WHITEMARSH >> Germantown Academy brought back memories of the family that spent all day and night frantically searching for its missing dog.
Then, after finding it, was so overjoyed it left the door open again.
After yielding an own goal in the first 16 minutes of its match against rival Malvern Prep, the Patriots spent the remainder of the match striving for an equalizer.
And when they finally got it, on a partial breakaway goal by Zander Foglia in the final 13 minutes of the second half, they gave it right back.
Billy Coyle scored on a partial break of his own with 10:36 left and Malvern had a 2-1 victory and its first Inter-Academic League victory of the season.
“We didn’t play particularly well,” said Friars head coach Andrew Kummerer, “but we’ll take the result.
“(GA) put a lot of pressure on us, and didn’t allow us to get into any kind of offense in the second half.”
The Friars got on the board first, via a Malvern cross that went in off the leg of a Patriots defender.
The goal put GA behind the eight ball, but the team really didn’t turn on the jets until the second half, when the insertion of sophomore Drew Budinsky seemed to spark the Patriots.
“We really didn’t do that much differently,” said GA head coach Brendan Sullivan. “But when we put Andrew into the game he seemed to give us a lift.
“We’ll have to see about giving him more minutes.”
The Patriots went full bore at the Malvern net for most of the second half, and finally got the break they needed when a Friars free kick was headed out into the midfield, where Foglia gathered it in, sped past a Friars defender and slipped a shot past Malvern goalkeeper Jake Hodloski.
“One of our captains, Mike Roman, had a perfect header right to me, and no one stopped me,” Foglia said.
But the Patriots celebration hadn’t quite died down when Friars defender Logan Caddie sent Coyle away in the midfield.
“(GA) just tied it, and they had the momentum,” Coyle said, “so I gave it all I had on that run.
“I was able to shoulder the defender the whole way in.”
“Billy scores a lot when it matters,” Kummerer said. “He has six goals in 11 games for us, and most of them have come in big situations.”
After Coyle struck, the Patriots were not able to answer.
“It wasn’t that tough coming back when we were down, 1-0,” Foglia said, “but we had a different mindset when they went up, 2-1.”
“You see that all the time in sports,” Sullivan added. “A team comes all the way back to tie or take the lead, and then let up for a second and give the lead back.”
GA huffed and puffed, and even got a glorious opportunity to tie the match in the closing minutes off a free kick.
But W. Harrison Combs rocketed a perfect pass from Roman off the crossbar, and the Friars were home free.
“Both sides did a lot of mucking and grinding,” Sullivan said. “It wasn’t a pretty game.
“But Malvern got the goal when they needed it, and we just weren’t able to answer a second time.”