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Haverford High edges North Penn, 12-11, in boys’ District 1 Class AAA

Friday, 19th May 2017

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School  

By Matt Chandik, Posted 5/19/17

Luke McCallion has always been used to scoring goals, but he wasn’t always the faceoff machine that he is today.

Haverford High’s Luke McCallion had 4G, 2A and won 20 of 27 faveoffs in the Fords’ 12-11 win Thursday (Photos by Matt Chandik)

A right-handed lefty attackman by trade, McCallion looked up to his cousin, Joe, an All-American faceoff midfielder at The Haverford School. Joe was dominant on the Fords’ undefeated 2011 team before heading off to Penn, where he also dabbled at attack. Since Joe took faceoffs, Luke felt the need to try it out.

“He was my idol growing up,” the younger McCallion said. “He played for Ashbee (Lacrosse Club), I played for Ashbee. He was No. 3, so I followed in his footsteps. I was always out with him, facing off with him and getting pointers. We’re not the quickest guys on the clamp, so we’ll usually outmuscle guys, and I just stuck to that.”

Thursday, McCallion was all over the field in Haverford High’s 12-11 win over North Penn in the second round of the District 1 Class AAA tournament. The Vermont signee won 20 of 27 faceoffs and also carried the load offensively with four goals and two assists to lead the Fords into Saturday’s quarterfinal against No. 2 Garnet Valley. Opening faceoff is set for 2 p.m.

“You got the helmet!,” proudly yelled out McCallion’s little sister Anna after Luke had secured the Fords’ hard hat, handed out to Haverford’s player of the game.

It would have been hard to give it to anyone else. McCallion went 2-for-6 in the opening quarter, then made some adjustments and went on an absolute tear, winning 18 of the last 21 faceoffs. The Knights (13-5) had no answer for McCallion at the X, nor when he had the ball on offense. After All-Central League LSM Jack Farrell blocked a shot to kill a Fords penalty with 1:39 to go, Haverford called timeout and afterward, McCallion escaped a double-team to dunk home what ended up as the game-winner.

Haverford’s Dan Tierney

North Penn’s Nick Conroy scored with 33.4 seconds to go to cut Haverford’s lead to one and the Knights got a great look when Reece Udinski (one goal, six assists) got a shot off of the ensuing faceoff, but Dan Tierney came through with the biggest of his eight saves. The Fords (14-5) cleared the ball to seal up a rematch with the Jaguars.

“I was not expecting anything. I was just staying ready for whatever, keep my eye focused on the ball and just waiting to see what happened,” Tierney said. “I just knew I had to clear it, because the save prior, I went to fake and it popped out and I gave it right back.”

North Penn roared back with four straight goals, including a pair from Danny Payne, after the Fords jumped out to a 2-0 lead. A 4-0 Haverford run, spearheaded by a pair of Jack Daly goals, ended that, and the teams alternated 11 second-half goals. Before Conroy’s goal, though, the Knights went nearly eight minutes without scoring despite some prime opportunities, something North Penn will be kicking itself for.

“It was just mental mistakes,” said the Knights’ Eric Diamond, who netted two goals and added an assist. “We were getting the looks we wanted, but we just weren’t putting the shots on the net and we were doing too much and throwing the ball out of bounds. The looks were there, we just had to convert them.”

The Fords will have another crack at Garnet Valley, but either way, it’s the deepest postseason run that they’ve made in this senior class’ career. They don’t have any intent of stopping now, either.

NP’s Eric Diamond

“We’ve got our chemistry now,” McCallion said. “It’s a brotherhood. Talking to the guys about past teams, whether they were lacrosse players or not, they say they were all athletes. Now that we have our chemistry, we’re all becoming lacrosse players and becoming a great lacrosse team.”

Haverford 2 5 3 2 – 12
Luke McCallion 4g, 2a, 20-for-27 faceoffs
Jack Daly 3g, 2a
Nick Dilorio 1g
Alex McKendry 1g
Jack Farrell 1g
Cole Lukasiewicz 1g
John Sheivert 1g, 1a
Dan Tierney 8 saves

North Penn 3 2 4 2 — 11
Eric Diamond 2g, 1a
Nick Keim 2g
Danny Payne 2g
Reece Udinski 1g, 6a
Stephen Rinck 1g, 1a
Tanner Nelson 1g
Max Lehrman 1g
Nick Conroy 1g
Matt Rinck 8 saves

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