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PIAA boys’ playoffs: Garnet Valley claims emotional win over Great Valley for fallen friend

Thursday, 30th May 2013

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School, Posted 5/30/13
Staff Report

One followed the other, and in both cases, Garnet Valley boys’ lacrosse coach Frank Urso began to weep.

When the public announcer at Henderson asked for a moment of silence Wednesday for Haverford School senior Kip Taviano, a Glen Mills resident who died in a two-car accident Tuesday, Urso had to wipe away tears from his eyes.

Taviano had played club lacrosse at the Brandywine Youth Club with many of the Jaguars and was still friends with a lot of them to this day. Urso had coached him, too, at the BYC, and the two had formed a lasting relationship.

When the national anthem had been done playing, though, Urso lost it again before turning around to rally his troops. He later admitted to not knowing what he’d get from his team in the wake of such a tragedy, but after a 9-5 win over Great Valley for the first state tournament win in school history, Urso was beaming with pride while trying to wipe away more tears.

“It could have went a lot of different ways,” Urso said. “They were up all night, they didn’t sleep. My son (Vail, out with a torn ACL) didn’t play, but he didn’t sleep. I didn’t sleep all night.

“People (were) crying all day long, even on the bus ride over. They got their energy from Kip. It wasn’t about lacrosse, it wasn’t about a state playoff game, and it wasn’t about any of that today. It was about getting a win for Kip and the guys pulled it out.”

Valley’s season continues Saturday against District 12 champion and tournament favorite La Salle, a 6-4 winner over Radnor. The location and time have not been released yet.

Clad with No. 10 decals on their helmets and purple and yellow shoulder patches with the No. 10, the Jaguars (18-6) came out with a purpose right away. Robert Raucci snapped home a low shot while falling only 28 seconds in, and once he got up, he pointed at the sky.

That should have been a pretty good sign that Garnet Valley wouldn’t allow itself to lose.

The Jaguars’ lead got to as big as 7-2 before Great Valley (18-6) put together a quick 3-0 run, but goals from Kyle Roberts and Jonathan Vandenberg (his third of the game) put away the Patriots’ upset bid. Jaguars goalie Mitch Rose turned in a strong performance with 10 saves and as did pretty much everybody else involved, he attributed the team’s fantastic effort to wanting to win to honor Taviano’s memory.

“It means the world to me and my teammates,” Rose said. “We wanted it more than you could believe. It was devastating, especially for the seniors. We had that trip (to Hershey) all day and we came back and we had to hear such terrible news, it’s just not something you want to hear, but we rallied back for Kip and we got this win for him.”

Garnet Valley 9, Great Valley 5

Great Valley 0 1 1 3 – 5
Garnet Valley 2 2 3 2 – 9

Great Valley
Tim Lamb 2g
Dillan Buettner 1g, 1a
Noah Joseph 1g, 1a
Greg Merrill 1g
Tyler Haines 1a
Peter Hayes 15 saves

Garnet Valley
Jonathan Vandenberg 3g
Robert Raucci 2g
Brandon Dowd 2g
Connor Faith 1g
Kyle Roberts 1g
Matt Taulane 1a
Zach Nelson 1a
Will Schreiner 9 saves

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