By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/19/18
The Hill Academy’s Billy Coyle could not have asked for a more perfect homecoming.
Coyle, a post-grad attackman from Malvern Prep, collected five goals and four assists and was named the STX Ultra Power Star of the Game in leading 2nd-seeded Hill (of Ontario) past 3rd-seeded IMG Academy-National (FL), 14-9, in the semifinals of the Victory Events National Prep Championships at Ursinus College.
The win vaults the Pride (9-4) into the title game Sunday against No. 1 seed and the nation’s top-ranked squad, rival Culver Military Academy, at 12:30 p.m. at Ursinus. Culver (23-0) dominated No. 4 Academy of the New Church, 15-5.
Coyle had a number of family members watching Friday when he scored four straight goals to help Hill rally from a 6-3 deficit and avenge a 21-15 loss to IMG (9-3) on May 6. The spurt keyed a 6-0 run by The Hill – with Coyle scoring or assisting on each goal.
“The whole time on offense we were thinking, ‘When we get the ball we’re going to score,'” Coyle said. “We started to get the ball and we started putting it in the back of the net. We were playing hard, playing smart and getting extended possessions. We were clicking on the offensive end.
“It was nice for me. My mom and dad and two sisters were here (Wednesday) and tonight and hopefully make it out Sunday.”
Coyle was an All-Inter-Ac League, All-EPLCA and Third-Team All-Phillylacrosse.com pick last year for Malvern Prep who is committed to Cornell. He said prepping a year at Hill has been a blessing.
“Hill’s helped me a ton,” he said. “Coming from a Philly program like Malvern, obviously it’s good competition. Every game here, we’re playing against the best teams. We’re playing against the best players in practice; there is no better way to be prepared for the next level.”
Hill Academy is ranked No. 18 in the latest Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse Power Rankings, one spit behind IMG. Culver is No. 1 – but the Hill gave Culver perhaps its toughest game back on April 22 when it fell, 8-7, in triple overtime.
“There’s nothing better than getting another crack at them,” Coyle said. “You dob’t always get a second chance against a program like that.
“They’ve been doing well. We’ve just tarted to hit our groove. We have to play hard, play smart and focus on the little things – the groundballs, the middle of the field. We have to make the hustle plays. It we make more plays, we should come out on top.”
Hill Academy 14, IMG National 9
Hill 3-4-3-4- 14
IMG 6-0-1-2- 9
Hill goals: Billy Coyle 5, Sean Westley 3, Josh Zawada 2, Carter Brand 1, Henry Fellows 1, Lucas Snider 1, Owen Hill 1
IMG National: Isaiah Skidders 3, Chase Scanlan 2, Luke Burnam 1, Sean Donnelly 1, Daniel Burnam 1, Devon Buckshot 1.