By Matt Chandik
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/20/17
Matt Moore has some strong feelings about Harriton High School, none of which have anything to do with the Rams themselves. Every time Garnet Valley had made it to the District 1 quarterfinals three times in his career, and every time, they lost in the old format’s quadruple-header at Harriton.
“I HATE that field,” Moore said. “We lost on that field every year. I remember it was Radnor my freshman year, C.B. East my sophomore year and Upper Dublin last year. All on the same field.”
This year’s split into two classes lent itself to the higher seed hosting games until the final meant no more trips to Harriton, and perhaps not so coincidentally, the Jaguars punched their first ticket to states in Moore’s career with an 8-4 win over Haverford High. The Virginia signee connected for three goals and one assist, and his second goal of the game allowed him to crack the 300-point plateau for his distinguished career.
“I really had no clue. I didn’t even know,” Moore said. “(Garnet Valley head coach Frank Urso) keeps track. It’s awesome. It’s just my team. They’re giving me the points. They’re giving me open shots and assists, especially assists. They get open and I’ll find them.”
Despite the individual achievement, It was very obvious that a huge weight had been lifted off of Moore’s shoulders by finally making to the state tournament. The Jaguars (16-4) still have business to tend to in the District 1 Class AAA tournament as they’ll welcome No. 3 Conestoga, a 12-2 victor over Hatboro-Horsham, to town on Tuesday night. The two teams played a classic in the regular season when Garnet Valley overcame a five-goal fourth-quarter deficit to win in overtime on a Jake Buttermore snipe.
“We’ve been thinking about this our whole careers playing lacrosse,” Jaguars defenseman Sam Rudolph said. “We’ve been playing together since we were eight years old and we’ve been talking about this year for a long time, and it’s finally coming together and it’s really fun.
“We’ve talked about it before – either lack of focus, lack of energy, I don’t know what it was – but this year, I see it coming together and we’ve got to keep it rolling. If we don’t, it’s not going to end the way we want it to.”
The Jaguars’ defense kept the Fords (14-6) off-balance from the start, which enabled Garnet Valley to roll out to a 5-1 first-quarter lead. Playing from behind against a team like the Jaguars is never an easy task, especially when the final line of defense was so stout. Jason Rose denied 11 shots to pace the defense.
“The first time we played them, they got out to a really good start because we were playing man-to-man, so we started playing zone and that really helped us,” Rudolph said. “They were expecting what they got last game and we can always switch up on anybody. They were trying to get us out of our zones and throw it back into our zones to get us mixed up, but we had our slides ready and we had all of our guys playing as a team.”
Luke McCallion had a hand on three of the Fords’ goals, dishing out two assists to John Sheivert and one to Cole Lukasiewicz, while also winning 13 of 16 faceoffs. Jack Daly also tallied for Haverford.
Haverford must defeat host Hatboro-Horsham Tuesday in the first-round of playbacks to earn a state berth.
“I’ve been playing hard and I just want to keep playing with my friends,” Haverford defenseman Mike Dice said. “That what means the most to me and I’m just glad I’ll be able to have another game with them.”
Haverford 1 1 1 1 – 4
John Sheivert 2g
Jack Daly 1g
Cole Lukasiewicz 1g
Luke McCallion 3a, 13-for-16 faceoffs
Danny Tierney 11 saves
Garnet Valley 5 1 1 1 – 8
Matt Moore 3g, 1a
Jake Buttermore 3g
Evan Trizonis 1g, 1a
Jake D’Annunzio 1g
Joey DiAntonio 1a
Jason Rose 11 saves