By Bradley Schlegel
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/12/16
Tommy McNamara scored twice in the final minute of the fourth quarter Tuesday to lift Haverford School to a stunning 10-9 victory over Malvern Prep in the Inter-Ac League opener for both teams.
Dox Aitken, Kayveat Postell and Brendan O’Neill each also scored twice for the visiting Fords (6-3 overall), who rallied from a three-goal deficit down the stretch. Goalkeeper Alex Demarco stopped eight shots.
“We really scrapped for this one,” head coach John Nostrant said. “We played extremely well in the second half. We won a lot of ground balls, and played well enough to beat a very good team. We got some lucky breaks, some fortunate calls.”
Malvern Prep is ranked first by Phillylacrosse.com and fifth in the C2C North America Rankings while Haverford is third in the Phillylacrosse rankings.
Kyle Anderson scored a game-high five goals for the Friars (6-2), who led 9-5 at the end of the third quarter but were shut out in the fourth quarter. Bill Coyle finished with a goal and two assists.
“We’ve got a lot of offensive talent on this team,” head coach John McEvoy said. “But we should have scored more. We’ve got to learn how to finish a game like this.”
Haverford School, the No. 3 team in the Phillylacrosse.com poll, utilized a dominant fourth quarter to shut knock off Malvern Prep, the poll’s top-seed.
Goals by Forry Smith and Postell midway through the fourth quarter pulled the Fords within 9-7. O’Neill’s unassisted tally with 1:38 remaining set the stage for McNamara’s dramatics.
McNamara, a senior midfielder, forced a turnover in front of the Friars’ net, scooped up the loose ball and beat goalkeeper Andrew Clark with 57.5 seconds left to forge a 9-9 tie.
According to Nostrant, McNamara relied on his athleticism to make the play.
“It’s what we expect of Tommy,” the coach said.
After his team won the ensuing faceoff, McNamara received a pass from Austin Helms and fired a high shot past Clark with 3.9 seconds to go.
“I was looking for the shot, and I buried it,” McNamara said. “I’m glad everything worked out the way it did.”
Nostrant expressed hope that the victory would help his team, which lost 22 seniors to graduation, develop its own identity. McNamara said the win was a major boost.
“We were very resilient,” McNamara said. “The second half was a battle.”
Anderson scored four of his five goals in the first half to help the Friars lead 7-3 halftime edge. His final tally, less than a minute into the third quarter, put them ahead 8-4.
Though his entire team is returning, McEvoy called it a work in progress.
“We showed some inexperience not being able to finish the game,” the coach said. “We have to do better. Haverford School just played better than us in all phases. We’ve got to learn from this.”
Haverford School 10, Malvern Prep 9
Haverford 3-0-2-5 – 10
Malvern Prep 3-4-2-0 – 9
HS: Brendan O’Neill 2g, 2a; Tommy McNamara 2 g, Dox Aitken 2g, Kayveat Postell 2g, Forry Smith 1g, 1a; John Nostrant 1g, Austin Helms 1a.
MP: Kyle Anderson 5g, Billy Coyle 1g, 2a; Mike Fay 1g, Adam Goldner 1g, Mac Undike 1g, Jack Traynor 1a, Sean Cristman 1a, Quinn McCahon 1a, Raymond Baran 1a.
HS: Alex Demarco 8. MP: Andrew Clark 13.