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Katie Samson boys’ lacrosse: Haverford School handles Conestoga, 11-6, in much-anticipated battle of nation’s top-ranked teams

Sunday, 1st May 2011

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School  

Staff Report, Posted 5/1/11

For the second time this year, No. 1 Haverford School flexed its muscles against the No. 2 team in the country.

Conestoga's Tyler Brooke is defended by Haverford School's Warner Bailey in Saturday's showdown of the nation's top two ranked teams

The Fords, playing before a packed house of more than 2,000 people at Radnor High’s Prevost Field in the 11th annual Katie Samson Lacrosse Festival, dominated early and
coasted to an 11-6 victory Saturday over Conestoga.

The first-ever 1-2 all-Philly national battle never materialized into the classic that occurred last year when these two teams played a brilliant one-goal game won by Haverford in the closing minutes.

This time, the Fords (16-0) took a 4-2 first-period lead, stretched it to 7-2 at halftime and were never threatened as a stifling defense, strong goaltending and balanced scoring doomed the Pioneers (12-1) to their first loss and any chance that a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) team will defeat the nation’s top team.

The game’s buildup was excessive. Haverford School, anointed the No. 1 team well before the season began by most scribes and Philly followers, has now defeated national ranked McDonogh and St. Paul’s of Maryland, Darien of Connecticut as well as Conestoga, La Salle, St. Joseph’s Prep, Germantown Academy and Malvern Prep of Pennsylvania.

For now, the Fords will surely remain No. 1 in every poll, regardless of the cries from the many New York lax fans.

“The non-league schedule? Not being a part of the PIAA you have to take advantage of that, so we play whoever we can,” said Haverford School coach John Nostrant. “I’d love to play everyone. I hear the people up on Long Island chirping all the time.

“Bring on West Islip or Chaminade. I’ll play them anywhere, anytime!”

Brendan McGrath ld Haverford School with three goals while Carl Walrath added two goals and two assists and Zach Rego scored twice while adding an assist. Four others – Matt Walters, Gavin McBride, Hup Hupfeld and Sam Rohr – scored once and Conor Kelly was again strong in the cage with 11 saves. Joe McCallion also was a key at the face-off X.

Still, McGrath said Haverford’s defense was the biggest reason for the victory.

“Defense was key to the game,” McGrath said. “Conor Kelly made some awesome saves. Our defense…they (Conestoga) scored six….really did their job.”

“We knew coming in that Conestoga was a good team,” added Walrath. “We also knew we had to play good to win….and for all four quarters. Ground balls and little plays in the middle of the field did it. Building on that gave us a good outcome.”

Conestoga got two goals from Brad Lord, a goal and an assist each from Taner Scott and Connor Frisina and single tallies from Kyle Morrison and Tyler Brooke.

“We didn’t play our best lacrosse today,” said Conestoga coach Brian Samson. “They were the better team. My hats go off to Haverford School.”

“We had to shoot better with a goalie like that. I feel bad for our guys because they worked hard to get here (ranked No. 2) and get to play a great Haverford School team.”

Haverford School 11, Conestoga 6

Haverford School-4-3-2-2-11

Haverford School
Brendan McGrath 3g
Carl Walrath 2g, 2a
Zach Rego 2g, 1a
Matt Walters 1g, 1a
Gavin McBride 1g
Sam Rohr 1g
Hup Hupfeldt 1g
Will McNamara 1a
Conor Kelly 11 saves

Brad Lord 2g
Connor Frisina 1g, 1a
Tyler Brooke 1g
Kyle Morrison 1g
Tanner Scott 1g, 1a
John Lopes 4 saves
Robbie Zonino 5 saves

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