By Tom Peace
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/12/16
CHESTERTOWN, Md. – Dox Aitken, Forry Smith, Johnny Nostrant and Brendan O’Neill each scored twice as The Haverford School (PA) claimed a 12-8 victory over St. Paul’s School (MD) today in a coach’s reunion at Washington College.
The Fords, ranked second in the C2C North America Rankings, bolted to 6-2 halftime lead and gave their coach, John Nostrant, bragging rights over Crusaders coach Rick Brocato, his former Washington College teammate and close friend.
The two teams first met at Washington College in 1995, but not since. On this occasion, the Fords – last year’s top-ranked team in every high school poll after going 26-0, looked again like a team destined for greatness.
“Playing here was nice,” said Nostrant. “It’s a great stadium and I love playing against Broc (Brocato). It’s always tough because somebody has got to win and somebody has to lose. He is class act and their guys play hard. It’s just always nice to get a win.”
Haverford led, 2-0, after one period and only 3-2 until late in the first half before erupting for three goals – by Conor Mosebrook, Aitken and Smith – in the final two minutes of the period. Haverford then stretched the lead to 9-3 on goals by O’Neill, Peter Garno and Jack Marshall.
Keegan Pearly led the Crusaders – ranked fifth in the C2C rankings – with three goals.
“We had a good couple days of practice and to start the season off like that is big,” said Smith, signed with Johns Hopkins. “I’m not really surprised. Every day we practice we focus on working hard and we had a lot of energy and enthusiasm and we come out shooting. It feels good.”
The Fords also got strong defense from an inexperienced unit, as well as 11 saves from 2016 Alex deMarco (Penn) and 2 from Alex Henderer.
“It feels really good especially, coming against St. Paul’s; that’s a good team and it’s always a great rivalry,” said deMarco. “We have a young team and it’s good to get momentum going into the season.
“We took advantage of their turnovers and communicated well, especially on the defensive end. I’m really impressed with those guy (his defenders). They didn’t get much playing time (last year) and they stepped up and made big plays.”
Brocato said his team will learn from the defeat.
“I am happy we kept fighting and I felt defensively we didn’t do a bad job,” he said. “That’s a great offensive team and early on weren’t getting facepffs and that inhibited us from getting into a rhythm.
“I told the kids it’s like failing a test – you learn from it,” said Brocato. “We will get back it on Monday and be ready to play a great Hill Academy team (on Wednesday).”
How was it playing Nostrant’s team at their alma mater 30 years after graduation?
“It was kind of surreal,” said Brocato. “You learn so much from playing Haverford. John does things the right way he’s my brother and I like playing his team. It was great to be back here; I just wish we had played a little better.”
Said Nostrant: “Alex (deMarco) played really well and the defense played well. I was pleased with that because it’s our most inexperienced position.”
Haverford School 12, St. Paul’s School 8
HS 2-4-2-4- 12
SP 0-2-1-5- 8
Brendan O’Neill 2g
Johnny Nostrant 2g
Forry Smith 2g
Dox Aitken 2g, 1a
Connor Devine 1g
Connor Mosebrook 1g
Peter Garno 1g
Jack Marshall 1g
Alex deMarco 11 saves
Parker Henderer 2 saves
Keegan Pearl 3g
Joe Pollard 2g
Mitch Gordon 2g
Tyler Rockhill 1g
Alex Rode 16 saves
Tags: Haverford School