Seneca Valley’s Carter Liston (8) tries to avoid Butler defenders Jake Tilko (37) and David Dimun (17) at Art Bernardi Stadium on Wednesday. Liston scored a goal in SV’s 14-4 victory.
BUTLER TWP — Lance Diamond is hoping his Seneca Valley boys lacrosse team can turn an up and down season into a WPIAL playoff appearance. SV’s effort Wednesday night pushed it closer toward that goal. The Raiders scored on six of their first nine shots, setting the tone early in a 14-4 victory over Butler at Art Bernardi Stadium. Two goals by Will Moriarty and another by Marcus Rose put Seneca Valley up 3-0 less than four minutes into the first quarter. “We were able to execute the things we put in place,” said Diamond. “We focused on guys being where they needed to be and finished with our shots.” Moriarty led all scorers with four goals, including three in the first half. “We were hyped in the locker room before the game,” Moriarty said. “After that, it just came down to Xs and Os.” Rose and Sean Wise scored twice in the win. Turnovers plagued Butler. Three of them occurred in the final two minutes of the first period. SV attackman Dan Rupert turned the last of those miscues into his third goal of the game to give SV a 7-1 lead with 54 seconds remaining in the period. “It’s been a battle for us all year,” said Butler coach Justin Karam of the turnovers. “We’ve been working more with the passing and catching. I think nerves are part of it. Some of our guys seem very anxious. “Right from the start of the game, Seneca Valley was very intense and we weren’t.” Sam Lex scored twice for Butler (1-10, 0-5), while Jamison Smith and Nico Cicco both found the net once. Butler goalie Brandon Martin made 14 saves while SV’s Paul Cundiff (2) and Brady Moze (1) combined for three stops. It was the second straight win for the Raiders (5-6, 2-2), who defeated Bethel Park 10-5 on Monday. They were scheduled to host Norwin on Friday. “The last two games have given us momentum,” said Diamond. “We just have to concentrate on getting better every day.” SV has not qualified for the postseason since the Raiders won the WPIAL Division I title in 2012. The top four teams in Section 2 will earn playoff berths this season. The Raiders’ fate will be decided in its two remaining section contests — Shady Side Academy on Wednesday and Franklin Regional May 6. “Practice is going to be key for us,” said Moriarty. “We need to do well in drills and take it into games.” As for Butler, Karam is hoping his team can salvage something from the season with better play in its final six games, beginning with Saturday’s home contest against Cathedral Prep. The Golden Tornado have scored five or less goals in six of their 11 games. “Even if we don’t win those games, if we could just be in them and put up some points,” he said of his team’s second-half schedule. “But it sure would be nice to get some wins.”