By Paul Edwards & Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/11/10
Jeff Heath scored four goals, leading St. Joseph’s Prep to a 7-5 victory over host Malvern Prep Saturday in the capper to the 4th Annual Evanfest Lacrosse Festival.
The event – which also featured 26 youth boys’ teams from the Philadelphia area – was created to raise money that goes directly to families dealing with a child that has a life-threatening disease. Evanfest was created in honor of Evan Brady, a standout youth lacrosse player who passed away in 2005 due to osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) shortly after graduating from Malvern Prep.
The event already has raised $250,000 and assisted 80 families in need. This year, Evanfest is expected to raise as much as $100,000, according to Evanfest President Bill Brady, Evan’s father.
Saturday’s game between the two teams ranked in the PA Media Rankings was the first scholastic game held at an Evanfest event.
Malvern (5-2, ranked No. 6 in the All-Teams poll) came out strong and took a 2-0 lead as senior midfielder Bob Hill scored two goals within the first five minutes of the game. Heath then put in his first of the game, but junior attackman Mike Dougherty soon gave the Friars a 3-1 lead.
St. Joe’s (4-3, ranked No. 8 in the PIAA Poll), though, caught fire in the next two periods as Heath scored three more and Cory Scheuerle added his first to give Prep a 5-4 lead going into the fourth.
In the fourth period, Dougherty added his second goal on a man-up penalty to knot the score at 5-all. Soon after, Prep junior Brady James gave Prep a lead it would not surrender. Prep iced it on an insurance goal from Anthony Marini.
Heath gave all the credit to his fellow teammates and his coaches. “Coach Gregg got us well conditioned for this game during this week’s practices because he thought we were not in shape. Everyone did their part today. Our man-down defense and midfielders were great.”
The subplot Saturday was the small rivalry among the coaches. Malvern Prep is coached by Dan Keating, who coached at St. Joe’s Prep for several seasons before coming to Malvern as an assistant last year.
Keating and his top assistant, brother Mike Keating, attended Episcopal Academy, along with St. Joe’s Prep coach Eric Gregg – who said he was humbled to beat Malvern Prep.
“Malvern is a great program and they are very well coached,” Gregg said. “I went to high school with the Keatings and the guys were fired up to face them. Heath and the team rose to the challenge.”
Keating also was humbled to coach a game that meant so much to the Malvern lacrosse community and beyond.
“Hats off to Eric Gregg and his players,” he said. “Our message before the game to our players was to be thankful we’re ll healthy and use the great opportunity to play today for a great cause. Our game with St. Joes’s Prep was a very hard-fought game.
“It went back-and-forth and it was really fun to coach. They squeezed it out and it was a testament to their toughness. All in all, it was just a great day.”