Haverford School has fun beating Hun

CHESTER — If it wasn’t abundantly clear who the No. 1 scholastic lacrosse team in the nation is, it is now.

Haverford School, the top-ranked school in the country by publications like Inside Lacrosse and USA Today, thoroughly dominated another heralded squad, Hun School of Princeton, 15-8, Monday at PPL Park to win the Inter-Ac Challenge.

The Fords are 25-0 on the season. They have one more game remaining Friday against Culver Academy (Ind.). Without membership in the PIAA, they can’t win a state title. Instead, they can take part in, and ultimately claim, tournaments like this.

Beating another big-time school isn’t new to the Fords. Doing it in this manner is. Coach John Nostrant was left with but one thought.

“At this point in time, no matter what happens Friday, it’s not even close,’ he said. “This is the best team in the country.’

Haverford School certainly looked it under the bright lights of the Philadelphia Union’s home pitch. It led 2-1 after the first quarter and 8-5 at halftime. After a back-and-forth third quarter where both teams each netted two goals, it controlled the final period, scoring four straight times to leave no doubt.

Phil Poquie had four goals to lead the scoring. Dox Aitken had three, as did Drew Supinski. Forry Smith netted two. But on this night, no Ford shined brighter than goalie Alex deMarco and his 17 saves.

“The first save is real important,’ the junior standout said. “I got my mojo, just started making them.’

Standing on your head against a previously undefeated team (now 18-1) that’s ranked No. 3 by Inside Lacrosse is no easy feat. But that was just one element to what the Fords displayed Monday.

A relentless offensive attack scored four straight goals in the second quarter to open up a 6-2 lead. A resilient, mature unit didn’t waver when the Raiders made it a two-goal game two different times in the third quarter (Chris Sabia and Aitken had those key goals to push the lead back to three).

“It’s a complete team starting from (deMarco), he played incredible, all the way through our attack,’ Aitken said. “We can do it all.’

Hun School coach M.V. Whitlow tried his hardest to keep his team in the game, but faceoffs were an issue. So was matching up with the size, speed and overall talent Haverford School possesses.

In the end, he saw what many already knew.

“They’re No. 1 in the country for a reason,’ Whitlow explained. “You saw that reason out here today.’

When the clock hit zero, the Fords celebrated like they knew there was more out there. Yet they knew what this one meant. Taken individually, it was special.

“It does (help) they’re a really good team,’ deMarco said. “To see a score margin like that is great.’

Aitken said roughly the same thing. But then he alluded to something that’s been the focus of this team all season long — the next step.

“It means a lot (to win), coming all this way,’ Aitken explained. “We got one more, but this is sweet.’

That next step is a home game against Culver Academy, yet another stacked and talented opponent. Nostrant figured “why not?’ schedule them. A win there would cap off a remarkable undefeated season, perhaps one for the local and national history books. All that will be decided, and debated, later on. For now, Haverford School keeps defeating — and impressing — everybody in its path.

“They make plays, they do the fundamental things,’ Whitlow said. “My hats off to those guys, I have a great deal of respect for that program.’

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