The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

Friars Fight to First Water Polo Title


The water polo team got the monkey off its back this past month by defeating Penn Charter to earn its first Inter Ac title.  Since the program’s inception in 2001, it has come in second place four times.

Senior captain Jeff Hagen scored four of Malvern’s six goals to lead the offensive attack.  Fellow captain Dan McGlinn and senior Brandon Butz anchored the defense to hold Charter’s dangerous offense to only four goals.  Junior Pat Coffey was terrific in the cage to help secure the 6-4 victory.

The Friars scored half their goals on four man up opportunities against a traditionally sound Quaker defense.

Earlier in the season, the Friars suffered a devastating loss at Penn Charter.  The team relinquished a 7-3 halftime lead and lost 10-8.  Though the loss was hard to swallow, Coach Schiller said his team gained a lot of confidence.

It was this same confidence that carried the team in the rematch.

“I told the guys that the only way we’re gonna lose is by beating ourselves.  We proved last time that we have the talent to beat Penn Charter” said Schiller.

The Friars rebounded in the following four games, defeating Episcopal twice, Haverford, and Germantown before the showdown with Penn Charter.

When asked about how the team fed off the atmosphere during the Inter Ac season finale, McGlinn said,  “The crowd changed the entire atmosphere. Seeing all those fans up there cheering for us really helped pump the team up to get excited, which resulted in some big plays both defensively and offensively.”

After the game, the Friars had a couple weeks to prepare for the Eastern Regional tournament, which was hosted by the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.  The tournament featured the top sixteen water polo teams along the east coast.  The teams were divided into an A and B bracket.  The Friars were the fourth seed in the A bracket.

The team took down Penn Charter in its first round game.  Trailing 8-5 at halftime, the Friars dug deep to pull out an 11-9 victory.

Next, Malvern knocked off the number one seed, Calvert Hall, 7-6, a team they had lost to twice earlier in the season.

The win over Calvert Hall put the Friars in the championship game against Loyola Blakefield. It was the farthest the team had ever gone at Easterns.

Though Malvern suffered a 7-5 defeat against Loyola, Hagen was pleased with the team’s performance.

“I thought we played great team defense, and we were the first team to hold them under 10 goals all year which is a win in itself.”

To a spectator in early October, an Inter Ac title and a berth in the Regional championship game would have seemed unlikely.

But not the for the Friars.

“It was really all about just staying confident and playing the way we all know how to play,” said Hagen.

The team remained resilient throughout – an adjective Schiller used to describe his squad multiple times.  By staying resilient, the Friars were able to win a title for themselves, but as importantly for their coach.

“Since he first started coaching he has wanted an Inter-Ac title, and to finally get him that title, to finally catch the dream with him means the world for us and the program,” said McGlinn.

Schiller added, “This championship meant so much for me as it was my first ever.  In two years playing college water polo and 19 years coaching the sport I had never won a title in water polo. This year all of the prayers and questions were answered.”


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