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‘General’ Daly leads Haverford assault

Haverford's John Schievert winds up for one of his two goals in a 13-6 win over Ridley Thursday. (Digital First Media/Pete Bannan)

HAVERFORD >> It’s been several years now that Cole Lukasiewicz and Jack Daly have been playing together in the heart of Haverford’s attack. The pieces around the duo have changed, and they’ve matured from young talents to senior leaders.

But in building on two seasons of historic growth for the Haverford program, it’s clear that neither player is ready to see the upward trajectory flatten out yet.

Haverford’s Jack Daly keeps the ball from Ridley’s Evan Bosak in the first half Thursday. Daly contributed four goals and six assists in a 13-6 Fords win. (Digital First Media/Pete Bannan)

Daly did the bulk of the work Thursday evening, with four goals and six assists, a one-man wrecking crew as the Fords dispatched Ridley, 13-6, in Central League action.

Daly had a hand in five of six first-quarter goals to stake the Fords to a 6-2 advantage it never looked in danger of surrendering. Daly made all the right reads. He attacked if Ridley unwisely sent short sticks his way. When Ridley gave him space behind the net, he dished to open Fords. When they pursued, he created distance and an angle to shoot.

“Cole and Daly, they’re generals down there,” defender Tom Fredericks said. “They run the whole offense. You know you’ve got to push out on Jack; Jack’s got a heck of a shot. You just can’t give him space. He’ll shoot, he’ll score every time. It’s just awesome.”

Haverford led 8-2 before Matt Haines scored twice to add some cushion at halftime. But Daly set up Kyle Bennett’s second goal four minutes into the second half on a smart skip pass, then Daly bombed one home at 4:55 of the third to make it 10-4 and remove all doubt.

Combined with Lukasiewicz, who scored and dished three helpers, they were too much for Ridley to handle.

“Me and Cole have been best buddies since, I don’t even know,” Daly said. “We play together all the time, and with him moving to midfielder, I think he’s one of the best midfielders around. So we’ve been working well together.”

Daly and Lukasiewicz only accounted for half of the equation, though. Through three quarters, the Haverford defense had allowed just eight total Ridley shots, and the Fords outshot Ridley 39-15 on the day. Part of the reason was the aggression of a unit led by Fredericks, knowing a young and injury-riddled Ridley frontline looked tentative early.

Only one of Ridley’s goals, the competition of Nate Desmond’s hat trick in the fourth, was assisted quickly off a draw. The other five, with Haines and Desmond each tallying three markers, came via low-percentage shots around screens or through traffic that went in by sheer force of will.

“We always know they’re good, they’re a fun game to play,” Fredericks said. “We knew they were coming out strong and have a bunch of good shooters. We knew if we pushed out, did our stuff, slid hard, pushed out on the hands, we knew they won’t be able to shoot.”

“We don’t get shots off because I think most of our team is just afraid to shoot,” said Haines. “But I feel like once we get more comfortable with the younger guys, we can get them acclimated to the program and have them shoot more, dodge and shoot more and create more offense.”

JT Smyth added a hat trick, and Bennett and John Schievert scored twice each for the Fords, who got five saves from Shane Liney in goal.

Ridley’s goalie Brendan King makes a save on Haverford’s JT Smyth as Ridley’s Nick Fulcucci defends Thursday. (Pete Bannan/Digital First Media)

Ridley got a boost from Brendan King, who replaced goalie Mike Murtha after that rough first quarter and made 10 saves the rest of the way, and Ryan Prum, who won eight of 11 draws to nullify Matt Young’s edge at the X. Young went 10-for-14 in the first half but won just one draw after the break.

But with Daly as the driving force, there was no slowing the Fords offense, one where Daly has come full circle to become the kind of leader he once learned under the tutelage of.

“It’s good to teach those guys what’s up and help them through the process and maybe take them under our wing,” Daly said. “Schievert’s a great player, Kyle’s a great player. Everyone that plays on the field is a good player, and we’ve just got to click at the right time.”

Also in the Central League:

Strath Haven 11, Garnet Valley 6 >> There was no stopping Jeff Conner, who tallied eight goals and a helper to pace the Panthers. Will Brake made seven saves on nine shots on goal in his half in the cage.

Jake Morin scored three times, and Jason Rose made 15 saves for Garnet Valley.

Marple Newtown 13, Penncrest 6 >> Jake Huey scored three goals, Marlon Weathers paired two goals with two assists and Vince Terra added two goals for the Tigers.

Radnor 15, Lower Merion 2 >> Ryan Peter tallied a hat trick to go with a helper, and Jackson Birtwistle, will Fritz, David Azzarano and Damien Ramando buried two goals each.

Springfield 14, Harriton 6 >> Kyle Long was in a giving mood with three goals and five assists, Mike Tulskie notched a hat trick and Joey DeBernardi, Jake Spence and Ben Garcia tallied twice each for the Cougars.

In nonleague action:

Interboro 16, Pottsgrove 3 >> Gaige Lennon and Brody Butler each recorded hat tricks, and Butler, Steve Schwartz (two goals) and Johnny Scibello (goal) chipped in two assists apiece.

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