By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/14/16
Host Academy of the New Church used a 10-0 run to break open a tight game and claim a 13-6 victory today over Shipley School for its third straight Friends Schools league boys’ lacrosse championship.
ANC (16-2) also earned the eighth seed in the Inter-Ac Challenge and will host ninth-seeded Germantown Academy on Monday at 4 p.m. Shipley (9-8) is the 12th seed and will play at fifth-seeded Hun School in the first round on Monday afternoon.
Just three days earlier, Shipley jumped to a 7-1 lead over ANC before bowing, 12-10, in their regular-season finale. Today, the Gators also came out strong with a 2-0 lead, and led, 3-2, when Amir Fluellen (two goals) scored with 5:07 left in the first half.
But Pat Kolb scored to tie it up before the intermission and the Lions dominated the second half.
First, Kam Kittrels scored off a James Vandegrift (three goals, four assists) feed and Vandegrift then dished to David Closterman (two goals, two assists) for a 5-3 lead. Bryson Rhee (three goals, one assist) made it 6-3 off a perfect transition goal from Kolb, following a Closterman clear.
In the fourth period, ANC scored six more goals to stretch the lead to 12-3.
“Every day this year we wanted to go out in practice and play our hardest so when it came to being down we’d have enough energy to come back and rally,” said Vandegrift, a senior headed to St. Joseph’s.
“It feels amazing. When I transferred in here three years ago I didn’t know what to expect. To see how far we’ve come shows what we’ve built and done with the program. I am happy I got to be a part of it.”
“After they scored those early goals we figured out what they liked to do and we made some adjustments on D,” said Carr. “After tje half we got it going on offense. This is a good way to end my Friends Schools career.”
The Lions have gone 46-8 under coach Rob Forster, who inherited a team that had gone 5-13 the previous year.
Amir Fluellen and Griff Gallagher each had two goals for Shipley while Tate Gallagher had a goal and three assists.
“This is the second time in a row we got the early lead against them and the second time in a row we had them tied in the second half,” said Shipley coach Mark Duncan. “They just outplayed us in the second half – groundballs, off-ball play, ball movement and decision-making. We made some mental errors and we can’t do that against this team.
“We gave them nine goals without getting one good shot. They took advantage of our mistakes.”
Forster noted that his team lost several players to injuries and other problems this year, but continued to bond as a team.
“Today in the first half on transition we weren’t making good decision and we were forcing it,” he said. “In the second half we started to work as a unit and we spread things out on attack. We also started shooting well.
“Our clears got us three or four goals in transition.
“This team has shown it can come back. We were down, 7-1,, the first time we played (Shipley). We have a resilient group of kids.”
Academy of the New Church 13, Shipley School 6
ANC 0-3-3-7- 13
Shipley 2-1-0-3- 6
James Vandegrift 3 Goals 4 assists
David Closterman 2 goals 2 assists
Bryson Rhee 3 Goals 1 assist
Kam Kittrels 1 goal 1 assist
Andrew Lapenta 1 goal
Pat Kolb 1 goal, 1 assist
Hans Frazier 1 goal
Eric Carr 1 goal
Tom Villante 9 Saves
Amir Fluellen 2 goals
Tate Gallagher 1 goal, 3 assists
Griff Gallgher 2 goals
Peter Mueller 1 goal
Colton Gallo 11 saves