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.@VarsityLaxMP uses strong start to top @Fords_Lacrosse, 17-13, for Inter-Ac championship

Monday, 21st May 2018

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 5/21/18

Malvern Prep used a blazing start and held off Haverford School, 17-13, tonight in the Inter-Ac League championship game at Cabrini University.

Malvern Prep wins the 2018 Inter-Ac League championship

The second-seeded Friars (15-5) led 5-0 after one period and 11-2 at halftime as the top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Fords (16-4) were plagued by turnovers and and found their ace scorer, TJ Malone, blanketed by a staunch defense that sent a pole (Sam Sweeney) shadowing him the whole field.

The Fords pulled within 16-13 with just over a minute left, but Malvern won a key faceoff and ran out the clock as goalie Will Pettit scored with time running out off a long heave.

Jack Traynor (4G), Quinn McCahon (3g, 1a), Seamus Glynn (2G, 3A), Scottie White (2G, 1A), Jimmy Gabrielsen (2G) and Luke DiGiacobbe (2G) led a balanced attack while the Malvern midfield continually recovered loose balls and caused turnovers in the first half by a Fords team that had won 9 of the last 10 games against the Friars.

Haverford’s three-year hold on the Inter-Ac League title ended in this inaugural playoff championship format. The league champion had always been decided by the regular season champion although the league’s teams had competed the past 9 years in an post-season tournament that included other elite private school teams.

Malvern’s last league title came in 2014 – the last year they won the Inter-Ac Invitational to finish undefeated as one of the top teams in the nation.

“It was unbelievable; it was a surreal moment right now and I am still processing it,” said Traynor “It’s something we have all been dreaming about. I remember me and a bunch of current seniors watched the 2014 undefeated team win it. We stormed on the field and got a picture.

“We walked around saying this is going to be us one day. It took four years but we finally got here and it’s unbelievable.”

“I can’t describe this feeling, it’s probably the best day of my life,” added White another senior. “I give them (the Fords) credit- they’re an awesome team – but this one is for us!

“We needed that start, we knew we hadn’t beaten them (in a title-type game) for four years.”

Gabrielsen, another senior, said the players wanted to play with heart for head coach John McEvoy – whose mother passed away 8 days ago.

“Coach Mac’s mom died May 13 so we wanted to give everything we have for him and his family,” Gabrielsen said. “We love this program and school so much and gave everything we had on the field and it showed.

“It’s the best feeling ever. Having these giys win it the last 3 years we knew we were the underdog.”

Malone – who had Sweeney glued to him wherever he went – finally scored late in the third period and finished with the one goal and four assists. Scott Deck had four goals and an assist and Adam Salvaggio had three goals while Luke O’Grady had two goals and an assist for the Fords.

“They got a million weapons but he in particular he (Malone) has killed us for two years,” said MP coach John McEvoy. “He’s an awesome player. We figured we had to do something to make him uncomfortable. I think he’s probably the heart and soul of their team.

“Honestly, we had the ball a lot. If they had the ball more it might have been different. We played gritty between the lines – and all over the field, getting groundballs.”

Did McEvoy expect this strong a performance by his team?

“They had the capability of being that (good),” he said “The last part of the season they kind of got fed up. Some of the seniors had been a little inconsistent, but but it started building.”

Malvern’s fast start was numbing. Jordan Donaghy, normally a short-stick middie, was moved to the face-off X and he helped neutralize Haverford’s Chris Tsetsekos. When the Fords did win the draw, Malvern’s physical play and swarming defense caused numerous turnovers. The Fords also had a murderous time with clears deep in their end.

“We had many upperclassmen on this team and it was our leadership,” Traynor said. “It was our heart. Jordan scrapped hard, we all played our butts off today. We were waiting on their run, but we didn’t want to let them on too big of a run.”

Malone credited Malvern: “They obviously came out as hungry dogs and wanted to fight they came out hungrier than us I don’t know what the score was but we couldn’t get anything going offensively. We didn’t have an answer for them until we finally got our feet under us.

“They did something we hadn’t seen. They poled me and followed me wherever I went and wouldn’t let me get open.”

Malone said the Fords gained the momentum in the second half, but had too big a deficit to overcome.

“Once we did (get going) – if the game was 4 minutes longer – 2 minutes longer – we would have won,” he said. “We finished strong but we couldn’t get it figured out soon enough.

“We definitely met our expectations, which were set pretty low by the critics out there. Unfortunately, it came to a terrible ending, but I am so proud of our team and I love our guys and I wouldn’t want to play with anyone else. I am definitely proud of what we have done.”

Malvern Prep 17, Haverford School 13
Malverb Prep 5-6-2-4- 17
Haverford School 0-2-6-5- 13

Malvern Prep
Jack Traynor 4g
Jimmy Gabrielsen 2g
Luke DiGiacobbe 2g
Scottie White 2g, 1a
Seamus Glynn 2g, 3a
Quinn McCahon 3g, 1a
Matt Hilburn 1g
Will Pettit 1g, 10 saves

Haverford School
Gavin Burke 1g, 1a
Edward King 1a
Luke O’Grady 2g, 1a
TJ Malone 1g, 4a
Scott Deck 4g, 1a
Adam Salvaggio 3g
Brennan McBride 1g
Peter Garno 2a
Chris Tsetsekos 1g, 21 of 31 FO
Harrison Fellheimer 8 saves

Inter-Ac League champions since 2001 (all before 2018 determined by regular season record)
2001 – Haverford School
2002 – Haverford School, Malvern Prep
2003 – Malvern Prep
2004 – Haverford School, Malvern Prep
2005 – Haverford School, Malvern Prep
2006 – Haverford School
2007 – Haverford School, Malvern Prep
2008 – Malvern Prep
2009 – Haverford School, Malvern Prep
2010 – Haverford School, Malvern Prep
2011 – Haverford School
2012 – Haverford School
2013 – Malvern Prep
2014 – Malvern Prep
2015 – Haverford School
2016 – Haverford School
2017 – Haverford School
2018 – Malvern Prep 17, Haverford School 13

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