By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/20/16
The Culver Military Academy (IN) has traveled a long way to compete in the Inter-Ac Challenge in suburban Philadelphia.
Eagles coach Jon Posner said it’s all been worth it.
“We came because we don’t play for a state championship,” said Posner, after his top-seeded Eagles (19-3) defeated Lawrenceville School (N.J.), 14-3, today in the semifinals at Villanova University. “We are independent private boarding school and not many exist out there.
“We used to be in the North American tournament, but since Hill Academy couldn’t go (this year) and they tended to be our only competition we decided to come all the way out here. It’s been very rewarding.”
The Eagles, who toppled Germantown Academy, 16-5, in Wednesday’s quarterfinals at the Conshohocken Proving Grounds, advance to Sunday’s final at 5 p.m. at Villanova vs. the winner of No. 2 Haverford School and No. 3 Malvern Prep.
Culver and Lawreneville (14-10) were tied, 1-1 until Ryan Prior (two goals) scored 2:19 into the second period. Ethan Walker (two goals, one assists) made it 3-1 with 3:56 to play and then the Culver attack took over as the Eagles scored four more goals int he final 2:03 of the half to seize a 7-1 lead.
Jackson Reid led the balanced attack with three goals while Harry Bogle, Austin Madronic and William Clayton each added two goals.
“It was a matter of time for us to get us going,” said Posner of the slow start. “Our guys had some nerves. They haven’t played in a big stadium yet. Once they figured it out it was a different story.”
Prior said his team has enjoyed the experience of competing in the Inter-Ac Challenge, run by NXT Sports.
“It’s a huge opportunity for us, it’s probably the biggest tournament we have ever been in,” Prior said. “There are some of the top teams in the nation here and it was nice for our school to allow us to come out here for a week.
“I think it’s awesome to play under a spotlight like this. Everyone is fired up to play in that (title) game. It’s really great to get that good competition.”
Now Culver can enjoy watching the Haverford School-Malvern game. Earlier this year Culver toppled Haverford School in overtime at Haverford.
“We’re pumped,” said Posner. “We’re excited. We’re really thrilled and honored to be invited out here. Thanks to (NXT CEO) Andy Hayes for giving us this invitation and (Haverford coach) John Nostrant who was instrumental in helping us get the invite to come out here.”
Culver Military Academy 14, Lawrenceville School 3
Culver Military Ac. 1-6-4-3- 14
Lawrenceville School 1-0-1-1 – 3
Culver Military Academy
Harry Bogle 2g
Ryan Prior 2g
Jackson Reid 3g
William Clayton 2g
Ethan Walker 2g, 1a
Brett Handsor 1g
Austin Madronic 2g
Alex Simmmons 2a
Wheaton Jackoboice 1a
Ryan Hallenbeck 1a
Connor Kirst 1g
Will Ahl 1g
Ben Burke 2a
Jon Coffey 1g
Griffin Thompson 16 saves
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