Blynn headlines boys' lacrosse team

Posted: June 15, 2012

Inquirer Player of the Year / Attack

Henry Blynn, Haverford School

Perhaps feeling slighted by the lack of recruiting attention he received as a junior, Blynn bulked up in the offseason and returned with a chip on his shoulder. The result was a remarkable season for a Haverford outfit loaded with Division I talent. Blynn, The Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania Player of the Year in boys' lacrosse, was far and away the Fords' top offensive player. He totaled 60 goals and 32 assists for 92 points. Just one other Haverford player topped 60 points this season.

Blynn was an attacking force for a Fords team that finished the year ranked No. 5 in the nation by ESPNHS and won the regular-season Inter-Ac League title. Haverford (21-2) beat seven teams that ranked in the top 50 nationally while Blynn averaged four points a game. "To have the type of year he had against the competition we played was amazing," coach John Nostrant said. Blynn surely benefited from a talented group around him, but there's no minimizing his consistently deadly scoring punch. He was most impressive moving without the ball, receiving feeds and shooting accurately. Blynn's highlight was a seven-goal, two-assist masterpiece in a 13-8 victory over eventual PIAA state champion Conestoga. College: Brown.

Attack

Matt Rambo, La Salle

Through three years of high school, Rambo has gained the reputation as arguably the most dangerous scorer in the Philadelphia area. This season, in which the Explorers (20-5) won Catholic League and District 12 titles and advanced to the PIAA championship game, Rambo netted 60 goals, pushing his three-year total to 196. Strong and fast, the left-handed Rambo can get a shot any time he wants. The highlight was a six-goal outing, including three in a 28-second span, in the PIAA semifinals. With 22 assists, he showed improvement in the passing game. He committed to Maryland last September.

Attack

Bradlee Lord, Conestoga

The leader of Conestoga's three-headed attack monster, Lord led the team with 83 points this year, a shade better than running mates Connor Frisina and Tyler Brooke. Lord capped his career, which included four District 1 titles with the Pioneers, with a two-goal, four-assist showing in the PIAA championship game, when Conestoga (23-3) three-peated as state champ. Lord boasts a complete offensive arsenal, as evidenced by a balanced 42 goals and 41 assists. He was voted co-team MVP by Conestoga players. He's off to Maryland, alongside Brooke, for college.

Midfield

Morgan Westby, Episcopal Academy

When Episcopal (18-5) topped the Haverford School for the first time since 2009 to win its first Inter-Ac Invitational championship, Westby came up big when it mattered most. The senior netted two unassisted goals in a crucial third quarter, and his tally with 1 minute, 51 seconds to go in the period proved to be the game-winner and completed his hat trick. Each of his goals vs. Haverford tied the game or gave the Churchmen the lead. He scored 41 goals total, complemented by nine assists for an outstanding 50-point total from a two-way midfielder. College: Lafayette.

Midfield

Sam Rohr, Haverford School

On a team rife with talent in all areas, Fords coach John Nostrant said Rohr was the team's "motor" this year. And though the season ended in a loss to Episcopal in the Inter-Ac Invitational title game, Haverford was arguably the area's top team in 2012. Rohr plays the entire field and is rarely given a break. Proficient off the ball and dodging with it, the senior scored 31 goals and had 12 assists, strong totals for a midfielder who plays both ways. Like teammate Will McNamara, Rohr played the final stretch of the season despite a stress fracture in his foot. College: Penn.

Midfield

Miles Thomas, Conestoga

As a senior, Thomas had the unenviable task of filling in for the departed Brian Dailey, undoubtedly the Pioneers' best player in 2011, and responded with a year to remember. Voted the team's co-MVP, with Lord, by his teammates, Thomas was indispensable for the state champs. He averaged about four ground balls a game and collected more than 100 this season, coach Brian Samson said. A catalyst in the transition game, Thomas routinely created turnovers with knockdowns and interceptions. Conestoga would not have been able to play as fast as it did without Thomas' defensive playmaking from the midfield position. College: Drexel.

Defense

Ryan Lehman, Garnet Valley

With a lackluster offense, how did the Jaguars make a run to the District 1 final? With staunch, we-won't-budge defense. Lehman, a senior, was the top on-ball defender for one of the finest defensive units around. Consider: Garnet Valley (17-7) ran to the district title game by holding Central Bucks East and Downingtown West, two of Pennsylvania's top-10 teams, to four goals in consecutive games. In a regular-season encounter, the Jaguars held Conestoga to four goals in regulation, before dropping an overtime decision. Lehman, with 63 ground balls this season, led the way. College: Maryland.

Defense

Ryan Guittare, Garnet Valley

While teammate Ryan Lehman was busy playing one-on-one ball, Guittare was creating "havoc," coach Frank Urso said. The senior was given free rein to mix it up off the ball for the Jaguars, orchestrating the team's slides and double-team tactics. The Jags defense was built around Guittare reading the offense and calling matchups accordingly. He served as a sort of free safety and a perfect complement to Lehman. His field awareness is as good as anybody's, and he was a great checker for a defense that allowed 4.7 goals a game this season. He scooped 57 ground balls. College: Penn State.

Defense

Jamie Ikeda, Conestoga

The 6-foot-2 senior was the anchor of a state-championship-winning defense. Though Conestoga's attack is much celebrated, come the playoffs it was clear that the Pioneers dominated with defense. Ikeda, a complete defender with sharp stick checks and positioning prowess, was at the center of it all. The Pioneers allowed just 19 goals through four PIAA tournament games en route to their third consecutive crown. In a semifinal win over Radnor, they surrendered just two goals. In that game, Conestoga's team defense took center stage. Ikeda, always quick to credit his teammates, was undeniably the group's leader. College: Duke.

Goalie

Steve Brodeur, Strath Haven

With a record 643 saves, Brodeur goes down as the top goalie in Strath Haven history. Panthers coach David Waldman, a 13-year high school coaching vet and former defensive coordinator at St. Joseph's University, called Brodeur "the best player" he's ever coached, regardless of position. Brodeur, a senior, fought through injury to record 168 saves this year with a lofty 65.4 save percentage. But Brodeur is not just a ball-stopper. He also is a defensive quarterback, dictating everything in front of him. Strath Haven (10-9) might have had a better season had Brodeur not missed five games because of a broken left foot. Still, he was one of the better players in the state, and even scored a goal. He's expected to compete to be the starter at Lehigh next year. "It's just unbelievable how good he is," Waldman said.


Contact Evan Burgos at rallysports@phillynews.com.

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