The Haverford School in Haverford, Pa., has been named the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Boys Lacrosse Team of the Year. The selection was made by Casey Vock of 3d Rising in conjunction with the ALL-USA recognition for the top players and the Coach of the Year.
School: Haverford School
Location: Haverford, Pa.
2015 Inter-Ac Challenge Champions
Super 25 No. 1 ranking
26-0. Inter-Ac Challenge winners. Undefeated. Super 25 national champions.
The Haverford School, ranked No. 2 in the preseason USA Today High School Sports Super 25, accomplished what many programs can only dream of — going wire to wire to win every single game on a daunting schedule filled with many of the nation’s top teams.
Wins against the Hun School (N.J.), IMG Academy (Fla.), McDonogh (Md.), St. Anthony’s (N.Y.), Culver Academy (Ind.) – all Super 25-ranked teams – make Haverford’s resume tough to beat. But then add in wins against the likes of St. Paul’s, Loyola Blakefield and Gilman of Maryland’s MIAA A conference; three victories against league rival Malvern Prep; two against Episcopal Academy and the Brunswick School (Conn.), and you have one of the best resumes any high school has ever put together.
Some of those wins didn’t come easy, as the Fords seemed to see the best from each powerhouse program it faced.
“We knew every team was going to bring their A-game, and we wouldn’t have it any other way,” said senior midfielder and captain Drew Supinski, the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year.
It’s the second time the Fords have gone undefeated, repeating the accomplishment from 2011, when Haverford went 23-0 against a strong schedule – but nothing like what this year’s team faced.
“This team is deeper,” head coach John Nostrant said following the team’s final victory, a grinding 13-9 win against preseason Super 25 No. 1 Culver Academy. “That team (in 2011) probably had more star power. But to do it, whatever, four or five years apart, is great for Philadelphia lacrosse and certainly for Haverford and our community. It’s an amazing accomplishment, what these guys did all year long against a brutal schedule.”
A half-dozen Haverford players are being honored as American Family Insurance All-USA selections: attackman Grant Ament (second team); midfielders Drew Supinski (first team), Dox Aitken (second team) and Phil Poquie (honorable mention); face-off specialist Jake Hervada (honorable mention), and defenseman Noah Lejman (first team).
Ament (Penn State) set a school record with 116 points on 37 goals and 82 assists. If he was the quarterback of the team. Supinski was the team’s emotional leader. Filling multiple roles, he finished the year with 53 goals, 10 assists and 57 groundballs. The team was boosted by a breakout performance from Virginia-bound senior midfielder Phil Poquie, who scored 27 goals and assisted on two goals.
The Fords were strong all over the field thanks to an excellent season by Delaware-bound face-off specialist Jake Hervada, who won 62.5 percent of his draws. Colin Bosak, who will play at the U.S. Naval Academy, took about 100 fewer draws than Hervada, but won more than 63 percent. The pair helped Haverford overcome a list of talent face-off gurus and have a possession advantage in most games.
On the back half of the field, Lejman (Penn), also a team captain, was fantastic in marking the opposition’s top player each game, earning first-team ALL-USA honors. Junior goalie Alex DeMarco, also bound for Penn, stopped 188 shots this season – good for a 56.3 save percentage. The two future Quakers helped Haverford allow only 6.8 goals per game – an incredible feat considering the competition.
Juniors got into the mix too, as highly touted Dox Aitken – another Virginia commit – lived up to expectations with 46 goals, six assists and 46 groundballs from the midfield. Attackman Forry Smith, a Johns Hopkins commit, had a monstrous season, registering 69 goals and 27 assists.
But at the end of the day, this was a team that was senior-driven, as 14 players will head off to college lacrosse, most at the Division I level.
“We have 22 seniors,” Nostrant said. “So they led this team throughout. They’re going to be sorely missed. That’s what got us through everything … they kept us together. That’s all we did. We tried to stay as calm as we could, which we weren’t always calm. But I think we all believed in each other.”
It was a season so enjoyable, both coaches and players said, that the game against Culver – about a week after the season would normally end – was scheduled to give the team more time together.
“To be honest, none of us really want this to end. We keep wanting to play. We continue to push each other to be better,” Ament said after the win over Culver.
“A bunch of us have been together since the seventh grade starting with the Penn Star program and then moving on to Mesa Fresh, so we play with each other all year round. It’s pretty crazy to me to think that I’m not going to be playing with a lot of these guys ever again. But they’re all my best friends. So I can say I love every single one of them. We couldn’t have done it if we didn’t have those 22 seniors we have on the team.”