Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/10/23 – From Staff Report
Hunter Aquino scored midway through overtime to lift visiting Academy of the New Church to a stunning 10-9 opening-day triumph over St. John’s College (D.C.) today in a game that should vault the Lions into the national limelight.
ANC snapped the Cadets’ 23-game win streak that extended back to June of 2021. Last year St. John’s went 19-0 and won the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title while finishing atop the national rankings. This year St. John’s (1-1) was ranked No. 8 by USA Lacrosse Magazine and No. 9 by Inside Lacrosse in the preseason power rankings, but already had defeated Boys’ Latin (MD), among the top 5 teams in both polls.
ANC was not ranked, or listed under consideration. The Lions are No. 4 in the Phillylacrosse.com Preseason Rankings.
Aquino, a Penn State commit who had three goals and two assists, scored the winning tally off a high left-handed runner.
“Nate Bradley passed it to me on a 4v4,” Aquino said. “He set a screen, I rejected it and spilt left. I shot on the run lefty and went right over the goalie’s stick.”
ANC, which went 16-4 last year and won its first Mid-Atlantic Prep Championship, has high expectations this year as it moves to a National schedule of non-league games aside from its Friends Schools League slate.
“It means a lot for us because that win put us on the map now!” Aquino said. “People need to respect ANC!! They underrated us and our whole team put on a show!
“We know we play hard teams, but that doesn’t matter when we love this team and would do anything for each other.”
Aquino credited the defense and especially junior goalie Brady Carver (17 saves) for their performances. “We were 6 on 4 and they were man up (late in regulation and into OT). Brady had two amazing saves, one with his foot. That is the best I’ve seen Brady play. Our defense was the main reason we won that game.
“When we play as a team we are unbeatable! Everyone has bought in to the ANC culture. We all hate losing so we are determined to win.”
Academy of the New Church 10, St. John’s College 9, OT
Half: St. John’s 6-3
Lucas Flynn 2G
Owen Carr 2A
Nate Bradley 1A
Slater DeLaCruz 2G
Matteo Rottura 1G
Anthony Chiango 2G
Hunter Aquino 3G 2A (OT winner)
Trent Layton 7/21 FO
Brady Carver 17 saves