Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/26/14
Being hemmed into the defensive end of the field can be a nightmare for some players.
It’s what gets Phil Poquie going, though.
After spending most of the game trying to repel Episcopal Academy’s various attacks – including one-way traffic virtually the entire second quarter – Poquie produced two lightning-fast, counter-attack goals to help give the Haverford School an 8-4 win over Episcopal Academy in Inter-Ac play Friday afternoon.
The second-ranked Fords improve to 12-4 and 5-1 in the Inter-Ac. EA falls to 4-9 and 2-4.
The final score was about the only thing Episcopal Academy didn’t get the better of. The Churchmen outshot Haverford School 38-20 and benefited from four minutes of man-up lacrosse. They barraged Alex DeMarco’s cage with 16 shots in the second quarter alone.
But they only got two goals from that frame and never pulled ahead.
Cue Poquie, who restored Haverford School’s edge with 7:59 left in the third quarter with an end-to-end rush. When the defensive midfielder wove his way through the EA defense and found himself on the edge of Brian Zappala’s crease without a defender in his path, he calmly deposited a shot over the goalie’s shoulder.
Poquie duplicated the feat in the fourth quarter, the running back eluding defenders with ease and burying a shot to give the Fords a 6-3 lead they never seemed in danger of relinquishing.
“My role on the team is to play defense first, obviously, limit the goals of the other team,” Poquie said. “And if we can transition the ball, try to get transition offense. That’s what coach (John) Nostrant says my specialty has been. I’ve worked to improve that, and it’s starting to get to be second nature to me, getting up and down the field.”
The defense provided by Poquie and his teammates wasn’t too shabby either. Despite being roundly outshot, the Fords limited the quality of those looks. It helped that DeMarco was sharp, making 14 saves. But EA also didn’t get the looks it would’ve liked, not to mention three shots that rang off the post.
“Lately, we’ve moved to a zone so it really gives me a chance to take shots from the outside and really use my ability and make stops,” DeMarco said. “Then we can get it out and get into transition.”
“We had plenty of opportunities, but we couldn’t finish at the end of the day,” EA attackman Dutch Buckley said. “They did a good job on defense, but at the end of the day we just couldn’t finish out shots even though we got good ones.”
The Fords opened the scoring just 1:40 in courtesy of Grant Ament off a feed from Brandon Shima. The lead was stretched to two in the waning seconds of the quarter when Dox Aitken scored the first of his pair of tallies.
The second quarter was all EA, with the Churchmen holding a 16-2 edge in shots. Buckley finally broke through midway through the quarter, and less than three minutes later, Tyler Haab tied the game.
But the Churchmen couldn’t quite nudge ahead. Chris Friedman scored in the third quarter to peg back Poquie’s first tally, but the Fords hit them with two quick-strike goals. Aitken scored with 2:22 left in the third off a feed from Forry Smith, then reciprocated to Smith to put the Fords up 5-3 37 seconds later.
The Churchmen couldn’t cut into the deficit in the fourth until Haab set up Jake Martellucci with 2:57 left. But goals over the next 49 ticks by defender Connor Black and Shima made sure the Fords ice the win.
Forry Smith 1g, 1a
Grant Ament 1g
Dox Aitken 2g, 1a
Brandon Shima 1g, 1a
Drew Supinski 1a
Brendan O’Neill 1a
Phil Poquie 2g
Connor Black 1g
Alex DeMarco 14 saves
Dutch Buckley 1g
Curtis Zappala 1a
Tyler Haab 1g
Jake Martellucci 1g
Chris Freidman 1g, 1a
Brian Zappala 10 saves