WHITEMARSH >> Reactions.
That’s what Germantown Academy head coach Billy McKinney and Malvern Prep head man John McEvoy were looking for Tuesday afternoon when the Friars visited Germantown Academy in an Inter-Academic League matchup at GA’s Carey Field.
After a rollicking start to their season the Friars have hit a rough patch.
And although they got their collective mojo together Saturday when they bested Conestoga at the Katie Samson Festival, and followed it up with Tuesday’s 12-5 win over GA, there were still some doubts about how this season might play out.
It appears some of those doubts may have been self-inflicted.
“At the beginning of the year, a lot of us felt a lot of pressure on us because so much was expected,” said senior midfielder Michael Fay. “The Episcopal Academy loss (9-8 back on April 25) was an eye-opener for us, and after the game we brought everybody into the locker room and decided to just focus on ourselves.”
That adjustment seems to have served the Friars well, as evidenced by Saturday’s big win.
An Inter-Ac title is still a possibility, although right now all the Friars want to do is get better as a team and as individuals.
“Today we focused on playing as well as we can play,” said McEvoy. “For the most part, we’ve been focusing on the little things, and if we see something we haven’t seen we just try and play it straight up.
“(Germantown Academy) has a good, young team with a lot of potential, and I give them and (McKinney) credit for hanging in there when they could just as easily lost focus.
“Right now all we’re worried about is ourselves.”
The Friars broke on top, getting two goals from Billy Coyle and another from Mike DiGiacobe to take a 3-0 lead after one quarter, then blew the lead out to 6-1 by halftime, as a pair of goals by Fay and another from Jack Traynor kept the Patriots at arm’s length.
When the lead reached 10-1 early in the third, McEvoy took the opportunity to give his depth players some playing time, and they didn’t disappoint.
“It was good, we got a lot of time for our (bench) players,” McEvoy said.
To its credit, GA didn’t fold, and came back strong, pulling within 10-4 at one point early in the fourth quarter.
“It’s late in the season,” McKinney said, “and at this point in the year you get concerned about how your players are going to react when things aren’t going well.
“But our guys fought back, and that was encouraging to see.”
The Friars regained control and closed the game out with authority, which is just what McEvoy wanted to see.
“Right now our focus is what’s in front of us,” the coach said. “Right now we’re worried about Salesianum, because that’s who we play (Wednesday).
“All we can do now is look ahead to our next game.”
MALVERN PREP 12, GERMANTOWN ACADEMY 5
Malvern Prep 3 3 4 2 — 12
Germantown Academy 0 1 3 1 — 5
Malvern Prep Scoring: Michael Fay (3); Billy Coyle (2); Luke DiGiacobe (2); Jack Traynor (1); Jimmy Gabrielsen (1); Ray Baron (1); Scott White (1); Dom DiStefano (1).
Germantown Academy Scoring: Justin Connors (3); Brad Palmer (1); James Thatcher (1).
Top Photo: Malvern Prep’s Matthew Civitella advances the ball as Germantown Academy’s Tripp Gundlach defends during their game on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)