Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/30/08
The battle lines are drawn for the final Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association (EPSLA) championship as four teams gear for the semifinals.
Tonight at Garnet Valley, Malvern Prep faces Penn Charter (6:00) and La Salle meets Haverford School (8:00) in a classic Final Four.
Malvern Prep (20-2) is the top seed, the No. 1 team in this week’s Phillylacrosse.com Top 10 Poll and the eighth-ranked team in the most recent STX/Inside Lacrosse National High School Rankings.
The Inter-Ac League champion Friars have won 12 straight games. They advanced to the semis by blanking Springfield-Delco, 12-0, in the quarterfinals and beat Penn Charter twice this year in the Inter-Ac, by scores of 9-5 and 12-7.
The 12th-seeded Quakers (16-11), ranked ninth by Phillylacrosse.com, are the Cinderella team of the tourney. They have knocked off fifth-seeded Germantown Academy (9-8 in overtime) and fourth-seeded Ridley (7-5) to reach the semis.
The other semifinal teams met way back on March 18 when the Fords beat the Explorers, 3-2, at Haverford. La Salle (28-2) went on to win 27 of its next 28 games, claimed the Catholic League crown and reached the semis by whipping league rival St. Joseph’s Prep, 13-3.
The second-seeded Explorers, ranked second by Phillylacrosse.com, were ranked seventh in the last National Rankings.
Third-seeded Haverford School (17-6) is ranked third by Phillylacrosse.com and has been ranked at times this year in the national poll. The Fords, also a member of the Inter-Ac League, advanced with a 6-4 triumph over defending state champion Downingtown East.
The semifinal winners will meet Tuesday (7:30 p.m.) at Garnet Valley for the final EPSLA title. That winner will play next Friday against the West/Central champion for the last Keystone Cup (state) championship.
Next year, of course, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) takes over jurisdiction of boys’ lacrosse and a state tournament will be held, with one classification. Teams from the Inter-Ac are not members of the PIAA.