By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/11/16
Back in 1995, two former teammates and good friends at Washington College, John Nostrant and Rick Brocato, returned to their alma mater as high school coaches to stage a lacrosse game that has spawned a classic Philly-Baltimore rivalry.
On Saturday, for the first time in 21 years, the Haverford School (PA) and St. Paul’s School (MD) rivalry continues when the two powerhouses meet at 4 p.m. in Chestertown, MD, following the Washington College-Berry game.
Nostrant, head coach at Haverford, and Brocato, say Saturday’s opener is a special game.
“I am excited to return ‘home’ to WC and see my close friend (Nostrant),” said Brocato, who team is ranked No. 5 in the C2C North America Rankings. “We began the SP-Haverford series in 1995 at WC. It’s come full circle!”
“Washington College is one of the best college venues, so it’s great for the kids,” said Nostrant, whose Fords were the No. 1 team in every national poll last year (26-0) and are No. 2 in the C2C Rankings this year and No 1 in the Phillylacrosse.com Preseason Rankings. “It’s always fun playing Broc’s teams; they play the right way. We will have our hands full; they have a really good team. It should be fun.”
Brocato said the rivalry began in 1995 in his first year as head coach at St. Paul’s and has run every year – other than the seven years he spent away from the program (2000-06) – and emerged as a series of tradition and respect for two perennial national powers.
“We have a great traditional rivalry going,” said Brocato. “I’d say the same for John. For out-of-conference, I only play guys I like. John’s at the top of that list. I see him as my brother.”
Nostrant, who has over 400 wins at Haverford, brings a team that won the Inter-Ac League and Inter-Ac Challenge last year. St, Paul’s reached the MIAA “A” Division semifinals.
Haverford features a strong senior class led by midfielder Dox Aitken (Virginia signee), attackman Forry Smith (Johns Hopkins), goalie Alex deMarco (Penn), attackman Brendan O’Neill (Johns Hopkins) and midfielder Keyveat Postell (Penn).
The Crusaders are led by midfielders Mitch Gordon (Virginia) and Tyler Rockhill (Maryland), attackman Joe Pollard (Johns Hopkins), defenseman John Faus (Holy Cross) and goalie Alex Rode (Virginia).