Lacrosse Postseason

Malvern Prep Varsity Lacrosse readjusts their post-season plans with no Inter-Ac post-season tournament this year to compete in the Prep Nationals lacrosse tournament.
Courtesy of Malvern Prep
Courtesy of Malvern Prep

Malvern Prep Varsity Lacrosse has been dominant in the Inter-Ac lacrosse postseason tournament for many years. The Inter-Ac lacrosse tournament is a highly attended event by alumni, students, and families because of the competitive nature of these games. However, this year, the Inter-Ac league and Malvern lacrosse altered their post-season plans. Malvern will be competing in the Prep National Tournament for the first time. The Prep National tournament is taking place at Loyola University in Maryland, and Malvern Lacrosse will be competing against teams from all over the East Coast and Midwest. The tournament takes place May 17-19.


This decision was not an independent decision by Malvern Prep; the Inter-Ac was looking to expand its post-season play in Pennsylvania, which would mean starting a PAISAA tournament for lacrosse with other teams from the Inter-Ac. 


Mr. Matt Mackrides, Associate Athletic Director and Varsity Lacrosse Head Coach, is very excited to join the tournament.


“So the league itself is working more and more to expand the sport of lacrosse in the state of Pennsylvania… sports like baseball, soccer, and basketball play in a PAISAA tournament, which is for Pennsylvania Independent Schools…and this year, there was a push by the Inter-Ac to join the PAISAA tournament,” Mackrides said.


Malvern declined this offer to play in the PAISAA, which caused the program to search for an alternative plan for a postseason tournament. Inter-Ac rival, The Haverford School, also had the same idea. 


“Haverford School and Malvern are both competing in Prep Nationals. That is because we were the two schools that opted out of the PAISAA invitation that they gave Inter-Ac schools. The other four Inter-Ac schools will be participating in PAISAA, which is surrounding or after the Prep National tournament, leading into and beyond Memorial Day,” Mackrides said.


The timing of PAISAA could potentially challenge Malvern. Malvern plays well over a dozen games a year, and competing in that tournament would significantly stretch its season.


With a change of no postseason Inter-Ac tournament, the Inter-Ac league had to readjust a way to name a league champion. Overall, Coach Mackrides is looking forward to competing at a National level this year for Malvern lacrosse. He sees this change as a good thing for the team.


“I think the Prep Nationals will be an awesome experience for the lacrosse team. You know, it’s something new; it’s gonna be great for our team to come closer together,” Mackrides said. 


Senior Captain, John Majka is excited about the change in the playoffs, yet will miss the old Inter-Ac playoff atmosphere.


“I enjoyed the atmosphere that [we] had [in] previous years. It was awesome having so many people from the Philadelphia area coming to watch. But I’m excited for some of the new competition we will see in the postseason tournament. There are a lot of nationally ranked teams,” Majka said.


Majka finds the competition very appealing. He is eager to compete against these top-ranked programs before graduating from Malvern. 


The team competed over three days in Maryland and ultimately won their first-ever Prep National tournament. 


John Majka reflected on the tournament and Malvern’s performance therein


“Our side of the bracket had Gonzaga, Bullis, and Culver, all top teams in the country. We won our first game against Gonzaga and played Culver in the semifinals. Culver was a great team, ranked top 10, but we played extremely well against them, beating them 11-6. Ever since losing to Haverford twice this year, our whole team knew we would see them in this championship game, and we ended up playing them again. The game had so much hype leading up to it. The venue at Loyola was awesome, and the atmosphere there was cool. After beating Haverford, all the guys were super fired up, and there couldn’t have been a better way to end the season,” Majka said.


John Majka wasn’t the only one who had a great four years. Senior captain Kyle Worsnup had an incredible career and a great experience at Malvern.


“We played our best lacrosse all season. Our coaches talk about Malvern in May and how we play our best when the time comes. I feel like we definitely held up to that standard. It’s definitely bittersweet, but I couldn’t be happier with how my four years went and how it all ended. Malvern Lacrosse has given me the best four years of my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Forever grateful!” Worsnup said.


John Majka talked about what it took to end the year as champions.


“Overall, the team played extremely well. We played together as a team, and ultimately that’s what won us the whole tournament,” Majka said


Although that was the seniors’ last lacrosse game for Malvern, Majka is very proud of what the team accomplished and how they ended their season. 


“It is a little bittersweet being done with Malvern lacrosse as I’ve been a part of the program for seven years. It was an honor playing with all of the seniors this year. We had a super tight-knit group, and it was a super fun year. I know we are leaving the team in good hands with the class of 2025. I can’t wait to see how they perform next year. Malvern lacrosse has given me some of my best friends, and there’s nothing else I could have asked for from MP lax. What a ride it has been,” Majka said.

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