By Pat White
Phillylacrosse.com, Re-Posted 5/18/13
Cory Rayfield scored four goals and Tate Gallagher added two goals and two assists while Ian Walsh made 15 saves to lead host Shipley School to a 9-5 victory today over Westtown School in the Friends Schools League championship.
Shipley held a tight 5-4 lead after three quarters, but staunch defense, strong work at the face-of X and clutch shooting helped the Gators claim their fifth straight league crown.
Rayfield, who had three goals in the second half, said Westtown’s zone defense opened up shooting lanes as the Gators capitalized on good ball movement.
“It feels good for me, but more for the rest of the seniors,” Rayfield said . “We have to give a lot of the credit to our defense, our freshman goalie Ian Walsh, and possessing the ball in the second half.”
Walsh was stellar down the stretch, making 11 second half saves to halt any potential Westtown comeback. He got help on defense with two goals, eight groundballs and four takeaways from LSM Chris Verdeur. The sophomore was crucial in the clearing game that led to his two tallies.
“I saw my opportunities in transition and got kind of lucky out there,” Verdeur said. “They were trying to spread our defense out a lot while we were in man-to-man so we packed it in. Once we went zone we were able to shut [their offense] down.”
Shipley (9-10), which has won 35 straight league games, also got three assists from Andrew Wofford and Keagan Farr scored once.
Evan Mok-Lamme had two goals and an assist for Westtown.
Westtown head coach Shaun Miller was more proud with his team’s performance throughout the season than disappointed about the loss. He said Westtown’s offense couldn’t generate the same success as the defense.
“Our offense was quiet today and Shipley’s goalie was outstanding,” Miller said. “We didn’t move the ball as good as we should have offensively. Defensively, that was the best game of the season, let alone against the best team in our league.”
The Gators’ defense of David Wolfson, Nick Piasecki, Nick Gonzalez, Rob Cucuel, Jon Messerschmidt and Christian Whyte along with Verdeur kept Westtown’s attack off balance. Eric Lee, Farr and Whyte also were strong at the face-off X.
Verdeur was happy that the young Gators kept their focus despite a third quarter comeback by Westtown.
“We were a very young team this year after losing a lot of seniors last year,” Verdeur said. “The number one goal this season was winning the Friends League and we were able to pull that off today.”
Shipley School 9, Westtown School 5
Shipley 3-1-1-4- 9
Cory Rayfield 4g
Tate Gallagher 2g, 2a
Andrew Wofford 3a
Chris Verdeur 2g, 8 Gbs, 4 takeaways
Keagan Farr 1g
Ian Walsh 15 saves
David Wolfson- 6 GBS 4 takeaways
Evan Mok-Lamme 2g, 1a
Matthew Munts 1g, 1a
Jeff Novak 1g, 1a
Luke Frankel 1 g
Clay McKee 1 a
Jake Chein 1 a
Philip Cottone 1a
Eric Ekas 1a
Casey Dech 9 saves
Tristen Pankake 8 saves