By Chris Mueller
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/16/12
The Malvern Prep defense and the Friars’ offense finally put it together today.
The Friars jumped to a 7-1 halftime lead and coasted past visiting Penn Charter, 9-2, in the quarterfinals of the Inter-Ac Invitational.
The victory vaults the fourth-seeded Friars (8-9) into Monday’s semifinals against rival and top-seeded Haverford School (an 11-3 winner over Shipley School) at Cabrini College. Episcopal Academy and Lawrenceville School will meet in the other semifinal.
Eddie McLoughlin scored three times and PJ Finley won 11 of 13 face-offs while also scoring a goal as the Malvern offense came out firing and helped the Friars claim their third win this year over the Quakers (13-12).
Finley’s domination at the face-off X helped Malvern maintain ball control throughout the game, limiting the Quaker’s chances to mount a comeback.
“The success was all on my wing-guys,” said Finley. “I was going against a long pole so it made it tough to decide which way to go. I was lucky enough to get the ball out to my teammates.”
Malvern’s other tallies came from a variety of sources. Tommy O’Connor scored twice while Kevin McGreary, Sean Irvine, and Russell Atkinson contributed a goal each. Matt Barrett played phenomenal in goal, notching 16 saves.
Malvern’s defense dominated the Quakers all game. The unit was led by Eddie Morris, Jack Sheridan, and Chad Rafferty.
“With it being a playoff game, I was happy the seniors took care of business on their last game on this campus.” said Malvern Prep coach David Metzbower. “The defense has come up big all year. They’ve been constantly good, and with any mistakes they made Matt Barrett was right there to clean it up.”
For Penn Charter, it was a tough way to end a strong season. Drew Murray and Eric Berger each scored once while Jackson Tamasitis had 12 saves.
“Malvern came ready to play,” said Penn Charter coach Pat McDonough “They took advantage of opportunities and capitalized on them. Credit goes out to them.”
McDonough didn’t want his seniors to dwell too much on the loss.
“I told the guys that one game doesn’t make your season,” he said. “We had a pretty good season and played well until the end. I feel badly the seniors had to end like this today.”
Malvern now looks ahead to Haverford School in the semifinals of the tournament. Haverford won both meetings, 9-4 and 13-7.
“We need to play all four quarters against Haverford,” said senior captain Morris. “Coming out fast is critical and we need to prevent their big time players from getting easy goals.”
Malvern Prep 9 Penn Charter 2
MP Eddie McLoughlin 3g Tommy O’Connor 2g Russ Atkinson 1g Sean Irvine 1g PJ Finley 1g Kevin McGreary 1g Greame Weaver 1a Joe Dunn 1a
PC Drew Murrary 1g Eric Berger 1g Shane Carr 1a
PC- Jackson Tamasitis-12