By Michael Sorenson
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/29/12
Once again, the question of who is the No. 1 boys’ lacrosse team in Pennsylvania was determined at the Katie Samson Lacrosse Festival Saturday afternoon.
In a game that had the mouths of high school lacrosse fans in PA and across the country salivating, Haverford School jumped to an 8-1 third-quarter lead and then held off a late Conestoga rally en route to a 13-8 victory in the 12th annual Festival before a crowd of several thousand people at Radnor High.
The win solidified the Fords’ hold on the top spot in the state and improved their record to 15-1. Conestoga, which has lost three straight non-league games, fell to 11-3.
Last year these teams met at the Festival as the top two teams in the country. The Fords won, 11-6, and went on to become national champions. This year, Haverford entered play among the top three teams in every national poll; Conestoga was among the Top 10 in every poll.
The offensive star was Haverford School senior attackman Henry Blynn, who poured in seven goals and added two assists.
“It’s definitely one of the things we go into the season wanting. We want to win the Inter-Ac title, and we want to beat ‘Stoga,” said Blynn. “Now we know we’re the best in the state, and we know we can beat anyone.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Haverford School dominated for the next 16 minutes of play with pinpoint passing and a defense that totally shut down the fast-paced Conestoga attack.
When Blynn scored off a Zach Rego assist to complete an 8-0 run with 8:21 to play in the third period, it was 8-1 Haverford. Then, suddenly, the Pioneers caught fire.
Jake Scott, Andrew DiStefano, Bradlee Lord and Connor Frisina then scored within five minutes to make it 8-5. Conestoga got as close as 9-7 just seconds into the fourth quarter on a goal by Adam Goins, but the Fords capitalized on an unreleasable Pioneer penalty to convert two goals and the Conestoga fate was sealed.
“I was proud of the way the kids responded when we went down; they definitely showed some heart and started making some plays,” said Conestoga coach Brian Samson, brother of the festival’s namesake. “We just didn’t have the emotion and the energy that we needed in the first half and the start of that third quarter.”
Rego finished with a goal and three assists and goalie Jake Landman had 14 saves. Tyler Brooke led the Pioneers with three goals and an assist.
Haverford controlled the faceoff X all day, winning 12 draws to Conestoga’s 6. Haverford also made good use of its man up opportunities, cashing in on four attempts, with Blynn having a hand in all four (3g, 1a).
Looking ahead, Haverford can clinch the Inter-Ac title Saturday when it plays at Malvern Prep.
Conestoga remains undefeated and in first place in the Central League, but Coach Samson said, “We just need to do what we do, but do it better.”
Haverford School– 0-5-4-4 – 13
Conestoga – 0-1-5-2 – 8
Henry Blynn 7g, 2a
Gavin McBride 1g
Reilly Hupfeldt 1g
Sam Rohr 1g, 1a
Will McNamara 1a
Zach Rego 1g, 3a
Peter Blynn 1a
Scott Warren 1a
Will Gural 1g
Timmy Brooks 1g
Jake Landman 14 saves
Tyler Brooke – 3g, 1a
Connor Frisina – 1g, 1a
Bradlee Lord – 1g, 1a
Adam Goins – 1g
Andrew DeStefano – 1g
Jake Scott – 1g
Jamie Ikeda – 1a
Jordan Klunder – 1a
Robbie Zonino – 7 saves