The Redeem Team

Brendan O'Connor

Malvern Lacrosse is playing great as we go into the thick of our season. We opened up our series of spring break games with a scrimmage against Seton Hall Prep, who we defeated 11-6 despite an early deficit. Later, we played Saint Mary’s (MD). Early in the previous season, they dealt us an embarrassing 11-6 loss, giving us two losses to Maryland teams. Saint Mary’s jumped out to an early lead on the cold, windy Malvern day, but we stayed strong defensively with Carson Cocco’s best performance this year, recording twelve saves. Ryan ‘Sparky’ Hilburn also contributed three goals. In the end, however, Eddie McLoughlin scored the game winning goal with just seconds left, making the score 9-8.

On April 5, we played Salesianum (DE) under the lights. Although the game began close, we pulled away with Charles Kelly winning 10 of 16 face-offs and two goals each from Tommy O’Connor and freshman Adam Goldner. That Saturday, we had Evanfest. Dozens of youth teams had flocked to Malvern for the tournament, raising thousands of dollars to fight cancer. At the end of the day, we had Senior Day against West Chester East. They proved to be a weak opponent as we won 14-1 behind six Joe Dunn goals. After the romp against East, our Inter-Ac season began against Springside Chesnut Hill. They also proved to be no match for the team as we won 15-3. Joe Carlini was impressive with four assists.

The team wished Penn Charter could have been that easy. Although tied at halftime with three first half goals by Ryan Hilburn, we took the lead with two third quarter goals by Tommy O’Connor. However, they battled back with two goals in the fourth quarter, tying the game at seven. The score would hold until the end of regulation, meaning we were going to four minutes of sudden-death overtime. The score held after a period of overtime, but a third goal by Tommy O’Connor in overtime won the game for us, 8-7.

Malvern was not as lucky in overtime against Episcopal Academy. EA had beaten Malvern badly twice last year and Malvern came looking for revenge.  Like Penn Charter, it was tight from the beginning with the score tied at four at the end of the first quarter. Thanks in part to three goals from Ryan Hilburn and two more added by his brother Chris; they were in good position to win with a 7-6 lead with the ball four minutes to go. However, a quick turnover changed the possession and they got past Matt Barrett to tie the score at 7. The score would hold for the remainder of regulation and we were headed to overtime for the second game in a row. Charles Kelly won the face-off to begin the period, but Malvern failed to get past the goalie and the ball was going in the opposite direction. An EA attackman dodged and passed to a cutting midfielder, hitting the game-winning shot for EA in OT.

This loss, however, proved to be a wake-up call for the Friars. There was no rest for the weary as they played Haverford three days later. Malvern entered the game with a new kind of energy. We had not beaten Haverford since nearly three years to the day. Just to get an idea of how long ago that was, think of it this way. The Seniors were Freshmen and only four of the current players were on the team  (Carlini, Horrocks, Chris Hilburn, and Barrett). Dan Keating was the Head Coach of Malvern Prep. The game  was tied at 2 at the  end of the first quarter. However, this game belonged to Charles Kelly, winning 15 of 24 face-offs. As he took  the lead in the face-off battle, we took control of the game. Matt Barrett was also strong in net with nine saves. Before long, the team stormed the field to celebrate the biggest victory of the season.


It will not get easier in the next week for the team.  We triumphed over Germantown  Academy in an impressive offensive display, winning 14-4. Joe Dunn, Sean Irvine, and Gavin Weaver each contributed a goal and an assist.  On April 27, we host the rival St. Joseph’s Prep at 12 PM. Remember what happened on the football field.