By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, posted 9/16/09
St. Joseph’s Prep senior defenseman Stephen O’Hara has made a verbal commitment to play Division I lacrosse at Notre Dame University.
O’Hara earned All-Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Athletic Association and second-team All-Phillylacrosse.com honors as a junior, helping the Hawks finish 16-2 and earn a final ranking of third in the PA Media Rankings.
O’Hara plans to study business at South Bend, Ind.
“Notre Dame is one of the top business schools in the country,” said O’Hara, a 1st Honors student each term at The Prep. “Their program is right on the verge of making its way deep into the NCAA brackets.”
Last year Notre Dame won all 13 of its regular-season games, won the Great Western Lacrosse League title and qualified for the NCAA tournament. The Irish fell to Maryland, 7-3, in the first round of the tourney.
“It is a beautiful campus, I went to see a football game and it was a great experience,” O’Hara said. “I went when they had snow. One of the really good features is their indoor stadium.”
O’Hara looks back on the 2009 with mixed emotions. The Hawks were clearly one of the top teams in the state, but did not qualify for the first Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament after bowing to eventually champion and rival La Salle, 4-3, in the District 12 title game. Only one team from the district received a state berth.
The Hawks figure to again challenge the Explorers in 2010.
“I think we have a great shot,” O’Hara said. “Most of the defense is coming back as well as our goalie. We have some young guys coming up on offense.”
This summer O’Hara got to play with several La Salle players as a member of the Duke’s Lacrosse Club, which won its fourth straight title at Champ Camp and earned the No. 3 spot in the final Inside Lacrosse rankings.
“Pretty much once the season is over and it goes into summer, we really don’t talk about that,” he said of the rivalry. “We just focus on winning tournaments and stuff.”
Seniors can sign National Letters of Intent during the early signing period Nov. 11-18.
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