By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/27/17
Who says the Philly lacrosse season ended a few weeks ago with the PIAA championships at West Chester East?
Jack Traynor scored five goals and fellow MVP Seamus Glynn added two goals and an assist to lead Malvern Prep to a 10-7 win today over Conestoga in the championship game of the inaugural Philly’s Elite Invitational at Radnor High.
The two-day tourney, run by Springfield-Delco coach Tom Lemieux and Radnor AD Mike Friel as well as Heritage Lacrosse, drew 18 of the top Philly teams as well as a few from New Jersey and Central PA. And it did not disappoint.
Conestoga, the PIAA Class AAA hard-luck runner-up, advanced to the finals with a thrilling 3-2 overtime win over Mountain Lakes (NJ). But Malvern Prep, a second-place team from the Inter-Ac League, showed its firepower by scoring five consecutive goals after falling behind 2-0 and never relinquishing its lead.
“It’s big; it’s nice to get some chemistry and momentum going into the season,” said Traynor, a 2018 attackman/midfielder committed to Penn State. “The club atmosphere is nice, but (here) it’s more about the high school playing together more and then having fun and winning,”
“I think the club atmosphere is about you trying to get exposure for yourself,” added Glynn, another 2018 attackman headed to PSU. “I think this is about us being more focused on the team offense and building chemistry, not as much about individual exposure.
“This is a great tournament; it was really well put together.”
Conestoga’s Chris Cara (2018 attackman) scored the game’s first two goals and had three overall. But Glynn made it 2-1 and then fed Traynor to make it 2-2. Malvern LSM Sam Sweeney (2018) made it 3-2 and Traynor scored again for a 4-2 lead before 2019 middie Gavin McGill made it 5-2.
Conestoga did pull within 6-5 early in the second half on goals by Will Schnorr (2019 attackman), Kent Hjelm (2018 attackman) and Sean Bailey (2018 middie), but Traynor got three of the game’s next five goals to make it 10-6.
Malvern Prep – which routed Academy of the New Church, 10-2, in the semis – also got strong work in goal by 2019 Will Pettit (8 saves) and solid faceoff work by 2020s Roman Cabahug-Almonte and Michael Voehringer.
“Our two FOGOs stepped up – Rowan and Michael – and Will Pettit was strong,” said Traynor. “The midfield stepped up and did a great job initiating the attack.”
“I think we did well,” added Glynn. “We are pretty senior heavy and the seniors delivered. But the younger guys stepped up, too.”
Ten of Malvern Prep’s seniors will get more time to bond in a week when they travel to South Africa for a service trip. They are going to an orphanage with 15 sticks donated by StringKing.
Cara – who had the game-winner in the semifinals – said the tourney can only help Conestoga as it looks to the 2018 season – one in which it also will also hold high expectations.
“James Reilly played amazing at the faceoff X, and (goalies) Scott (MacMillan) and Mick (Lee) played well,” said Cara. “The defense stepped it up even though we were missing two starters. I thought we all played really well and I am really excited for the season.
“It’s really good to get to see where we stack up, especially against a powerhouse like Malvern. We need to work on some schemes; we were all playing on our summer teams and this tourney came along. Without any practice I am happy with how we played and that we played this team this close.”