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Academy of the New Church tops Westtown, 13-11, for 8th straight Friends Schools League title

Saturday, 7th May 2022

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School, Posted 5/7/22 – From Staff Report

Academy of the New Church senior midfielder Jack Joyner said his Lions realized early the challenge his Lions faced Friday from Westtown School in their hopes of winning an eighth straight Friends Schools League championship.

“It was a tight first quarter and they started getting on a roll,” said Joyner. “They were pushing transition, won a couple faceoffs and got a few fastbreaks.

“They had us back on our heels.”

Friends Schools League champion Academy of the New Church

With some adjustments on defense, host ANC rebounded to overcome a 6-5 halftime deficit and claimed a hard-fought 13-11 triumph over the Moose. The Lions (13-3, ranked No. 6 by and Moose (8-9) will play several more non-league games and then compete in the Victory Events Mid-Atlantic Prep Championships May 19-22.

ANC had a balanced attack Friday in a steady rain. Hunter Aquino had three goals and two assists while Joyner contributed two goals and two assists, Anthony Chiango had two goals and an assist and Owen Carr and Matteo Rotturra each scored twice.

“We didn’t come out fast on defense, they switched their game plan from our last game (a 13-6 ANC win on April 26), but we adjusted and figured it out,” said Joyner, a Drexel commit. “We dug deep and put it away eventually.

“We put a lot of trust in the defense and we knew we could score on them once we got more possessions. We’re pumped; we worked so hard all season to get the 8-peat. As a senior that means a lot to me; there’s pressure on us (to win it) and we use that as fuel.”

The Lions won their first five titles in the streak under coach Rob Forster (now La Salle coach) and the past three under his younger brother, Jack Forster. ANC and La Salle (ranked No. 3) meet at ANC next Saturday.

“We work hard early in the off season and get started right as we get to school,” said Joyner. “We start jelling and creating chemistry. The new guys try to adjust and get used to playing coach Jack’s style. He makes us work hard for what we want.”

“I thought it was a great game, exactly what a championship game should be like,” added Forster. “Both teams were getting up and down early and going back and forth the whole first half. A little sloppy with the weather, but I thought our guys lead by Jack Joyner did a great job controlling the game in the second half.

“Down 6-5 at half we starting doing a great job at the X and on wings. Our defense held them scoreless until 5 mins left in the 4th. We were able to close it out with a couple more goals in the next couple minutes. Really proud of our guys handling the conditions and staying discipline throughout the game.“

Westtown’s attack was led by Noah Snyder (3 goals, five assists) and Daylin John-Hill (four goals, one assist). Diesel Schraufnegel scored twice and Xander Maxwell had a goal and an assist while Patrick Biese posted 15 saves.

“I think we caught them on their heels with the way we approached our offense,” said Westtown coach Desi Gonzalez. “The first game they did a good job trying to disrupt it, even when setting it up.

“But this time it worked against them.”

Gonzalez said ANC capitalized on four man-up goals as his team took eight man-down situations.

Despite the loss, Gonzalez is pleased with the Westtown School’s continued growth. Gonzalez, formerly head coach at Emmaus and Southern Lehigh, was the assistant to Carl Starkey last year. The program has added a number of players that have committed to play college lacrosse, but Gonzalez said it’s been a process of developing the team chemistry to contend for a league championship.

“It’s hard coming into program like I did,” he said. “I am re-wiring guys to have a a winning mindset.

“The toughest challenge for them has been to play four quarters of solid lacrosse. We have solid athletes, but the focus has to be on making fewer mental mistakes.”

Gonzalez said his team gained confidence last week with a big 10-9 win over Hun School, one of the teams that will compete in the victory Events tourney.

“That was a big game for us,” he said. “It showed us that we can do this. It came right at the perfect time.

“From last year to this year, this is two completely different programs. We’ve been installing little nuances and concepts, other than passing and catching, everything has changed. We’re slowly building something.”

Friends Schools League championship
Academy of the New Church 13, Westtown 11

Westtown 3-3-2-3- 11
ANC 2-3-4-4- 13

Hunter Aquino 3G 2A
Jack Joyner 2G 2A
Anthony Chiango 2G 1A
Owen Carr 2G
Matteo Rotturra 2G
Aharon Bloshuk 1G
Adam Holt 1A
Brady Carver 9 Saves

Noah Snyder- 3G,5A
Daylin John-Hill- 4G,1A
Matt Hamill-2A
Xander Maxwell 1G,1A
Carson Robins- 1G
Ben Pagano-1A
Diesel Schraufnegel-2G
Nick Ross- 1A
Patrick Biese- 15 saves

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