By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/12/15
There was a range of emotion following host Haverford School’s scintillating 8-7 victory over Brunswick School (CT) Saturday at the 7th annual Nike Checking for Cancer Invitational.
For the Fords, the No. 1 team in the Epoch Lacrosse Rankings and every national poll, there was joy and relief in remaining undefeated (10-0) with their third one-goal win this year. More importantly, there was pride in winning for their coach, John Nostrant, a survivor of prostate cancer, on a day when 11 games were played at three sites in Philly to raise money and awareness for men’s cancers.
“Checking for Cancer is a big day – not only is it a big game in terms of competition – but people donate a lot of money and overall it’s a good atmosphere,” said de Marco, a junior committed to Penn.
“We understand how big this is, not only for (coach Nostrant), but for the whole team. We bring more energy than ever for this game because we are so excited to play in this kind of atmosphere.”
The Fords won the game after de Marco made a huge save with 2:31 to give his team possession. Haverford worked it slowly and Grant Ament (three assists) found Forry Smith (two goals) for the game-winner with :42 left to play.
Disappointed? Sure, but Brunswick (4-2) coach David Bruce could not have asked for more.
“I’m proud of our guys,” he said. “We came down and knew we were playing a team that probably would beat us a majority of the time, but all we need is one chance and we played hard.
“Our man down (players) had a workout today and because of that we didn’t have the ball. But what a great opportunity for our guys to play arguably the best team in the country, from these polls. It’s fun to be a part of this great cause.”
Haverford led, 4-2, at halftime, but the Bruins – a perennial contender in the New England West Division I race – tied it 6-6, late in the third period and then again, 7-7, on a goal by Reilly Walsh with 8:57 left in the tfinal quarter.
Brunswick goalie Jack Stephenson was brilliant with 18 saves and the Bruins frustrated Haverford’s vaunted attack with a stingy zone defense.
But when the Fords gained the final possession, they converted.
“”We may take a bad shot or throw the ball away, but at the end of the game we have the type of kid that can make the big shot,” de Marco said.
Dox Aitken and Drew Supinski each had two goals for Haverford while Shane McBride and Phil Poquie each scored once. For Brunswick Marshall Dickson had two goals and an assist and Tucker Brown scored twice while Alex Buckanavage and Jack DeNaut each scored once and Walsh added two assists
Brunswick, which returns to Philly in two weeks to play Malvern Prep in the Katie Samson Festival at Radnor, left knowing it could play with anybody.
“It’s great for these kids to get out of their league and see top talent,” Bruce said. “They (the Fords) have god guys in every position and they are athletes. It’s disappointing, but it’s a fun atmosphere and a fun game.”
Brunswick 1-2-3-1 – 7
Shane McBride 1g
Grant Ament 3a
Forry Smith 2g
Dox Aitken 2g
Drew Supinski 2g
Brandon Shima 2a
Phil Poquie 1g
Alex de Marco 9 saves
Jack Knight 1a
Marshall Dickson 2g, 1a
Alex Bucknavage 1g
Tucker Brown 2g
Reilly Walsh 1g, 2a
Jack DeNaut 1g
Jack Stephenson 18 saves
Tags: Haverford School