals managed a trio of goals in the fourth, but too little, too late. The Tigers added a goal by junior Sean Ridinger, and a long-awaited goal by senior Corey McDonnell—his first of the season—brought many spectators to their feet in applause. The final score ended at 16-5 on a night the seniors will certainly remember.
Michael Scott, father of senior Cullen Scott, was happy to see such a successful outing, knowing that he was looking at the end of being a high school lacrosse dad. At one point, Cullen, who began lacrosse in third grade, played for the Tigers alongside his two older brothers. "But I think he's got a little senioritis," said his father during the game. "He's ready to move on to the next thing."