By Bradley Schlegel
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 5/22/15
Host Haverford School rallied from a 7-3 deficit and defeated Culver Military Academy, 13-9, today to close a 26-0 season and all but guarantee it will be the No. 1 team this year in every national poll.
The balanced Fords – who already have won the Inter-Ac League championship and Inter-Ac Challenge title – used a 7-1 spurt in the third and fourth period to take control.
Drew Supinski had all three of his game-high goals in the second half and Forry Smith had two goals and and two assists while Grant Ament and Phil Poquie each added two goals and an assist and Dox Aitken scored twice.
Also, goalie Alex deMarco posted 16 saves and face-off specialist Jake Hervada was a standout at the X.
“This is an unbelievable feeling,” said Ament, a senior. “The class really left a mark. I never thought four years ago that I would be in this position.”
Dawson McKenzie scored three goals while Ethan Walker and Colin Courtney each scored twice for Culver (16-6), which closes its season Saturday morning at Lawrenceville School.
Haverford capped its second perfect season in four years. It went 23-0 in 2011 when it earned the “mythical” national champion tag. The Fords, ranked No. 1 in the Epoch Lacrosse North America Rankings, will surely finish No. 1 in every national poll.
“First congratulations to (Haverford coach) John Nostrant,” said Culver coach Jon Posner. “That’s a very impressive team. Probably the most impressive thing about that team is that they don’t stop fighting. They’re down 7-3 and go up and score 10 goals. They are tough and they are deep.
“I think what (was working) was the fact we were winning face-offs and when we stopped winning face-offs we played 24 minutes of defense in the second half.”
A three-goal flurry at the end of the third, which included two unassisted goals by Supinski sandwiched around one by Ament, put them ahead for good at 9-8.
“We were able flip a switch and take the game over,” said Ament, a senior attacker. “We haven’t had to do that too many times this season.”
“We’d been down by four goals before, so we knew what to do,” added Aitken, a junior attacker. “We just had to stay patient.”
According to Poquie, a loss on Friday would have spoiled the Fords’ accomplishments.
“A loss would have changed everything,” said Poquie, a senior midfielder. “It would have set the tone for a long summer. We couldn’t lose the last game.”
An illegal stick penalty called against the Fords before the start of the second quarter led to four straight man-up goals by Culver Military Academy.
McKenzie’s goal staked the Eagles to a 6-2 lead with 4:40 left in the quarter.
“The stick penalty hurt us,” Ament said.
“We played way too much defense in the first half,” Haverford School head coach John Nostrant said. “Once we settled down, and were able to play more offense in the second half, we were fine.”
Nostrant was not worried about the 7-3 deficit in the third quarter: “We’d been down before, so it was not time to panic.”
Culver Military Academy extended its lead to 7-3 early in the third quarter on a McKenzie’s third goal.
But Haverford School responded. Poquie said the players were instructed at halftime to clear their heads of the first-half miscues and battle.
“We really wanted this one,” he said. “We had enough confidence to make a comeback.”
Sam Denious, one of 22 Haverford School seniors, called the undefeated season the ultimate reward for four years of hard work.
“It’s finally starting to hit me that my career here is over,” said Denious, a senior defender.
Haverford School 13, Culver Military Academy 9
Culver Military Academy 1 5 2 1 — 9
Haverford School 2 1 6 4 — 13
Culver Military Academy
Dawson McKenzie 3g
Wheaton Jackoboice 1g, 1a
Ethan Walker 2g, 1a
Colin Courtney 2g
William Clayton 1g
Jake Stevens 2a
Jackson Reed 2a
Brandon Shima 1g
Grant Ament 2g, 1a
Forry Smith 2g, 2a
Johnny Nostrant 1g
Dox Aitken 2g
Drew Supinski 3g
Phil Poquie 2g, 1a
Alec Haas 1a
Jake Hervada 1a
Alex deMarco 16 saves
Logan Atkins 1 save
Tags: Haverford School