By Matt Chandik
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/2/17
Johnny Nostrant has had a front-row seat to Inter-Ac League games since, well, pretty much forever.
That’s the perk to having your dad be the coach of one of the league’s longstanding powerhouses in Haverford School, but the younger Nostrant has never seen the league with such balance. Three teams entered Tuesday’s action tied for first place, something that rarely happens in one of the country’s top leagues.
“Never,” said the Penn State signee. “My dad’s been coaching for a while and I’ve gotten to see every single year, and it’s really the first year where there’s competition in every game that you play.”
That parity was on display again as the Fords and rival Episcopal Academy renewed acquaintances at Sabol Field, but it ended with a familiar sight: Haverford back on top of the league after a 12-10, come-from-behind victory over the Churchmen.
Nostrant scored both of his goals as part of a six-goal fourth-quarter onslaught from Haverford (10-5, 5-2 Inter-Ac), including the game-winner with 47.7 seconds to go. The Churchmen went down a man because of an offsides call, and after swinging the ball around, freshman Pearse Glavin zipped a pass to Nostrant, who cranked home a shot from the right alley.
Haverford is now tied for first in the Inter-Ac with Malvern Prep. EA and Penn Charter are 4-3.
“We were working the ball, popping everywhere, and we worked it around,” Nostrant said. “They shut off (Peter) Garno, actually, and it opened up Luke (O’Grady) for a shot.
“Then we got the ball out of bounds, swung it and I shot it and it went in. It was a weird game. I feel like we didn’t really get into it until the second half, but once we started clicking, everything went well for us.”
To say the least. Garno came alive in the final frame, tallying all four of his goals, and Joel Trucksess won six of the eight faceoffs in the quarter as the Fords outscored the Churchmen (7-4, 4-3) 6-1. Garno gave Haverford its first lead of the game with 3:08 to go when he rocketed home a lefty shot off of a TJ Malone (three goals, one assist) feed, but that was just the start of a raucous final three minutes.
EA’s Cole Johnson (one goal, two assists) scooped up the ground ball off the ensuing faceoff and dumped the ball off to the Churchmen’s superb LSM, Conner Delaney, who promptly blasted home a shot for his third of the game. EA’s Jack Henderson won the ensuing faceoff, but Parker Henderer came up with the biggest of his saves to send the ball the other way and set up Nostrant’s heroics.
“We were down (three) going into the fourth quarter and knew that we couldn’t lose to one of our biggest rivals at home,” said Garno, a Virginia commit. “We just had to step up and a lot of guys had to make plays and get us back in the game. We were in a pretty similar situation the first time at EA, so we’ve seen it before and we’re pretty good at staying calm.”
EA’s first two goals came from unexpected sources as defensive midfielder Quinn Chambers scored in transition in the game’s first minute before goalie Jake Floyd-Jones broke Haverford’s 10-man ride with a 50-yard heave that bounced into an empty net.
That was just the start of Floyd-Jones’ day. The Lafayette signee was brilliant with 16 saves, including 10 in the second half. The problem for him, though, was that Haverford possessed the ball nearly the entire second half and fired a whopping 28 shots at him in the back two quarters, including 15 in the fourth.
“Conner and I had an AP exam, so we got here 15 minutes before the game started, but we were both locked in,” Floyd-Jones said. “I was seeing the ball really well, the defense was doing their job and they were giving up the shots we wanted.
“I saw the ball and made plays, but in the fourth quarter, they just kept getting the ball. It was just wave after wave, shot after shot. They just had the ball the entire fourth quarter and there’s nothing you can do.”
Episcopal Academy 3 4 2 1 – 10
Conner Delaney 3g
Jake Martellucci 2g
Cole Johnson 1g, 2a
Charlie Cunniffe 1g
Quinn Chambers 1g
Gabe Furey 1g
Jake Floyd-Jones 1g, 16 saves
Haverford School 2 2 2 6 – 12
Peter Garno 4g
TJ Malone 3g, 1a
Johnny Nostrant 2g, 1a
Luke O’Grady 1g, 1a
Adam Salvaggio 1g, 1a
Connor Devine 1g
Joel Trucksess 16-for-26 faceoffs
Parker Henderer 6 saves