By Matt Chandik
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/29/19
SOUTH HUNTINGTON, NY. – When The Haverford School has been at its best in years past, the Fords have relief on a collection of offensive weapons, rather than just one or two top scorers.
The 2015 national champion team had college All-Americans Grant Ament and Dox Aitken filling up the stat sheet, but also featured Drew Supinski Forry Smith, Phil Poquie and Brandon Shima to keep goalies busy. The 2015 team’s undefeated national champion predecessor included snipers like Carl Walrath, Hup Hupfeldt, Matt Walters, Brendan McGrath and Will McNamara.
Pick a great Haverford team, and you’ll find that defenses could never settle on taking away one player. If the past week for the Fords is any indicator, the 2019 team has championship-caliber talent, too.
Adam Salvaggio tallied a hat trick to go with an assist, Pearse Glavin chipped in a goal and two assists and Peter Garno and Gavin Burke each scored twice as Haverford finished an impressive sweep at the GEICO Showcase on Sunday at St. Anthony’s on Long Island by topping Lincoln-Sudbury (MA), 11-8. The Fords – the top-ranked team in the region by Phillylacrosse.com – also defeated defending New York state champion Ward Melville, 6-5, on a Mac Costin goal with 14 seconds left to play on Saturday.
“It’s awesome, especially having Mac and a combination of of Geordy (Holmes), Gavin and Jack (Leary) at midfield, because if I get the pole to start, Mac can get a short and score a couple goals and then I’ll have a short,” said Garno, a senior signed with Virginia. “The other team doesn’t know who to pole and who to zero in a lot of times, so it leaves a lot of stuff open.”
“It’s pretty cool because there’s a bunch of guys who can initiate, and as the season’s gone on, everyone’s stepped up and played in their roles,” Salvaggio added. “Some guy will be going off, then the next game it’ll be another guy, so it’s hard on the defense because they have to keep guessing who’s going to go off that day.
“Teams can either pole Peter or Mac and both of those guys are awesome middie dodgers and they kind of have to pick their poison there. We just have to go out and see who has the matchup that day and that’s just who you run it through.”
After beating Ward Melville, the Fords zipped home to go to prom, then came back to Long Island on Sunday morning. Despite the bus legs and general tiredness, they were the ones who came out red-hot, racking up an 8-2 lead vs. Lincoln-Sudbury on goals from seven different players. It was enough of a cushion to offset a late surge from L-S, and goalie Sage Garito was good when he had to be with eight saves.
Having a great offense is fun and all, but it’s irrelevant if nobody’s getting them the ball from the faceoff X. Chris Tsetsekos did the honors for Haverford, winning 15 of his 21 draws and corralling 10 ground balls to boot. He and sophomore Bobby Blewett (1-for-2) have been splitting draws lately, but it’s that kind of effort that can get you the starting job for good.
“I didn’t start this game, so it was a different look for the other faceoff guy today after taking a few faceoffs against Bobby Blewett,” Tsetsekos said. “I started taking the faceoffs, I got into a rhythm and things just took off from there.
“With this offense, it’s like, ‘make it, take it,’ every time I win a faceoff. I just know that any guy on our offense is capable of scoring, and when we work together, we’re unstoppable.”
The Fords – No. 11 in last week’s Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse Rankings – have won eight straight games after losing back-to-back games to the two top teams in the country in Culver Academy (Ind.) and Salisbury School (Conn.), and that includes a 3-0 mark in Inter-Ac play. They still have to play Germantown Academy and Episcopal Academy to round out the league slate before the playoffs, but by the looks of it, they’re rounding into the form that’s made them champions before (they have won or shared 7 of the past 10 titles) and that’s bad news for everyone else.
“Winning is an expectation at Haverford,” defenseman Ryan Niggeman said. “We have one of the hardest schedules in the country, maybe the hardest schedule, and it says a lot about the team’s perseverance and grit to get the job done day after day.”
Even after one of its craziest days.
Haverford School 11, Lincoln-Sudbury (MA) 8
Haverford School 3 3 3 2 – 11
Lincoln-Sudbury 1 1 2 4 – 8
Haverford School (14-3)
Adam Salvaggio 3g, 1a
Gavin Burke 2g
Peter Garno 2g
Pearse Glavin 1g, 2a
Brennan McBride 1g, 1a
Jack Leary 1g, 1a
Mac Costin 1g
Chris Tsetsekos 15-for-21 faceoffs, 10 ground balls
Sage Garito 8 saves
Finn Garrity 3g
Nick Mitchell 2g, 1a
Johnny Herlihy 1g, 1a
Matt Ward 1g, 1a
Hayden Donley 1g
Kyle Smith 1a
Benny Smith 5 saves
Tags: Haverford School