By Mike Prince
Haverford School coach John Nostrant is still looking for that little extra bit of depth to put his team over the top. But for now, Haverford’s unselfishness on offense is the main reason the Fords have remained a national power.
In what has become a trend for the Fords on this young season, it wasn’t just one player taking over on offense, as three different Haverford players tallied multiple goals in an 11-6 win over the host Explorers in a non-league meeting Thursday afternoon.
Haverford (9-1), the fourth-ranked team in the nation by MaxPreps.com, got three goals and two assists from Gavin McBride, two goals and three assists from Henry Blynn and three goals and one assist from Zach Rego in an impressive victory over the 21st-ranked Explorers (3-2).
“The depth still isn’t there,” Nostrant said, “but we kind of have our group (on offense) and we move the ball well. When we pick it off the ground and move quick on offense, we’re tough to spot because we’re such an unselfish team.”
That quick-moving game has helped the Fords remain near the top of the national rankings as they gear for Saturday’s Checking for Cancer tournament at Haverford. The event, which was created to promote awareness and early detection for Colorectal, Prostate and Testicular cancers, will feature seven boys’ and two girls’ games. Haverford School plays undefeated Lawrenceville School (N.J.) and La Salle meets St. Augustine Prep.
Against the Explorers, six different players scored for Haverford, a team that La Salle coach Bill Leahy said is one of the best he has ever seen in his time as a high school lacrosse coach.
“Haverford is exceptionally well-coached and that is one of the best offensive teams I’ve seen in my 21 years in high school lacrosse,” Leahy said. “Those kids can play. They’re playing offense at another level.
“They share the ball, guys are moving when they’re 2-3 passes away, they backdoor and they pick. They even fake pick when they cut and they find the inside guy, which isn’t easy to do in high school lacrosse. They find the outside guy better than they find the inside guy.”
The Explorers, whose only other loss came to Gilman (MD), which Haverford beat 11-9 last week, did manage to stay in the game for the opening 16 minutes.
La Salle opened up the scoring when Adam Stefanowicz scored his first of three goals. Just under four minutes into the second quarter, the two teams were tied at 3-3, but the Fords took over on offense and never looked back, scoring the game’s next six goals.
“After that Landon (5-4) loss, we really took it personally as a group and it hit us kind of hard,” said McBride, who scored all three of his goals in the first half. “Not just in practice, but lifting in the morning, and we just have tried to keep it on a roll lately. La Salle is an amazing team and always has been, so to go out there and beat a team like this is really good.”
While McBride, Blynn and Rego led things offensively for the Fords, Sam Rohr and Will McNamara also chipped in with multiple point games. Rohr finished with one goal and one assist, while McNamara scored once and added two assists. Reilly Hupfeldt also scored once for Haverford, giving the Fords their first lead, at 2-1 late in the first quarter.
Haverford junior goalkeeper Jake Landman played well, stopping 10 shots in net to earn the win.
“We had a couple of lapses there on defense, but we did a pretty good job,” Nostrant said. “I think the loss to Landon helped us and this is a good stretch for us. Between this game and the next three coming, we have to be ready to play and this was a good start.
“I think it is really important that we spread our offense because you never know what your matchups are going to be. These guys are unselfish and never worried about who is scoring, so they look for each other, which is nice.”
Haverford outshot La Salle 43-20, while also winning the face-off battle, 9-3. The Explorers finished with 20 groundballs to 18 for the Fords.
La Salle was led by Stefanowicz’s three goals and one assist, while Matt Rambo tallied once. Pete Auteri and freshman Zach Drake also scored for the Explorers, who got eight saves in net from goalkeeper Corey Shaffer.
“Haverford is just such a well-coached team and those five guys on offense plus the coaching staff are as good as they come,” Leahy said. “I thought we hung in there early, but Haverford is just too good of a team.”
Haverford School 11, La Salle 6
Haverford 2-4-2-3- 11
La Salle 2-0-0-4 – 6
Zach Rego 3g, 1a
Gavin Mcbride 3g, 2a
Henry Blynn 2g, 3a
Reilly Hupfeldt 1g
Sam Rohr 1g, 1a
Will McNamara 1g, 2a
Jake Landman 10 saves
Adam Stefanowicz 3g
Matt Rambo 1g
Peter Auteri 1g
Zach Drake 1g
Corey Shaffer 8 saves