By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/16/15
Senior attackman Jesse Frazier admitted it was hard to express his emotions after his Academy of the New Church boys’ lacrosse team defeated visiting Shipley School, 13-10, Friday to repeat as Friends Schools League champions.
“My emotions right now are off the chart,” said Frazier. “It’s unbelievable how had we fought.
“We knew we had it in us and we kept playing hard. Everyone stepped up. We had motivation to keep fighting and to listen to our coaches for a good game plan.”
The Lions (16-3) held leads of 8-2 and later 9-6, but saw the Gators (15-6) rally to tie, 9-9, late in the third period on a goal by Peter Moeller (two goals).
But James Vandegrift (four goals, two assists) scored twice to make it 11-9 and Frazier (four goals, one assist) made it 12-9. Tate Gallagher pulled the Gators within 12-10 with 6:15 left, but Frazier iced it with 3:10 to play.
Kevin Vandegrift added three goals and two assists and Eric Carr had two goals and an assist, while Thomas Villante made nine saves.
The Lions had beaten the Gators, 9-8, in overtime in the first meeting. Most expected a tight game for the finale and the large crowd was not disappointed.
“It’s amazing to win it again, especially with a rivalry team like that,” Frazier said. “It’s a fun team to play against.”
Vandegrift agreed: “They (the Gators) showed some really good fight. They kept coming back, but we kept pushing through. It shows the type of character this program is starting to have.”
Shipley opened with a 2-1 lead,but the Lions scored seven unanswered goals before the Gators rallied score four goals to end the first half down just 8-6.
Nick Yi led the Gators with three goals and Chad Allison had two goals and an assist. Ian Walsh posted 11 saves.
“We battled back from 8-2 and tied it at 9-9 and had a chance to take the lead,” said Shipley coach Mark Duncan. “They are really good team that is deep on offense and has a lot of guns.
“We made a run at it and I give credit to our four seniors – David Wolfson, Chris Verdeur, Keagan Farr and Ethan Bradlow – they won two championships.”
Wolfson said his team never quit.
“”We were down early and kept working hard, trying to get the 50-50 groundballs,” he said. “We all gave it 110 percent and went to the last second. It was a tight-knit group and we had a great season.”
Vedeur agreed: “They certainly came out a lot more aggressive than we did, but we clawed our way back. I think that it’s certainly a bummer that we lost this game but that’s not really what I want to look back on.
“We were a really solid team this year. Just because we didn’t go away with the hardware doesn’t mean this team shouldn’t be rewarded. I am a caption and I am proud of them!”
Friends Schools Championship
Academy of the New Church 13, Shipley School 10
Dave Closterman 2a
Kevin Vandegrift 3g, 2a
James Vandegrift 4g, 2a
Jesse Frazier 4g, 3a
Milo Navarro 1a
Eric Carr 2g, 1a
Thomas Villante 9 saves
Amir Fluellen 1g, 1a
Nick Yi 3g
Chad Allison 2g, 1a
David Wolfson 1g
Tate Gallagher 1g, 1a
Peter Moeller 2g
Ian Walsh 11 saves