By Chris Goldberg
Phillyacrosse.com, Posted 8/17/09
Haverford School rising senior attackman Stephen Aitken has made a verbal commitment to play Division I lacrosse at Penn State.
Aitken was a first-team All-Inter-Ac League pick in 2009 when he helped the Fords tie for the league crown and win the playoff championship. In the title game he earned co-Star of the Game with a three-goal output.
Aitken also tallied five goals in the Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association Showcase and was listed as No. 41 by Inside Lacrosse recently in its top Rising Seniors Young Guns recruiting feature. Aitken also played for the third-place Team Philly squad in this year’s Under Armour Underclassmen Games and played for the Mesa Fresh 2010 club team in the summer.
Aitken plans to study business at State College.
“I picked Penn State because I have been a Penn State football fan since I was 6 or 7,” he said. “My grandfather went there and my aunt went there; it runs in the family.”
Aitken also likes the Philly family at Penn State, which is stocked with local graduates on the current roster. Also, five other rising seniors have committed to Penn State.
They include Springfield-Delco’s Austin Kaut (goalie) and Brendan Nave (defenseman), Downingtown East’s Shane Sturgis, Hatboro-Horsham’s Ryan Mullen (defenseman) and Avon Grove’s Tim Golder (attackman).
“I have been talking to Shane ever since we played Under Armour All-American Underclassmen Games,” he said, noting he plans to room with Sturgis. “It should be fun and it’s definitely a big bonus that so many guys from Philly are gong to Penn State.”
Aitken, who scored 31 goals in 2009, said the season featured its ups and downs, but ended in style with the playoff championship.
“The end of season was great,” he said. “The disappointment was that we could not play the PIAA teams again (because Haverford could not compete in the state tourney). That was real frustrating.
“But I think overall it was a successful season since we shared the Inter-Ac title and won the playoff tournament
In 2010, the Fords return All-American midfield/face-off specialist Liam O’Connor (ranked No. 27 by Inside Lacrosse) and a standout junior class (three players rated among top 50 by Inside Lacrosse). Aitken, who noted that Haverford School fared well at the Brine Shootout this year, believes next year’s team can have a special season.
“I am really looking forward to next year,” he said. “The junior class is very talented, especially on offense. Based on the Brine Shootout, we could be real good.”
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