By Matt Chandik
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/25/17
It really didn’t matter what matchup host Garnet Valley threw at Malvern Prep faceoff specialist Sean Christman in the area’s marquee nonleague boys’ lacrosse matchup Saturday.
Christman won big early against Jaguars starter Rei Lopez. GV coach Frank Urso then tried his long pole, Sam Rudolph, who promptly won his first faceoff. But Christman quickly adjusted, and from there, there wasn’t anything the Jaguars could do to stop him.
Consider the numbers: a whopping 20-for-22 day at the X and not coincidentally, a 15-6 Friar romp in a matchup of two of the state’s best teams. Malvern, ranked No. 1 by Phillylacrosse.com, used a 9-2 run from midway through the second quarter to deal the No. 4 Jaguars a loss in their opener.
“I feel like (all of the faceoff specialists) in the Philly area know each other pretty well, so I knew what I had to do,” said Christman, a Boston University signee who went 10-for-10 in the third period. “I get pretty nervous before every game, but after that first whistle, I just started dialing in and I knew they were probably going to pole me because they did that a lot last year.
“That usually happens in the second half, but once we started dominating possession and taking the air out of the ball, they sent out three poles, which wasn’t something I’d ever seen before. Once you start locking in to the whistle, it’s easy to keep going when you’ve got wing guys doing their jobs. Everyone did an awesome job of helping me out.”
The Friars (2-0) flexed their offensive muscle by having nine players score goals and 11 record at least one point, led by matching three-goal, one-assist days from Penn State commit Jack Traynor and Ohio State verbal Scottie White. Billy Coyle (Cornell) chipped in two goals and an assist.
GV was without the services of two-time All-American/All-Phillylacrosse.com middie/attackman Matt Moore (Virginia signee), who GV coach Frank Urso is only about 2 weeks away from returning from off-season foot surgery. But the key today was Malvern’s ability to control the time of possession.
“It’s great to get an opportunity like that. It doesn’t happen often,” defensive midfielder Mac Updike, a Navy commit, said of his newfound offensive opportunities. “It’s great when it happens. It’s not my job, but I’ll take a goal anytime.”
Doubling that, then, is a cause for celebration. The Jaguars hung with the Inter-Ac League favorite for the first half, only going into the break down 5-2 thanks to goals from Jake D’Annunzio (Mount St. Mary’s) and Evan Trizonis (Cabrini).
The more important factor, though, was the play of goalie Jason Rose. The Air Force commit took over the starting goalie spot and was excellent all day, finishing with 17 saves, many of them from point-blank range.
“I feel pretty comfortable with (the defense),” Rose said. “There were a couple of goals that we could have prevented, but we’ll work on it in practice. It’s tough when you give up a couple of goals early, but the defense had my back. (The Friars) were amazing at finding the ball backside, working it and giving up good shots for great shots.”
Malvern Prep 15, Garnet Valley 6
Malvern Prep 3-2-7-3- 15
Garnet Valley 1-1-2-2- 6
Jack Traynor 3g, 1a
Scottie White 3g, 1a
Billy Coyle 2g, 1a
Mac Updike 2g
Seamus Glynn 1g, 1a
Kieran Ward 1g, 1a
Quinn McCahon 1g
Luke DiGiacobbe 1g
A.J. Fantazzia 1g
Mike Fay 2a
Jordan Donaghy 1a
Sean Christman 20 of 22 FO
Andrew Clark 4 saves
Evan Trizonis 2g, 2a
Jake Buttermore 2g
Denny Nealon 1g, 1a
Jake D’Annunzio 1g
Jason Rose 17 saves