By Tom Peace
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/27/15
BALTIMORE- Dox Aitken scored five goals, including the go-ahead tally, as top-ranked Haverford School rallied from a seven-goal deficit to defeat host Gilman School, 11-9, today.
The Fords (4-0) scored eight unanswered goals to seize a 9-8 lead in the final period and complete a four-game sweep of top teams in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association.
Haverford, No. 1 in the Epoch Lacrosse North America Rankings, has beaten McDonogh School, St. Paul’s, Loyola Blakefield and now Gilman.
“It was awesome,” said Aitken, a Virginia commit who plays attack and midfield. “We started off very poorly and it kind of felt like deja vu from two years ago when we came down here and were losing by at least 10 at halftime (in a 17-13 loss).
“But we were kind of convinced it wouldn’t happen twice.”
The Fords forged the tie on goals by Forry Smith (three tallies) and Phil Poquie (two). Aitken put his team up for good, 9-8, with 2:21 to play and Grant Ament made it 10-8 before the end of the period.
“This definitely builds our confidence a lot to come out here and go 4-0 against great teams like these. It builds trust for in each other.”
Gilman (1-2) appeared prime to make a major upset when it raced to leads of 7-1 and 8-2. But the Fords scored twice near the end of the first half and then came out on fire in the second half.
“They’re a fantastic team and I was really pleased with how we played, obviously, in the first half,” said Gilman coach Brooks Matthrews. “In the second half they came after us and we didn’t handle it as well.
“Hopefully this is a great learning experience for us. When we share the ball and move without the ball and get creative we play a pretty fun brand of ball. They pressured us and wore us down. They are a great team and they earned it.”
Chris Williams and Woody Kelly each had two goals for the Greyhounds and Ben Shmerler stood out in goal.
“Ben’s a fantastic goalie and it’s no secret he works very hard at it,” Matthews said. “He competed the entire game and if we can get all of our team to compete like Ben does we’ll be in great shape.
“We have a lot of older guys but not a lot that played a lot. This kind of game against one of the best teams in the country – if not the best – is invaluable for us.”
Haverford School coach John Nostrant said his team was jolted by Gilman’s initial burst.
“They were playing at a different level than we were for the first 12 or 13 minutes,” he said. “We just tried to plug away at I told them out of a time out to get it to 8-4 before halftime and they did that. We didn’t panic even when it was not looking very good.”
Nostrant noted that being the No. 1 team draws a great challenge every game.
“We thought this was a huge game; we haven’t beaten Gilman for a few years,” he said. “Their goalie was great. We haven’t seen a bad goalie yet. Now we have to get ready for Conestoga on Monday. Everyone is going to bring their A game to play us.”
Haverford School 11, Gilman School 9
HS 1 3 6 1- 11
GS 5 3 0 1 – 9
Forry Smith 3g
Grant Ament 1g
Dox Aitken 5g
Phil Pqoquie 2g
Brandon Shima 1a
goalie Alex Demarco 5 saves
Jim Williams 1g, 1a
Chris Williams 2g
Zack Cohen 1g
Charlie DeMuth 1g
Woody Kelly 2g
Wade Ousler 1g
Justin Edwards 1g
Ben Schmerler 10 saves
Tags: Hsverford School