Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/12/10
The scholastic season opens in a big way today when Haverford School hosts St. Paul’s (Md.) at 3:30 p.m. and Penn Charter travels to Loyola Blakefield for a 6 p.m. game at Baltimore’s Goucher College.
Haverford School, which went 16-8 last year and tied for the Inter-Ac League championship, is ranked No. 2 in the Phillylacrosse.com Preseason Rankings and 14th in the Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse Preseason High School Power Rankings. The Fords also are ninth in the LaxGuys’ Rankings.
St. Paul’s is No. 3 in the UA/IL Rankings and No. 2 in the LaxGuys’ Rankings.
Last year the two teams met in the first game of the year and the Crusaders escaped with a 12-11 overtime win. This year the game features two teams loaded with Division I talent.
Haverford School has 12 players that have signed or committed to Division I colleges, including nine in a standout junior class. St. Paul’s has a staggering 15 players (eight seniors) signed or committed to Division I schools.
The Fords are young on defense, where they will look to junior long stick midfielder Goran Murray (committed to Maryland) and goalie Conor Kelly (committed to Notre Dame).
The midfield is led by All-American Liam O’Connor (signed with Notre Dame), who along with junior Joe McCallion (committed to Penn) gives the Fords one of the top 1-2 face-off punches in the country. Joining them at midfield are senior Billy Annesley (signed with St. Joseph’s) and juniors Carl Walrath (committed to Virginia), Brendan McGrath (committed to Princeton), Matt Walters (committed to Syracuse) and Grove Stewart.
The Haverford attack is paced by senior Steve Aitken (signed with Penn State) and juniors Chris Hupfieldt (committed to Penn) and Brent Tomlinson (committed to Brown).
St. Paul’s has won 24 MIAA conference titles. The Crusaders’ top recruits include middies Pat Powderly (signed with Syracuse) and Alex Chay (signed with Georgetown) and attackmen Jeff Fountain (signed with Georgetown), Taylor Michel (committed to Virginia) and Spencer Parks (committed to North Carolina).
Penn Charter is paced by junior attackman Joey Sankey, who has committed to North Carolina. The Quakers went 6-15 last year, but did earn a 6-5 triumph over Loyola Blakefield in the season’s first game.