Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/26/22 – Staff Report
After spending 5 months in a back brace, Mitchell Lloyd pulled off a remarkable opening-day performance Friday night.
The St. Joseph’s Prep senior faceoff-middie went coast-to-coast and scored in overtime to lift The Prep to a stunning 7-6 win over host Garnet Valley in a 2022 boys’ lacrosse debut.
Garnet Valley (No. 7 in the Phillylacrosse Preseason Rankings) knocked out the Hawks last year in the PIAA tourney quarterfinals, 12-9. Also, in 2019 the Jaguars defeated SJP, 9-5, in the state quarters.
This time, Lloyd – a Maryland signee – got the ball in his defensive zone, dodged a defender down the left sideline and cut in for the game-winner. He finished with 2 goals and 3 assists and was limited at the faceoff X to just 2 wins and 4 losses due to his lack of practice time at the X.
“I caught the ball coming out of the box and noticed two defenders on me, and realized I had to make a move,” he said. “I quickly swim dodged one of the midfielders and realized I had a step on my defender. I sprinted towards the middle of the field and stuck the G. Great experience!”
Lloyd was even more happy to simply be playing. He has been recovering from a stress fracture in his L2 vertebrae and was cleared to play a month ago after not even holding a stick for almost half a year.
“It felt great today,” he said. “I’ve been rehabbing it a ton, but only got cleared recently so I haven’t been able to practice my faceoffs as much as I’d like. My hand speed has dropped a bit but that makes me realize that I need to keep working!
“It was amazing being back on the field and doing what I love with the guys I love. This team is so amazing and we’ve worked so hard in the off-season and have so many goals to accomplish this year!”
Anthony Laber and Jackson Gaffney each scored twice for The Prep and Jack Salco added one goal. Andrew Menold was a standout in goal with 9 saves.
“This game helped our team’s confidence because as we roll into the season we got a well earned win under our belts which can only make us hungry for more,” Laber said.
For Garnet Valley, Max Busenkell had two goals and an assist and Ryan Nealon scored twice while Joey Halloran and Kris Henning each scored once. Sam DiTrolio won 11 of 18 faceoffs.
St. Joseph’s Prep 7, Garnet Valley 6, OT
St Joe’s Prep
Jackson Gaffney 2G
Anthony Laber 2G
Mitchell Lloyd 2G 3A, 2 of 6 FO (GW goal in OT)
Jack Salvo 1G
Andrew Menold 9 Saves
Max Busenkell 2 G 1A
Ryan Nealon 2G
Joey Halloran 1G
Kris Henning 1G
Andrew Goldt 1A
Sean Gallagher 1A
Sam DiTrolio 11 of 18 FO
Drew Keaveney 6 Saves