Balla saves his best for last for West Seneca East
His five-goal performance led to an 11-7 victory on May 10 for the Trojans and added another highlight to his fine career on the field.
"I always want to play awesome against West. You can't beat this rivalry," he said. "It's always a nice victory to beat them before you go off to college and everything."
Balla was certainly the standout in the annual Yelich Cup game.
"This was definitely Balla's best game of the year," coach Jim Maisano said. "Absolutely, his best game. He was unstoppable. He took the game over in the first half and it forced West to make some adjustments.
"I don't have many games left with him since he's graduating. This will be a great memory for him."
And also a big victory for the Trojans in Class B. West Seneca East lost a ton from last year and is one of the youngest teams around. After starting the season with lopsided losses against powerhouses Hamburg and Orchard Park, the Trojans have continued to get better and have climbed up the Class B standings.
And with the Section VI playoffs on the horizon, the Trojans expect to be playing their best lacrosse and will likely be a tough out no matter the opponent.
"We've had some good victories so we know what we can do," Balla said. "It's going to be rough, but I think we have it in us."
One way or another, it’s been a good ride for Balla. West Seneca East has remained among the top programs in Western New York and the heavy graduation losses haven’t lowered the expectations or dampened the spirit.
"I couldn't ask for a better group of guys, we've really pulled it together," Balla said. "We were shaky in the beginning, but our defense has really pulled together. We're a young team, but we've been working together and it's been awesome. It's been a great experience."
And no matter what else happens, East will always have a win over West – marking the third straight season the Trojans have gotten that done in boys lacrosse against their cross-town friends.
“It’s always a nice to get a victory over them before you go off to college and everything,” Balla said with a smile.