After losing to Malvern Prep in the Inter-Ac finals last year, the lacrosse team faced their rivals again in a highly anticipated match-up on Tuesday, April 11. The team was hungry for revenge, and every player stepped onto the field with a fire burning inside of them.
“We know it’s gonna be a battle,” Sixth Form midfielder Miles Balachandran said before the game. “At practice, we’ve been talking about staying disciplined and egoless. I think the team has really understood what Coach [Dawson] has been trying to put down.”
When the first whistle blew, the Fords clicked into high gear and were ready to dominate. Luck wasn’t on their side, though, with several near misses by Fifth Formers Will Burfeind and Brady O’Kane. When the quarter closed, the Fords were up 1-0 following a goal by O’Kane.
Malvern started the second quarter off strong with a goal, but Sixth Former Ryan DiRocco responded with a goal of his own. After a tough scoring drought lasting several minutes, Fifth Formers Jack Long and Brady O’Kane secured another two goals, putting the Fords up 4-1 at the half.
Malvern yet again had a fiery start to the second half with a goal from midfielder Dylan O’Connor. Not long after, Sixth Former Wells Flinn powered through the defense and bagged his first goal of the game.
Haverford players gained momentum and went on a 4-1 scoring run with goals from Ryan DiRocco, O’Kane, Fourth Former Evan Large, and Fifth Former Aydan DiRocco. This gave the Fords a 9-3 lead going into the final quarter.
Malvern players fought resiliently and weren’t ready to give up. They opened the fourth quarter with a goal from junior Ennis Udo, and an additional two goals by star midfielder A.J. Nikolic. Despite their strong efforts, their run crumbled as Ryan DiRocco delivered the final blow—another goal to top off his hat trick.
The Fords came out with a 10-6 victory over the Malvern Prep Friars.
Everyone on the field played their part well, but Haverford’s unpassable defensive play is what separated the two teams.
“Defense played great,” Sixth Former Brendan Leary said. “I thought Gavin Cooper and Louie Atkinson had a great game. Our face offs did a great job. We won the majority of them with Ben [McCarthy] and Griff [Meyer]. We had Brody [Murphy] in the net doing a great job, and the offense was clicking all over the place.”
“We take pride in our good defense,” Ryan DiRocco said. “They got us the win.”
Coach Brendan Dawson was thrilled to have gotten the win over such a competitive team.
“We played hard,” Coach Dawson said. “It wasn’t exactly clean, but we battled through it by making plays. We played complementary to each other, offense and defense. I thought we cleared the ball pretty well, which was a big part of our plans going into it.”
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