By Tom Peace
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 3/30/14
BALTIMORE –An injury-depleted Haverford School (PA) rallied from a 4-0 deficit and defeated St. Paul’s School (MD), 9-8, Saturday night in the first game of the inaugural PNC Lacrosse Invitational at Loyola University’s Ridley Athletic Complex.
A crowd of 1,023 braved pouring rain as high school lacrosse made the spotlight. McDonogh (MD) toppled Gonzaga (DC), 10-7 in the nightcap.
Brandan Shima put the Fords (4-2, No. 14 in Warrior/TopLaxRecruits Rankings) ahead 8-7 off a Grant Ament feed with 1:57 to play. Forry Smith then tallied his third of the game to make it 9-7 before Alex McGovern (two goals) closed the scoring for the Crusaders (4-3).
The Fords also overcame the absence of two of their senior captains and top players, midfielder Peter Blynn (Harvard commit) and DEF/LSM Connor Keating (Penn). Blynn is out for the year with a torn ACL and Keating will miss at least two weeks with a torn meniscus.
“I think in the first half we were playing really hard but we weren’t making the small plays,” said Smith, a 2016 attackmen committed to Johns Hopkins. “We came out and kept working hard. We knew they would start falling in.”
After falling behind, 4-0 early, the Fords’ zone defense stiffened and Haverford tallied four unanswered goals to forge a 4-4 tie after three periods.
St Paul’s finally struckafter a 26:30 scoreless stretch as Henry Riehl made it 5-4. But Shima fed Shane McBride. McGovern made it 6-5, but Grant Ament and Smith quickly gave the Fords their first lead.
Carter Flaig tied it for St Paul’s with 3:36 to play. But the hungry Fords took over after that.
“Coach (Nostrant) said to keep working hard and keep trusting each other,” said Smith. “We were lucky enough to climb back in.
“This was a huge win. Maryland has a lot of insane teams (The Fords have beaten MIAA teams Loyola Blakefield and lost to McDonogh and Gilman) and we just kept doing what the coaches told us.”
Haverford School coach John Nostrant was thrilled with the victory.
“For us to be in this venue was exciting,”he said. “We gave up a home game with St. Paul’s to come down here and it was a lot of fun.
“It could have gone either way when we were down 4-0. The way they responded – that we didn’t fall apart – says a lot about this team as a group. We played without two of our best athletes and two other of our top six middies.
“This is a close-knit group and moving forward this gives us a ton of confidence.”
Mikey Wynne added two goals and an assist and Carter Flaig had two goals for the Crusaders.
“We gave one away,” said St. Paul’s coach Rick Brocato. “Give Haverford a lot of credit. Their kids really competed after the first quarter.
“They played zone defense and our guys got confused and threw it away in the second quarter. We didn’t understand, defensively, a big part of their game was jamming the ball inside and they did that quite a bit.
“I didn’t think we moved real well with the ball or without the ball. We didn’t throw the ball through X a lot. I am really disappointed, but we have to figure this thing out and come back and play on Tuesday.
“They had some guys injured, but they wanted it more from the end of the first quarter all the way through the rest of the game.”
Nostrant said he will need to rely on the zone defense.
“Our on-ball defense is terrible,” he said. “We are probably a zone team moving forward.
“I told them this is one of the bigger wins we’ve had. St. Paul’s was playing at a different level than we were in the first few minutes and for us to hang in and compete like that was awesome.”
Haverford School 9, St. Paul’s School 8
Haverford 0-1-3-5- 9
St. Paul’s 4-0-0-4- 8
St. Paul’s: Mikey Wynne 2/1, Carter Flaig 2/0, Alex McGovern 2/1, Joe Pollard 1/0, Liam Anderson, 0/2, BJ Mattheis 0/1
Haverford School: Forry Smith 3/0, Grant Ament 1/3, Brandon Shima 1/2, Shane McBride 1/2, Drew Supinski 1/0, Dox Aitken 1/0, Corey Richards 1/0
Saves: St. Paul’s: AJ Barretto 8, Hunter Pearl 4; Haverford: Alex DeMarco 10