By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/20/09
Haverford School will host an eight-team invitational featuring some of the top prep school and public school boys’ teams in the East on Saturday, April 18, coach John Nostrant has announced.
The invitational will be sponsored by Nike and STX and also will raise money and awareness for prostate and colon cancer research, Nostrant said.
Nostrant also said the event was developed with the hope that it could grow into a prep school championship tournament for Mid-Atlantic region teams. Haverford School and the rest of the powerful Inter-Ac League from Philadelphia no longer get to compete in the Pennsylvania state tournament since jurisdiction was taken over this year by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA). The Iner-Ac is not a member of the PIAA.
The invitational features four teams ranked in the top 20 and six in the top 50 of last year’s LaxPower Coaches Computer Ratings. Those teams include Connecticut’s Darien (7th), Pennsylvania’s Malvern Prep (11th), New York’s Garden City (17th), Maryland’s Georgetown Prep (19th), Massachusetts’ Duxbury (39th) and Haverford School (43rd). The other schools include 2007 Pennsylvania state champion Downingtown East and Maryland’s St. Paul’s.
The marquee matchup may be Malvern Prep vs. Darien while Philly fans will enjoy the continuing rivalry of Haverford School and Downingtown East, which along with Darien, Garden City and Duxbury are the public schools in the field. The other games pit Georgetown Prep and Duxbury and, St Paul’s vs. Garden City. Tentatively, the games will be played at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the two Haverford School fields, Nostrant said. He will also invite youth teams to participate in a smaller tournament.
Nostrant hopes next year he can build the invitational field and also develop a late-season prep championship.
“It’s nice to have local teams and we’ll try to have some youth games as well,” Nostrant said. “It’s eight great teams; it should be a great day. We’re starting small this year and hopefully it grows into something much bigger.”
Nostrant said the invitational also is meant to bring attention to awareness to early detection for two types of cancer. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer 14 months ago and Georgetown Prep coach Kevin Giblin is receiving treatments for colon cancer.
Nostrant and Giblin are friends who worked together as assistant coaches for the winning U.S. Under-19 National team last summer in the International World Federation championship in British Columbia, Canada.
Looking at the matchups, the intriguing game for Philly fans is host Haverford School and Downingtown East. These teams have enjoyed some memorable games in recent years.
Last year Haverford edged the Cougars, 6-5, in a dramatic double overtime victory at the Katie Samson Lacrosse Classic and then edged Downingtown East, 6-4, in the Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association (EPSLA) quarterfinals.
Two years ago, when the Cougars won their first state crown, they nipped the Fords, 8-7, in a brilliant EPSLA) semifinal contest.
Darien (Conn.) – The Blue Wave (22-1) captured their fourth straight Connecticut Class M championship and outscored their four playoff opponents by a combined 61-14. Darien’s lost only to FCIAC rival Greenwich, 8-7. The Blue Wave are led by senior attackers Tyler Foley (Loyola signee) and Nikki Dysenchuk (Dartmouth) and senior defenders Matt Gorski (Ohio State) and Corey Caputo (Hofstra)
Downingtown East (Pa.) – The Cougars (15-7) won the Ches-Mont League championship and fell to Haverford School in the EPSLA quarterfinals. They feature senior defenders Mason Poli (Bryant) and Sean Mulqueen, senior middies Kyle Marcks and Rocco Piliero and junior attacker Shane Sturgis.
Duxbury (Mass.) – The Green Dragons (22-2) won their fourth straight Division I state title with a thrilling 14-13 OV win over Billerica in the finals. They are led by senior middie Hakeem Lecky (Syracuse), senior attacker Quinn Culley (Notre Dame).
Garden City (N.Y.) The Trojans (15-5) lost to eventual B state champion Rocky Point in the quarterfinals. They feature senior goalie Brendan Engelke (Penn), senior attacker Will Fuller (Albany), senior middie Vin Chiodo (Marist), senior LSM Reid Rosello (Hobart) and senior defender Pierce Bradley (Sacred Heart).
Georgetown Prep (Md.) – The Little Hoyas (18-3) lost only to Gilman and Garden City early in the year and then to St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes in a playoff semifinal. They are led by senior middie Patrick Cotter (Notre Dame), senior goalie John Kemp (Notre Dame), senior attackers Brian Casey (Georgetown) and Billy Gribbin (Penn State), senior middies Sean Taylor (North Carolina), and Max Hart (Villanova) and senior defenders Billy Falatko (Proividence) and Greg Tabb (Fairfield).
Haverford School (Pa.) – The Fords (17-7) lost to La Salle, 7-6, in a heartbreaking, double-OT thriller in the EPSLA semifinals last year. They are led by senior goalie Dan Wigrizer (Duke), senior LSM Stocky Euler (Lafayette), senior middie Wills Miller (Bucknell), senior defender J.J. Newland (Vermont), junior attacker Stephen Aitken (committed to Penn State) and junior middie/face-off specialist Liam O’Connor (committed to Notre Dame).
Malvern Prep (Pa.) – The Friars (21-3) claimed the Inter-Ac League championship and fell to La Salle, 4-3, in the finals of the last EPSLA tournament. The Friars feature a standout defense, led by seniors Billy Conners (Duke), James Connelly (Delaware), Neil Willis and C.J. Mooney, junior long stick midfielder Henry Lobb (Duke) and junior goalkeeper Andrew O’Connell (committed to North Carolina), as well as senior middies Steven Dunn (St. Joseph’s) and Harte Thompson (Villanova) and senior attackers Conor Steidle (North Carolina) and J.K. Poirer (Bryant).
St. Paul’s School (Md.) – The Crusaders struggled through an uncharacteristic 7-10 season in 2008, but did have victories over Boys’ Latin and Garden City and nearly defeated Loyola-Blakefield. They are a traditional prep power and were 14-4 in 2007, including a 10-9, OT win over Haverford in a season opener for both teams. They feature senior goalie Harry Kreiger (Harvard).
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