By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/11/19
Academy of the New Church senior Hunter Jaronski said his team has embraced the fact it has one of the smallest rosters in the state.
“We have been battling all year with short numbers, but that’s the beauty of it because everyody is able to play and got good game time experience,” he said. “We had that ‘Next guy up’ mentality.”
Despite having just five reserves and a high dependence on freshmen, Academy of the New Church (18-3) emerged as one of the top teams in the Philly region this year. And today the host Lions won their sixth straight Friends Schools League championship by toppling rival Shipley School, 14-11.
Drew Carr had four goals and two assists and Joey Paterno scored four goals while Jaronski had a goal and three assists and played nearly the entire game as a defender, middie and at the faceoff X as he has done all year.
Meanwhile, freshmen Jack Joyner (two goals, two assists) Tommy Vandegrift (two goals) were keys on attack and another freshman, Nandin Rhodes, started on defense. Yet another freshman, Ryan Kelly, had to play a minute in a key part of the fourth period when starter Griff McGinley (9 saves) had to sit for a 1-minute penalty.
But ANC – which opened a 5-1 lead midway through the second period – never allowed Shipley (12-5) to tie and broke open a 6-5 game at halftime with three tallies to open the third period.
“I am sper excited for our seniors, Hunter, Traut (Layne Trautmann), Drew, Yates (Pendleton), Weston (Trautmann); the whole year they bought in and they got everyone else to buy in,” said first-year ANC coach Jack Forster, who had been the assistant under brother Rob Forster (now an assistant at Penn) the past 5 years. “They passed it down to the younger guys and made my job easy.
“We went through some adversity early on with injuries, but everybody stepped up.”
The game lasted an amazing 2 hours as the team traded hard hits and clutch goals. Shipley refused to wilt and pulled within 12-10 with 5:50 to play on a goal by Braden Lange (two goals). But Carr scored twice to salt the game.
Jaronski, a defensive standout who simply switches to a short stick when ANC goes on offense, also helped ANC win half the faceoffs and the first five of the second half to spark the run.
“It (playing offense) kind of just makes you work harder on defense,” said Jaronski, headed to Johns Hopkins. “You want to make the stop and get back to offense.”
Luke Grayum had two goals and three assists for the Gators while Randall Brown had two goals and two assists, Josh Gallia had two goals and an assist and Henry Reed tallied twice.
“This is the most rewarding one (title) because we put in so much effort,” said Carr. “We watched the film from the last Shipley game (a 9-8 win 3 weeks ago) and we knew everything we did wrong.
“Our freshmen play so well together with us. They don’t have size, but they have heart.”
Shipley senior defenseman Spencer Dee was disappointed only with the loss, but not his team’s effort.
“I am just really proud of the guys,” he said “We worked really hard all season. It (losing) stinks, but everybody put it out there and left nothing out.”
“Like Spencer said, I am extremely proud of this team,” added senior co-captain Ben Aschkenasy. “It was amazing to see some of the juniors and sophomores grow into better players.”
Shipley and ANC will now gear for the National Prep Championships next Thursday at The Hill School. ANC (seeded 5th) will meet No. 4 Hun School and No. 7 Shipley will face No. 2 and defending champion Hill Academy (Ontario).
“We have to just jump into our next practice and go play with intensity,” said Aschkenasy. “We will be playing one of the top teams in the country, but this team has a lot of fight and a lot of star players and when we are on we can play with anybody.”
Academy of the New Church 14, Shipley School 11
ANC 2-4-4-4- 14
Shipley 0-5-2-4- 11
Shipley School (12-5)
Randall Brown 2g, 2a
Luke Grayum 2g, 3a
Henry Reed 2g
Braeden Lange 2g
Josh Gallia 2g, 1a
Tyler Drake 1g, 1a
Terrence McCabe 1a
Nate Yi 9 saves
Jeb Brenfleck 1g, 3a
Hunter Jaronski 1g, 3a
Joey Paterno 4g
Tommy Vandegrift 2g
Drew Carr 4g, 2a
Jack Joyner 2g, 2a
Griff McGinley 8 saves
Friends Schools League champions
1996 – George School 12, Academy of the New Church 6
1997 – Academy of the New Church 11, George School 1
1998 – Academy of the New Church 9, George School 3
1999 – Academy of the New Church 4, George School 3
2000 – George School 8, Academy of the New Church 5
2001 – Academy of the New Church 13, George School 3
2002 – Academy of the New Church 12, George School 10
2003 – Academy of the New Church 3, George School 1
2004 – Friends’ Central 15, George School 5
2005 – Academy of the New Church 6, George School 5
2006 – Shipley 16, Friends’ Central 9
2007 – Academy of the New Church 12, Friends’ Central 3
2008 – Friends’ Central 8, Shipley 5
2009 – Shipley School 6, Academy of the New Church 4
2010 – Shipley School 12, Academy of the New Church 5
2011 – Shipley School 15, Academy of the New Church 6
2012 – Shipley School 5, Academy of the New Church 4, OT
2013 – Shipley School 9, Westtown 5
2014 – Academy of the New Church 10, Westtown 8
2015 – Academy of the New Church 13, Shipley School 10
2016 – Academy of the New Church 13, Shipley School 6
2017 – Academy of the New Church 15, Shipley School 3
2018 – Academy of the New Church 13, Shipley School 9
2019 – Academy of the New Church 14, Shipley School 11