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Haverford’s extra Daly dose downs Ridley

RIDLEY >> When Greg Decina called his Haverford team together after three quarters Thursday night, he uttered one of the squad’s newer rallying cries.

“Play like it’s overtime,” the coach told his Fords, then comfortably nursing a two-goal edge on Ridley.

For most of the fourth, Haverford didn’t live up to that directive, requiring an actual overtime be played. But eventually, thanks to a combination that worked time and again, the Fords got the message.

Jack Daly buried his sixth goal of the night off a feed from Luke McCallion 1:16 into the extra session, earning Haverford a 13-12 Central League win.

Daly, who also tucked away the OT game-winner against Strath Haven 10 days ago, has made dramatic late goals something of a niche.

Haverford’s Jack Daly, right, battles with Ridley’s Sam Ferkler. Daly notched his sixth goal in overtime to pace a 13-12 win. (Digital First Media/Anne Neborak)

“I think he’s always there no matter what point of the game it is,” McCallion said of Daly. “… I trust every single player on the team with the ball in their stick, and he’s no exception. So when I see him there, it just happens to be him getting open. He’s always open on that side, and I trust him to shoot it.”

McCallion was the designated distributor for the possession, which he won at the X. He wasn’t his usually brilliant self on draws, winning 15 of 27 against a capable adversary in Cade Heverly (and aided by Ridley pole Liam Wright’s superior day on ground balls). But McCallion provided plenty of offense, the Daly setup his fourth assist to go with a hat trick.

In the final sequence, McCallion started behind the cage and faked to the edge of the crease to the left of goalie George Santilla. He darted back right and threaded a pass to Daly, who shook off a check and leaned into a shot from the right wing. Santilla got most of the low effort, but Daly put enough mustard behind it to trickle across the line before the goalie could sweep it out.

“He pushed to the opposite side of the cage and the goalie left the opposite side of the cage open,” Daly said. “So I just pulled it to the opposite side of the cage and around the defender.”

Daly’s game-winner answered two Ridley tallies in eight seconds in the final minute of regulation to force the extra session. It was also the rare single goal in a game of runs.

A shaky start by Santilla helped Haverford (11-5, 7-3 Central) tally four times on its first five shots. But by the middle of the second quarter, Ridley had surged ahead with a five-goal spurt. Daly scored twice in 32 seconds around a Cole Lukasiewicz marker to help Haverford take an 8-6 lead at the break. It would stretch to 11-6 on a run capped by two more Daly goals. But then Ridley (9-7, 4-6) got to work.

Devon Tavani, who tallied a hat trick, scored twice in a four-goal spurt. Nick DiIorio answered at 4:11 of the fourth to restore a two-goal bump, but Cade Stratton and Brock Anderson scored eight seconds apart in the final minute, both on bombing sorties after midfield ground balls to knot the score.

Santilla produced two point-blank stops on McCallion in the dying moments to preserve the stalemate.

Ridley’s Brock Anderson scored five times Thursday, but Ridley dropped a 13-12 decision in overtime. (Digital First Media/Anne Neborak)

Santilla’s rally was emblematic of the Green Raiders’ resilience. Led by five goals and two assists from Anderson and two and two from Stratton, Ridley continued to fight even when down five.

“We were a little iffy in the beginning,” Anderson said. “We gave them that four-goal cushion, which no one likes giving up. But from that time on, we looked at the scoreboard, we knew that we had to do some work. From the first whistle to the end of overtime, I knew our team played with everything they had.

“I know that even though this game is a loss in overtime, it was a complete game and we all played with everything we had, so I was very satisfied with this.”

Haverford’s attack clustered around four scorers Thursday. In addition to Daly and McCallion, DiIorio added an assist to his hat trick, and Lukasiewicz dished four helpers. All year, the Fords have struck the right chords on how to keep a variety of attackers engaged.

“(Decina’s) exact word sometimes is just ‘freelance,’” McCallion said. “He trusts us as an offense to come together, because we have great chemistry. … So he lets us do our thing.”

Both teams have an eye toward the District 1 Class 3A playoffs. Ridley seeks to level the peaks and valleys in form this season, and delivering the complete performance Anderson alluded to is a step in the right direction.

Haverford, with a pair of OT wins and a triumph over Springfield Tuesday, has proven its mettle in tight affairs. It also may have acquired a new mantra.

“I think we need to play every quarter like it’s overtime,” McCallion said. “It’s a recent motto that he started. And it’s really starting to stick. We came out strong, and we let up. We need to keep the foot on the gas the entire game.”

Also in the Central League:

Garnet Valley 9, Strath Haven 8 >> Evan Trizonis recorded a hat trick to go with two assists, and Denny Nealon also scored twice for the Jags (12-3, 9-1), who remain tied with Conestoga atop the Central League.

Jacob Buttermore scored twice, and Matt Moore dished three assists and scored a goal.

Jeffrey Conner scored four times and dished an assist, and Tyler Fink paired two goals with two assists for the Panthers (12-5, 7-3).

Springfield 11, Harriton 2 >> Kyle Long scored twice and dished seven helpers to power the Cougars to a comfortable win. Mike Vent and Joey DeBernardi paired two goals with an assist each, and James Spence made six saves in goal for Springfield (13-3, 8-2).

Marple Newtown 11, Penncrest 4 >> Jake Long and Alex Viola each notched hat tricks and combined for three assists, and Liam Ferry turned aside 12 shots for the Tigers. James Kelly added two goals and an assist for Marple (12-5, 5-5).

Max Daugherty scored twice for Penncrest, while TJ Sims dished a pair of assists.

Radnor 14, Lower Merion 3 >> Westy McLaughlin deposited four goals to pace the Raiders (10-6, 7-3) on senior night.

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