By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/9/14
The Malvern Prep lacrosse team won six games by one goal in its 20-0 start this year – three in overtime.
But in their biggest game of the year, the host Friars did not need any late-game dramatics.
Malvern Prep controlled the game from the start and claimed a 14-9 victory today over arch-rival Haverford School to finish a 21-0 regular season and its second straight Inter-Ac League championship.
The Friars, ranked No. 5 by Warrior/TopLaxRecruits, will head into the Inter-Ac Invitational as the top seed. The quarterfinals are slated for Wednesday.
The 10th-ranked Fords, 18-5 overall, finished second in the Inter-Ac with an 8-2 mark and should secure the second seed in the tourney.
In their last meeting 15 days ago, the Friars needed two overtimes to take an 8-7 thriller. But they broke open a 2-2 game with seven second-period goals and never allowed the Fords to get closer than four goals in the second half.
“It was an awesome experience,” said Malvern Prep senior midfielder Kevin McGeary, who had two goals. “I wouldn’t want to play anyone else but Haverford.
“It’s a good rivalry. I have a lot of friends on both teams and it’s always fun playing them.”
Malvern’s balanced attack also featured key contributions from Kyle Aanderson (three goals), Tripp Traynor (two goals, one assist), AJ Traynor (two goals, one assist), Adam Goldner (two goals) and Sparky Hilburn (one goal, three assists). Carson Cocco posted 11 saves and Charles Kelly won 14 of 25 face-offs.
Malvern’s offense was crisp throughout, especially in the second period when they managed numerous close-in shots vs. Alex deMarco (eight saves in one half).
“They were just at a different level,” said Haverford coach John Nostrant. “They played harder and faster and all the credit goes to their coaching staff and their kids. They played at a pace certainly much better than the first time we played.”
“We got a lot of extra possessions because when we turned it over we got the groundballs back,” said McGeary. “We were riding hard and every time they put the ball on the ground our defense was clearing it.”
Malvern Prep coach John McEvoy said his team had to fight through the close games to mature to this point.
“I think we all second-guessed ourselves (because) we had a lot of tight games,” he said. “I never thought they should have been so tight, but we are youthful and many of our seniors never played much last year.
“I like the way our kids reacted. We have a lot of weapons and since I coach offense it was fun to coach them.”
Senior Tripp Traynor said his Friars were peaking toward this game ever since last year ended with a loss to Haverford School in the Inter-Ac invitational championship game.
“In the beginning of the year we had this game circled on the calendar,” said Traynor. “We always get up for every game, but especially for this one since they are our rival and this is the last Inter-Ac game.
“It feels great being 21-0 and getting back-to-back Inter-Ac championships. It feels awesome, but we have more work to do so we’ll go back to work Monday.”
Malvern Prep 14, Haverford School 9
Malvern Prep 2-7-4-1- 14
Haverford School 2-2-3-2- 9
Kevin McGeary 2g
Adam Goldner 2g
Kyle Anderson 3g
Conor Glancy 1g
Sparky Hilburn 1g, 3a
Tripp Traynor 2g, 1a
AJ Traynor 2g, 1a
Zach White 1g
Mike Fay 2a
Charles Kelly 1a 14 of 25 FO
Carson Cocco 11 saves
Dox Aitken 3g, 1a
Forry Smith 1g
Tyler Will 1g
Shane McBride 1g
Grant Ament 1g, 1a
Brendan O’Neill 1g
Alex deMarco 8 saves
Elliot Avis 5 saves