By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/19/16
It was an ideal matchup of New Jersey prep rivals when Lawrenceville School met Hun School Wednesday in the Inter-Ac Challenge quarterfinals at the Conshohocken Proving Grounds.
In their third meeting of the year, Lawrenceville toppled Hun, 12-10, behind a brilliant effort by PG attackman Connor Kirst.
Kirst had four goals and seven groundballs while also winning 16 of 26 face-offs as the fourth-seeded Big Red (14-9) advanced to play No. 1 seed Culver Academy (IN) in the semifinals Friday night at Villanova University at 5 p.m.
Lawrenceville dropped the team’s first meeting, 14-8, and won the last one, 13-6, on May 9 for the Prep A championship.
In this meeting, Hun (11-7) took a 3-2 first-period lead, but Lawrenceville seized an 8-5 halftime edge and never relinquished the advantage. Will Ahl added three goals and Matt Hubler had two goals and two assists before leaving the game late in the first half after being hit hard on his second goal. Wade Maloney added two goals an an assist and goalie Griffin Thompson had nine saves.
“It’s a great rivalry,” said Kirst. “They’re a great team and we know a lot of their players, and most of us are friends with them. In the off-season we crack jokes abut how it’s going to be a fun series.
“Our hard work and support carried us. Everyone played for each other rather than themselves. We had some downs earlier in the year as a result of a tough schedule, but at this time I feel like we’re hitting our stride and it’s awesome.”
Luke Prybylski led Hun – which reached the Inter-Ac finals year year – with three goals and an assist while Owen Black and Matt Schleicher each had two goals and two assists.
Hun School made one big challenge to open the second half when Schleicher and Griffin Moroney scored to make it 8-7. But Ahl and Ben Berke responded with goals for Lawrenceville and Hun never got closer than two goals.
“They have a lot of talent; so do we,” said Kirst. “I guess this is the way our bounces go. We won some of the scrap plays and I was really proud of our team for that.”
Hun coach MV Whitlow said he hopes the rivalry continues to grow, and noted that the Lawrenceville stars helped lead the victory.
“I thought their goalie played great in the fourth quarter and their face-off guy (Kirst) dominated the game,” Whitlow said. “Still, its was 11-9 and we had a wide open look and Griffin Thompson saved them. Kirst, Maloney, Thompson and Hubler were great difference makers. I thought it was a good high school lacrosse game.”
Lawrenceville School 12, Hun School 10
Lawrenceville 2-6-2-2 – 12
Hun School 3-2-3-2- 10
Will Ahl 3g
Ben berke 1g, 2a
Connor Kirst 4g, 16 of 26 FO
Wade Maloney 2g, 1a
Matt Hubler 2g, 2a
Griffin Thompson 9 saves
Luke Prybylski 3g, 1a
Matt Schleicher 2g, 2a
Owen Black 2g, 2a
James Campbell 1g, 1a
Griffin Moroney 2g
Jon Levine 11 saves