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No. 6 Top Story of 2010: Haverford School saved most dramatic moment in standout season for last

Saturday, 15th January 2011

Categories Boy's/Men's, Features, High School  

This is one of series of articles counting down the Top 20 Stories of Philly lacrosse for 2010, Posted 1/15/11

The Haverford School boys’ lacrosse team had its share of highlight in 2010 – but none was bigger than the final moment of the final game.

The Fords, after sharing the Inter-Ac League with rival Malvern Prep, were ranked in the national polls and the favorite to win the Inter-Ac Invitational before a packed house at Cabrini College. They reached the finals of the tourney, but trailed to a determined Episcopal Academy squad for much of the game.

Haverford School capped its season by winning the Inter-Ac Invitational in OT

EA held a 6-4 advantage after three periods, but Haverford School’s Brendan McGrath (two goals) sent it into overtime on a clutch tally with 1:23 left in regulation. Then, with 52 seconds remaining in the first OT period, Matt Walters scored the game-winner.

The Fords finished the year at 20-4 and were ranked No. 5 in the final Lacrosse Magazine poll, No. 6 in the LaxPower National Coaches/Computer Ratings, No. 9 in the ESPN RISE POWERADE rankings, and No. 15 in the LaxGuys’ rankings.

Just as big a highlight was the Fords’ thrilling 8-7 triumph over Conestoga early in the season. In that game, played before a packed house at Haverford School, McGrath (forced turnover) and Stephen Aitken (second goal) made key plays to force a tie and Walters again won it with 47 seconds to play. The much-ballyhooed matchup between the two top-rated teams in Philly was later named the Game of the Year.

Haverford School also hosted a huge event for an important cause – the 2nd annual “Checking for Cancer” Invitational. The event – featuring 12 of the top teams in the nation – was created to raise funds and awareness for detection, treatment and prevention of the three major male cancers: Testicular, Colorectal (colon) and Prostate.

Haverford Coach John Nostrant and Georgetown Prep coach Kevin Giblin are the driving force behind the event. The two college teammates from Washington College were diagnosed with cancer within months of each other three years ago. Nostrant is in remission from prostate cancer and Giblin continues to make great progress after being diagnosed with colon cancer.

Earlier in April, Haverford School whipped Canadian power Hill Academy, 21-14, in the Big City classic prelude game at the New Meadowlands. The Fords then routed Texas state champion Highland Park, 11-3, in the finals of the four-team tournament that shifted to Lawrenceville School.

Later, Stephen Aitken scored four goals and Liam O’Connor added three as Haverford School defeated St. Joseph’s Prep, 12-5, in a non-league game at St. Joseph’s University to honor the Kelly Rooney Foundation. Kelly Rooney succumbed to breast cancer four years ago after a tremendous four-year battle. Her husband, Sean, is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Prep and has been instrumental in helping build the Kelly Rooney Foundation into a major source for breast cancer awareness and prevention.

During the summer, McGrath, Goran Murray and Carl Walrath were named to the prestigious ESPN RISE Warrior 40 All-Star event. The players, along with four other Philly players, competed in a two-day skills event with the top rising seniors in the country at Boston’s Harvard Stadium.

Haverford School also has made the headlines for having a stunning amount of players commit to play Division I lacrosse. Currently there are 12 seniors that have signed or committed to Division I colleges – six to five different Ivy League schools. The junior class also features five more commitments so far.



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