Phillylacrosse.com celebrates the holiday season by re-posting its All-Phillylacrosse Players and Coaches of the Year and Teams for 2019
By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/25/19, Re-Posted 12/25/19
Senior goalie Will Pettit said the Malvern Prep lacrosse team embraced the challenge of repeating as Inter-Ac League champion in 2019 – especially when many doubted the team could overcome the loss of a standout senior class.
“A lot of people questioned us and doubted us and then we had three key returning starters hurt in the beginning of the season,” Pettit said. “That set us back, but everyone put their head down and kept grinding.
“That led us to where we got. Taking advantage of what we did have and giving that full effort day in and day out is why we won a championship.”
With Pettit leading the way, Malvern Prep won the Inter-Ac League title in 2019, outlasting Haverford School, 9-8, at Cabrini, in a memorable double overtime thriller that will be talked about for years.
Pettit posted 12 saves in the game, capping a year in which he earned US Lacrosse All-America honors and was named the Most Important Player in the Inter-Ac for the No. 1 team in the final Phillylacrosse.com Rankings and a nationally-ranked squad. For his accomplishments, Pettit has been named the Phillylacrosse.com Boys’ Co-Player of the Year (with Penn Charter’s Gavin Tygh and Academy of the New Church’s Hunter Jaronski).
Malvern Prep won the title game on a goal by Matt Civitella after Pettit made several key saves in each overtime period. In Pettit’s post-game comments, he said he welcomed the atmosphere of a championship game.
“To be honest, I wasn’t nervous the whole game,” he said, then. “No matter what, I knew it was my last game at Malvern and I really wanted to go out on top. Right from the start I was seeing the ball and moving well to it.”
Several weeks after the championship, Pettit said he relished competing against a rival and power like Haverford School in that setting.
“For me, personally, it was probably the game I was least nervous for,” he said. “I figured it was my last Malvern game and we just wanted to leave everything out on the field. I knew it was the last time I would be playing against Haverford and in the setting like that (overflow crowd), I just wanted to soak it all in and enjoy the moment. I had fun!”
Pettit said the team, a mixture of upperclassmen and talented sophomores and juniors, melded together and continued to peak as the season progressed.
“We weren’t worried about rankings or anything like that,” he said. “Our goal was to win the Inter-Ac championship and we just worked constantly to that goal.”
Malvern Prep coach John McEvoy said Pettit was consistently strong the entire year.
“I think maybe he had one bad half the whole year,” said McEvoy. “He played strong the entire season. He’s really matured physically and mentally the past few years.
“It showed up in him being such a good teammate and a good leader. He was overwhelmingly voted by peers as a captain. Sometimes goalies are on an island on their own and not part of the team like field goal kickers. Not our goalies.”
Tags: Malvern Prep