By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/6/17
For one day, the importance of a huge Inter-Ac League boys’ lacrosse contest was perhaps less important than the big picture.
Friday at Penn Charter, the host Quakers dropped a well-played, 14-10 decision to Haverford School in a game that kept the Fords tied with Malvern Prep atop the balanced league race (6-2 records).
Before the game, Penn Charter held a special dedication for the late Peter Ortale, a Penn Charter great who died in the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center.
The ceremony included three speakers – Athletic Director John Thiel, Headmaster Dr. Darryl Ford and
Peter’s sister, Cathy Grimesand – and the dedication of a touchstone made of steel from the WTC site. The touchstone will stay forever near the stands.
Ortale, 37 when he died, was a two-time All-American and a captain at Penn Charter (Class of 1983) and an All-Atlantic Coast Conference player and captain at Duke. He had been working at Euro Brokers on the 84th floor of the WTC south tower for almost two years, after spending 10 years as a bond broker for Tullet & Tokyo several blocks away. He was living in the SoHo section of New York City with his wife Mary Duff, whom he married in May of 2000.
Ortale, who is a cousin of 16-year Penn Charter head coach Pat McDonough and uncle to Quakers senior defenseman Alex Malitas, was known as a great competitor and leader on and off the field and a role model to all. He has scholarships in his name through Penn Charter, Duke University and the Duke’s Lacrosse Club.
“The juniors and seniors go on a trip every other year go to New York we went to the 9/11 museum and we saw some slide shows about Peter,” said Penn Charter senior captain Luke Stansfield. “It was so touching that everyone can rally around here for something so tragic and really come together as a family, whether you are part of Penn Charter’s lacrosse team or not.
“Obviously, we didn’t get the result we wanted, but we appreciate Haverford coming here and showing respects. Peter was a special guy. This really shows what Penn Charter is about; one of the big things we talk about here is community and this is the best way to show how big that community is.”
The game itself did not disappoint. Penn Charter (9-10, 4-4) had defeated Haverford School, 9-7, in the girst meeting, for the first time in 14 years. But the Fords’ attack struck early as T.J. Malone (five goals, one assist) helped the Fords (11-5) take a 7-2 second-period edge.
Penn Charter scored the game’s next five goals, but Haverford School scored five consecutive goals in the final 5:16 of the third period to take control. Johnny Nostrant and Luke O’Grady each had three goals and an assist and Joel Trucksess had a big game at the face-off X, winning 16 of 27 draws.
“We weren’t ready for their zone the first game,” said Malone. “We had two days of practice to prepare for the zone and we put in a couple offenses dedicated to the zone. We had some stretches where we didn’t score when we didn’t have the ball, but then Joel would go on a run; possessions were key for us.”
Nick DiCicco led the Quakers with four goals and Carson Marano had 13 saves. Penn Charter, which does not boast a big list of Division I recruits, has made its name as a scrappy team and emerged as a legitimate contender after wins over the Fords and Episcopal Academy.
“That’s the reputation we loving having; we’re all hard workers and we might not have big names going to big schools, but everyone fights whether they play zero minutes or the whole game,” said Stansfield, who recently scored his 100th goal and will play 1-AA (FCS) football at Valparaiso. “It’s something we can’t take for granted. Everyone has bought into the culture here and that’s definitely good news for years to come.”
Haverford School coach John Nostrant, who played against Peter Ortale after his college days at Washington College, praised the Penn Charter team and recognized the day’s meaning.
“They played better in this game than the game they beat us,” he said. “I thought Joel did a good job getting us the ball. I got to play against Peter and I know his wife, Mary. It’s sad, but it was a great tribute.”
McDonough said the day willnot be forgotten; and that Peter Ortale’s memory will live on.
“Penn Charter has a small community, so something like this impacts a lot of people,” he said. “I tell the kids that this is about more than just lacrosse. Peter’s always been the rock of what we go to here and who we want to be.
“He was somebody that worked hard in the classroom and out of the classroom, somebody that people respected to do the right thing. Peter is such a good role model; anyone you talk to is always be cognizant about being that type of person. To be able to memorialize him in that way and make it permanent is so great. We will always remember him and now we have something that other people can look toward, that’s there is Peter Ortale.”
Haverford 14, Penn Charter 10
Haverford 5-2-5-2- 14
Penn Charter 2-4-1-3 – 10
TJ Malone 5g, 1a
Johnny Nostrant 3g, 1a
Ryan Jacobs 1a
Luke O’Grady 3g, 1a
Chris Hervada 1a
Connor Mosebrook 1a
Joel Trucksess 1g, 16 of 27 FO
Mac Costin 1a
Scott Deck 1g
Peter Garno 1g, 1a
Parker Henderer 10 saves
Nick DiCicco 4g
Dylan Schwartz 1g, 1a
Mac Wilson 1g
Ryan Dickson 1g,1a, 1/2 FO
Luke Stansfield 2g, 1a
Jack Roseman 1g
Gavin Tygh 11/26 FO
Carson Marano 13 saves