By Bradley Schlegel
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 5/20/18
COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Consecutive goals Josh Zawada in the fourth quarter snapped a tie and lifted The Hill Academy (ON) to a 10-9 victory over No. 1 and previously-undefeated Culver Military Academy (IN) on Sunday in the title game of the National Prep Championship at Ursinus College.
The inaugural event, featuring some of the top private boys’ lacrosse teams, was run by Victory Events.
Dylan Watson scored a game-high five goals for the Pride (10-4), who ended Culver’s 40-game winning streak. Hill goalie Brett Dobson, who recorded 17 saves, was named the STX Ultra Player of the Game.
“For me this was a great experience,” Watson said. “There’s nothing like competing against the best. This is also great for the program. We knew we would have to stand up to the pressure and keep moving forward.”
Zavada (three goals) scored with 6:45 remaining to snap an 8-8 tie. He scored again with 3:17 left to extend the lead to 10-8. Post-grad Billy Coyle, a Malvern Prep product, posted an assist on each goal and finished with three assists.
“From the first day of school to the end of the year, we expected to win a national championship,” Coyle said. “Nothing but the best from this group.”
Jake Stevens, Owen Hiltz and Austin Maudroni each scored twice for the Eagles (23-1), who entered play as the No. 1 ranked team in North America by Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse.
They fell behind 5-0 late in the second half, and led 8-7 midway through the fourth quarter on an man-up goal by Alex Simmons.
The Hill Academy, located outside Toronto, Can, avenged an 8-7 triple-overtime loss to Culver as part of a three-game losing steak earlier in the season. According to head coach Brodie Merrill, the team made significant strides since the stretch. Merrill said he responded by placing additional pressure on his players in practice.
“The team responded in the right way,” the coach said. “Thankfully, we were able to hang on and make some plays down the stretch (in the rematch against the Eagles.)”
Despite being dominated on the stat sheet, the Pride built an early 5-0 lead. Watson scored three of his goals and Graydon Hogg added two scores in the initial 10 minutes. They led 5-1 at halftime.
Culver scored four the next five goals in the third quarter to get within 6-5. The team scored three of the inital four goals in the fourth quarter. Simmons’ man up goal staked the team to an 8-7 lead with 7:33 remaning. However, the Hill Academy responded with three straight tallies to take command.
“We had to maintain a positive attitude,” Watson said. “We knew Culver was going to battle back and score some goals.”