By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/14/15
Most of the season the Episcopal Academy offense has gained the spotlight as the Churchmen spent much time in the national rankings.
But the EA defense has been steady and integral to the team’s success this year. On Wednesday night the Churchmen defense was the key in a 5-4 victory over an underrated Hill School in the Inter-Ac Challenge quarterfinals at the Conshohocken Proving Grounds.
The unit of Christopher Garino, Conner Delaney, Cole Testaiuti, long stick middie Drew Silvera as well as goalie Colin Reder (eight saves) helped third-seeded EA (14-6) advance to meet second-seeded Hill School in the semifinals Friday at 5 p.m. at PPL Park. Hun School (17-0), which defeated EA 19 days ago, 18-7, at the Katie Samson Festival, toppled ANC, 13-4 in the quarters.
Hill School (10-8), which fell to Hun School by just a goal a week earlier, drew within 5-4 on Wednesday when Jason Bram scored with 4:51 to play. The Blues had a great opportunity to tie it with a 30-second man-advantage in the final two minutes and also had possession in the final minute, but the EA defense held them without a legitimate shot.
“Practicing against our strong offense, it’s helped us to prepare and we’ve trained hard to run our zone and our man and we’re fully confident we can D up anybody,” said Garino. “We were looking for team defense and that’s been the best part of our defense. There isn’t one individual, we’re just playing really well together.”
Chjristian Feliziani won 12 of 13 face-offs and Eric Haab had two goals while Curtis Zappala and Chris Friedman each added a goal and an assist for the Churchmen. Jake Martellucci scored once.
Aidan Coll had two goals and an assist and Will Schantz had a goal and an assist for the Blues (10-8). Chase Midgley made seven saves.
“Our objective was to frustrate them by keeping the ball out of their sticks,” said Hill School coach Dave Mullen. “They won a game by on goal when we turned it over 15 times – about a dozen were unforced – so, that’s where we are.
“The kids were great this season. We pushed them very hard. They respond well. They went up against some of the best teams, they slipped up some teams against some teams not as competitive. But we hung with some really good teams this year – we were one of the two teams that hung with Hun and we should get better next year.”
Episcopal Academy 5, Hill School 4
EA 3 – 1 – 0 – 1 – 5
Hill 1 – 2 – 0 – 1 – 4
Eric Haab 2g
Jake Martellucci 1g
Chris Friedman 1g, 1a
Curtis Zappala 1g, 1a
Christian Feliziani 12 of 13 FO
Colin Reder 8 saves
Will Schantz 1g 1a
Aidan Coll 2g 1a
Jason Bram 1g
Chase Midgley 7 saves
Top-seeded Haverford School 10, 8th-seeded Penn Charter 3
Phil Poquie scored three goals and Grant Ament had two goals and two assists while Drew Supinski had two goals and one assist to lead the Fords (23-0).
Cody Sweeney paced the Quakers (7-14) with a pair of goals while Sean McKee had 14 saves in goal.
Penn Charter kept it close, pulling within 3-2 on a Sweeney goal with 2:21 left in the first half. But the Fords dominated the third period and pulled away in the fourth. Alex deMarco posted sevemn saves for the Fords.
Haverford School 2-1-3-4- 10
Penn Charter 1-1-0-1- 3
Grant Ament 2g, 2a
Drew Supinski 2g, 1a
Phil Poquie 3g
Keyveat Postell 1g
Lane Odom 1g
Luke Desperito 1g
Alex deMarco 7 saves
Cody Sweeney 2g
Blake Target 1g
Drew Gallant 1a
Sean McKee 14 saves