By Molly Tow
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/15/11
Malvern Prep rising senior midfielder P.J. Finley has made a verbal commitment to play Division I lacrosse at the University of Notre Dame.
Finley helped Malvern Prep finish 14-6 and place second in the Inter-Ac league while reaching the Inter-Ac Invitational finals in 2011.
He was named to the Philly Showcase Gait Fab 40 in 2010 and 2011, was a P200 All-Star in 2010, and played in the 2010 EPSLA Showcase. Finley plays club lacrosse for Mesa Fresh 2012.
A First Honors student at Malvern Prep, Finley intends to study Business at Notre Dame.
Finley said it’s been his dream to play lacrosse at Notre Dame..
“Notre Dame is the place I’ve always wanted to go ever since I was a kid,” he said. “We’ve always had Notre Dame stuff around my house, a bunch of people in my family have gone there, and when I finally got around to going there my freshman year of high school, I fell in love.”
Not only is Notre Dame a powerhouse school for lacrosse, it is a Catholic school, a feature that Finley is very familiar with.
“I’ve gone to Catholic school my whole life and I’m thrilled that I get to attend a Catholic college,” said Finley.
Finley will follow a strong Malvern Prep connection at Notre Dame. Already, rising senior defenseman Jack Sheridan has committed to play at South Bend. Others from Malvern Prep to play at Notre Dame in recent years include Tim Bemer (Class of 2011), Mike Creighton (2010, team captain), Sean Dougherty (2008, All-American) and Bill Liva (2007, captain).
“There’s a huge tradition of Malvern Prep lacrosse players at Notre Dame, and it’s really cool for me to be able to follow in the footsteps of those players,” said Finley.
After he graduates Malvern Prep in 2012, Finley plans to take a post-graduate year to prepare himself for college and to hone his lacrosse skills.
“I really want to take advantage of that time to prepare for college both academically and athletically, and hopefully,” he said. ‘I’ll be able to hit the ground running freshman year.”
In addition to Finley and Sheridan, Conestoga rising senior midfielder Adam Goins and St. Joseph’s Prep rising junior attackman Anthony Marini have committed to Notre Dame.
Other Malvern Prep players that have made commitments to play college lacrosse are midfielder Russell Atkinson (Navy), LSM Kevin Samolsky (Navy) and defenseman Eddie Morris (Johns Hopkins).
Finley labeled the 2011 Malvern Prep season a success. The Friars’ season ended in bittersweet fashion when a strong performance in the Inter-Ac Invitational finals ended in a heartbreaking 5-4 loss to arch-rival Haverford School, named by all media outlets as the national champion.
“We were disappointed with the final game but we definitely left it all on the field and that’s something to be proud of, and certainly something that we can work on next year,” Finley said. “We have a lot of leadership in our senior class and I really look forward to this coming season.”
Finley will not accept anything less than a league title in 2012.
“We want to win the Inter-Ac and we’re not going to settle for anything else,” he said.
Finley wished to thank his current Malvern head coach, David Metzbower, previous Malvern coaches Dan and Mike Keating, and John McEvoy, his face-off coach Justin Sabol, and former teammate Drew Kennedy for helping him. “Going against the best face-off kid in the country everyday in practice was better experience than playing in most games,” said Finley of Kennedy.
Finley would also like to thank Mesa Fresh 2012 coaches Rob Lord, Peter Rohr, and Marty McGregor, and finally, his parents and family for supporting him.
Tags: Malvern Prep