By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/23/11
St. Paul’s School (Md.) boys’ lacrosse coach Rick Brocato calls this year’s Haverford School team “clearly one of best teams I’ve seen in recent memory.”
Haverford School finished a perfect 23-0 in 2011 and claimed the Inter-Ac League and Inter-Ac Invitational championships. The Fords were ranked No. 1 from start to finish in every national poll this year and in recent days four of the five media outlets have named them as national champions by listing them as the No. 1 team in their final rankings.
Last week MaxPreps ranked Haverford School as its top team and this week the Fords were No. 1 according to the LaxPower Coaches/Computer Rankings, the ESPN RISE POWERADE FAB 50 and the Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse Power Rankings. It is expected that Lacrosse Magazine will name the Fords as their top team in its August edition.
Brocato knows Haverford School well. His Crusaders, a perennial power in Baltimore’s mighty MIAA, have played the Fords for the past 12 years. Brocato played college lacrosse with Haverford School John Nostrant at Washington College (Md.) and said his longtime friend has earned the respect around the country for building a powerhouse that rose to the highest level in 2011.
“He is a good friend and we were college teammates and it’s been good to watch John build that program into a national power,” Brocato said. “It’s been a tireless effort.”
This year’s Haverford School team defeated three MIAA teams – St. Paul’s (10-9), Loyola Blakefield (11-6) and McDonogh (12-10) – to open the season. The Fords later handled two teams – Connecticut’s Darien (11-5) and PA rival Conestoga (11-6) – that at the time were ranked No. 2 in the nation.
Haverford School also went through the rugged Inter-Ac undefeated, topped area powers St. Joseph’s Prep and La Salle and used two Carl Walrath goals in the final 36.9 seconds to rally past Malvern Prep, 5-4, and claim its third straight Inter-Ac Invitational crown.
“This team came at you in waves,” said Brocato. “But it’s one thing to have that much talent; it’s another thing to share the ball.”
As many know, the Fords were loaded with Division I talent. The Fords graduated 12 players that signed or committed to play Division I lacrosse and six more have committed from the rising senior class. Five Haverford School senior were named to the Under Armour All-American squad and seven were named US Lacrosse All-Americans.
“They put the team above individual goals. From the beginning their put their sights on having a special year and they knew it would take a collective team effort to get it done.
“Look at their schedule. They did not back down from anybody. The great thing about John is that he’ll play anybody, anywhere. It’s great to see him have that success. Groups like that don’t come together very often.”
Tags: Haverford School