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Joyner, Layton help ANC down Hun School, 13-4, force rematch with Hill School for Mid-Atlantic Prep crown

Saturday, 21st May 2022

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School  

By Matthew Ryan, Posted 5/21/22

Late in the first quarter, a voice from the Academy of the New Church bench yelled out to senior midfielder Jack Joyner. It said “they can’t guard you, and neither can I.”

Trent Layton

On Saturday afternoon at Bryn Athyn College, that statement was probably true.

Joyner scored four goals, including three in the first quarter, to lead ANC past the Hun School, 13-4, in the semi-finals of the Mid-Atlantic Prep Championship presented by Victory Events Series.

“He’s our only senior. He’s our captain, [our] leader,” ANC head coach Jack Forster said about Joyner. “And for him to get going like that early really set the tone, I think. And then he started getting everyone else involved, so that’s just what he does. He needs to score when he has to and loves getting other people open.”

“We started going early. We were setting good picks on me,” said Joyner, a Drexel signee. “And that was getting me the short sticks, easy shots down the alley. Just getting open shots and taking my chances, putting them away.”

The win puts the Lions (15-4) in the championship game at ANC on Sunday at 1:30 p.m., where they will face The Hill School, which earned an 11-8 win over Kiski Prep. ANC edged Hill, 8-7, just 10 days ago.

Joyner’s big first quarter gave the Lions a 5-1 lead, and they kept their distance throughout, never leading by less than four for the rest of the game. Sophomore attack Hunter Aquino (3 goals) and Matteo Rottura (2) joined Joyner with multiple goals as seven different players scored.

A big part of ANC’s dominance was the play of junior faceoff specialist Trent Layton. Layton had the advantage at the X throughout, going 15/17, allowing the Lions to win the possession battle and limit the Hun School’s shots.

“I was going out the back a lot, which really helped,” Layton said. “I was just controlling the whole X. That really helped us, I feel.”

The game was initially supposed to start at noon, but due to the incoming heat, its start time was moved to 11:00 a.m. Despite the time change, the temperatures still hit the 90s during the game, with not much shade around.

There were periodic stoppages in play for “water breaks,” and with the temperatures expected to reach the high 80s or low 90s tomorrow, that could be the case during the championship game as well.

“It was a little rough,” Joyner said about the heat, “but it wasn’t too bad because we’ve been working on it, like working outside in the heat, practicing a lot. I think we’re just going to rest, get ice baths, rest up tonight, and hopefully be back out tomorrow ready to go.”

The loss for the Raiders (12-6) ends their season two days after they beat Everest Academy, 11-10 in overtime, in the first round. Four different players scored on Saturday, and the team was without some key players, as defenders Will Defalco and Cam Donovan couldn’t make it to the game because of a school trip.

Although the Raiders lost in the semi-finals, head coach Jim Stagnitta can see the improvement this year in his program, and there is still more room to grow.

“We had a good year. We beat some good teams. We’re just inconsistent,” Stagnitta said. “We’re a lot better than we were last year, but we’re only about halfway there.

“I think we’ll get better. We got kids coming in next year, and our goal is just to continue to progress every year and in every game. Today wasn’t necessarily indicative of our season.”

ANC is expecting a major battle for the championship.

“We know they’re really good. They’re really talented. We’re going to have to step up and make some big plays,” Joyner said. “Probably going to game plan a little bit before the game because we know they’ll probably switch some stuff up from the last game, so hopefully that will help us out in the championship.”

Academy of the New Church 13, Hun School 4

Academy of the New Church:
Jack Joyner — 4g
Hunter Aquino — 3g
Matteo Rottura — 2g
Aharon Bloshuk — 1g
Lucas Flynn — 1g
Nathan Bradley — 1g
Chase Thygeson — 1g
Trent Layton — 15/17 FOs
Brady Carver — 3 saves

Hun School:
Andrew Heubeck — 1g
Brenden Marino — 1g
Evan Wright — 1g
Jack Moran — 1g

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