LEHMAN TWP. – Connor Motley is comfortable in the role of set-up man, creating scoring opportunities for his Dallas lacrosse teammates.
Motley proved in the Wyoming Valley Conference opener – a meeting with rival Lake-Lehman April 12 – that he could also provide scoring when necessary.
After being the dominant force in the conference opener with three goals and three assists, Motley joined Cory Metz, the top returning scorer in the WVC, to keep the Mountaineers on top early.
“He was the engine that drove our offense,” first-year Dallas coach Jared Hunt said following the 9-3 win over Lake-Lehman, “especially when they were concentrating on trying to block off Cory Metz.”
Metz has since resumed his role as scoring leader with three straight games of at least five goals – five each in WVC wins over Scranton Prep and North Pocono and seven in a non-league victory over Selinsgrove.
Motley has kept producing goals and assists and contributing in other ways, both on and off the field.
“He’s a captain and pretty much a big role model for our younger guys,” Mountaineers assistant coach Trevor Bodnar said. “He’s not the most vocal, but he definitely leads by example.
“He’s always doing the right things – lifting and coming to practice working hard.”
Motley, who broke into the starting lineup early in his freshman year and has remained there as part of the Dallas attack, has increased his scoring this season.
After the opening outburst in which he had all three of his goals and two of his assists in the second half to lead a comeback, Motley scored two goals, including the game-winner with less than 30 seconds left, in a 7-6 win over Scranton Prep. He had four goals against Selinsgrove in a 12-4 romp, then duplicated the three-goal, three-assist performance in a 12-8 win over North Pocono Tuesday.
Dallas and defending champion Delaware Valley emerged from Tuesday’s game as the last two unbeatens in the WVC. They were scheduled to meet Friday at Dallas for the Division 1 lead.
Motley has shown he can help in other ways. He also scooped up nine groundballs and caused six turnovers against Scranton Prep, the defending WVC Division 2 champion.
“Usually, I try to assist people,” Motley said. “That’s what I like to do. One of my best friends, Cory Metz, is another captain. I like to throw it to him a lot and our other attacker, Josh Kalna.”
Before delivering the game-winner against Scranton Prep, Motley found Kalna for what proved to be the winner against Lake-Lehman.
Metz received the ball from the defense in transition to create a 4-on-3 advantage in a tie game just after the midway point in the third quarter.
When the defense converged on Metz, he found Motley just left of the goal with only one defender remaining.
Motley took one for the team, absorbing a big hit to make sure Kalna was all alone in front for an easy goal.
“It was a 2-on-1, right in front of the goalie,” Motley said. “I saw him coming across so I threw it and let the kid hit me. Josh caught it and was able to score.”
Motley is often the guy making his sure his teammates find themselves in similar situations.