Episcopal earns Invitational title

Posted: May 25, 2012

Episcopal Academy scored 15 goals in its final game of the year. Jon Garino didn't account for any of them, yet still managed to be the dominant player in what Churchmen coach Andrew Hayes called the "biggest" win in program history.

Garino won 20 of 28 face-offs to lead Episcopal to a 15-11 upset of top-seeded Haverford School and clinch its first Inter-Ac Invitational lacrosse championship in front of a sellout crowd Thursday night at Cabrini College.

Garino's ability to dictate play by winning 71 percent of the draws allowed the second-seeded Churchmen (18-5) to maintain possession and mitigate the Fords' chances in a game of nationally ranked programs.

"Coach Hayes said that everybody has to do their own part to win the game," said Garino, a Lafayette recruit. "My job is winning face-offs, so going in I just tried win as many face-offs as I could to help my team out and let my offense handle the scoring."

"He's unstoppable," Hayes said. "He can't get beat. He's the best faceoff guy in the country."

The Churchmen received goals from eight players, including hat tricks from Morgan Westby and Tyler Odell. They dominated in every major statistical category, outshooting Haverford by 32-26 and collecting 27 ground balls to the Fords' 19.

Episcopal, ranked 37th in the nation by ESPNHS, had lost eight consecutive games against Haverford (21-2) going back three seasons, including two losses this year. EA's last win against the Fords had come on April 14, 2009.

The streak included a loss in the Inter-Ac Invitational championship game in 2010. No. 2-ranked Haverford had won three straight championships here, dating to the invitational's inaugural year in 2009.

The loss snapped the Fords' 18-game win streak.

"This doesn't define who we are," Haverford coach John Nostrant said. "Hats off to Episcopal - they're a phenomenal team. We knew they were. They played better than we did tonight. It's as simple as that. . . .

"Unfortunately, you lose the last one and that's the one you remember, but it doesn't take away from what we've accomplished."

Haverford jumped to a 4-0 lead 4 minutes, 27 seconds into the game. Episcopal answered with a 3-0 run to cut the deficit. By the end of the first, the Fords had pushed the lead to 5-3.

Haverford maintained a one-goal lead through much of the second quarter, but Episcopal didn't relent. After forging four ties, the Churchmen took their first lead of the game, 9-8, on Ian Strain's goal 1:43 before halftime.

Episcopal held a 13-6 faceoff advantage at the half, as well as a 16-13 edge on ground balls.

The Churchmen offense outscored the Fords, 6-3, after halftime and consistently maintained possession as rain began to pour.

Henry Blynn led Haverford with three goals and two assists.

EA outscored the Fords, 4-1, in the final quarter to clinch the victory.

"We can score goals," Hayes said. "Jon Garino makes everything possible."

Episcopal Academy   3 6 2 4 – 15

Haverford School   5 3 2 1 – 11

Goals: EA-Trupert Ortlieb 2, Connor Haab, Tyler Odell 3, Ian Strain 2, Billy McAvoy, Morgan Westby 3, Tyler Haab, Samuel Lawlor 2; HS-Henry Blynn 3, Timmy Brooks, Gavin McBride 2, Sam Rohr 3, Will McNamara, Zach Rego.

Saves: EA-Henry Coote 6; HS-Jake Landman 9.

Contact Evan Burgos at rallysports@phillynews.com.

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