Inaugural HEADstrong Rivalry Games at Widener

Dan Losier and Kevin Forster each scored two goals and La Salle raced to an 8-3 halftime lead Saturday before defeating St. Joseph's Prep, 10-6, in a battle of Catholic League powers at the inaugural HEADstrong Rivalry Games at Widener University.

The Rivalry Games were created to help raise awareness and funds for the HEADstrong Foundation in its fight against blood cancer. The Foundation was developed in honor of Ridley graduate Nick "Head" Colleluori, the former Hofstra student-athlete who died in 2006 after a relentless 14-month battle against Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

The event raised $32,000 for the Foundation and drew approximately 2,000 people under perfect blue skies.

"We are once again overwhelmed with the outpouring of support that The HEADstrong Foundation continues to receive," said HEADstrong President Cheryl Colleluori. "This was our first high school event which included both JV and varsity games, and from all indicators it was a huge success."

The teams involved sold HEADstrong t-shirts and held blood cancer awareness activities on their respective campuses.

The Rivalry Games featured 11 games in all, including five boys' varsity contests between league rivals. Other scores were: Pennsbury 17, Neshaminy 2 (Suburban One National); Unionville 13, Sun Valley 11 (Ches-Mont), Emmaus 13, Easton 1 (Lehigh Valley); and Ridley 9, Strath Haven 5 (Central). Each of the rivals also played JV games.

Another highlight was a non-conference men's college game between Philly powers, as Cabrini defeated host Widener, 15-5.

Also, Colleluori honored the 2010 "Nick Colleluori Award Winners" during her speech before the Cabrini-Widener game. Each head coach chose a player from each team that best exemplifies Nick's courage, leadership skills and relentless attitude. The winners were

Neshaminy: Sophomore midfielder Connor Bishop
Pennsbury: Junior defenseman Sean Rinko
Sun Valley: Junior attackman Kyle Gillam
Unionville: Junior defenseman Rich O'Neill
Emmaus: Senior attackman Stephen Ward
Easton: Senior midfielder Peter Hronis
La Salle: Junior goaltender Victor Garcia
St. Joseph's Prep: Senior defenseman Aleks Kucas
Strath Haven: Junior midfielder Sean Walsh
Ridley: Senior defenseman Casey Decker

The La Salle-St. Joe's game drew much interest since the teams perennially play for the league title and last year's championship game saw La Salle win by one goal in a thriller. This time, the two-time defending state champion Explorers (2-1) led from start to finish and used strong ball movement and passing to keep the pressure on the Hawks (3-2).

"I love our offense, they really share the ball," said Explorers coach Bill Leahy. "Some of our goals were real pretty they are unselfish and they play off the ball."

Junior John Lawlor made eight saves in goal for La Salle. Jeff Heath and Cory Scheuerle each scored two goals for the Hawks, and John Gregitis was a standout at midfield, especially on defense.

"They executed their game plan real well," said St. Joe's Prep coach Eric Gregg. "I was impressed with them. And we weren't being physical. I didn't think I'd have to motivate our guys to be physical against our biggest rival, but we need to slide with our body, not our feet. We played so much defense and then when we got on attack, they were in our faces and physical."

* * * *

Unionville 13, Sun Valley 11

James Moss had the game winning goal with 1:30 left to play to lift the Indians (2-2) past the Vanguards (2-2).

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