By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/27/10
It was not hard to notice the disappointment and heartbreak on the faces of the Episcopal Academy players after Wednesday’s 7-6 overtime loss to Haverford School in the championship game of the Inter-Ac League Invitational at Cabrini College.
The third-seeded Churchmen were on the brink of a major accomplishment before surrendering a late lead and bowing on an OT goal by Matt Walters. EA led, 4-1, after one period, 6-4 after three periods and held a 6-5 advantage until Brendan McGrath tied it with one minute, 23 seconds left in overtime.
The top-seeded and co-champion Fords (20-4) had easily defeated EA twice in the regular season by scores of 12-6 and 10-3. But the third-seeded Churchmen (16-6) took an early lead Wednesday, and used brilliant defense and standout goaltending by Tyler Morrell (11 saves) to give themselves a shot to win. All this despite the loss of standout defenseman Bryson Craft, who went out in the second period after sustaining a hard hit.
“We knew we had to fight, especially when we lost Bryson,” said EA senior defenseman Elliot Albert. “In the two previous games (against Haverford School) we lost pretty big. But we knew it was one game and it’s just a shame we couldn’t finish it up.
“It was a great season and I’m really going to miss this crew.”
Senior Chase Growney led the EA attack with two goals and two assists.
“We played hard and having the lead was key, but we couldn’t win the face-off in the end and that killed us,” Growney said. “They are so good at keeping possession and they have so many threats, and they can keep on attacking.
“But I am really proud of the seniors, and it was a great run. I’m sad it has to end like this. No regrets except for the fact we lost.”
EA coach Andy Hayes said his team is understandably disappointed, but can hold its head high.
“Our guys played to the last whistle,” he said “We had our opportunities, but against a team like the Haverford School you have to finish the game because they can score goals in bunches. I wouldn’t do anything different; our kids played so hard today and I’m proud of all these guys.
“In sports, sometimes the ball doesn’t go your way and we ran out of gas at the end. That’s what happens against teams like Haverford – that’s why they’re one of the best teams in the country.”