BY: Alex McGinley
Photos & Video by Geneva Heffernan
WAYNE, PA-- It was a moment that Matt Civitella and the rest of his team will never forget. With 26 seconds left in double overtime, the senior midfielder scored to give Malvern Prep the Inter-Ac Championship in a 9-8 win over Haverford School Tuesday night at Cabrini University. The win gave the Friars back-to-back Inter-Ac titles. For Civitella and the 16 other seniors on Malvern Prep’s roster, it was the perfect way to end their high school careers.
“Honestly, I just completely blacked out and was just so excited,” said Civitella, who is a University of Richmond commit. “I just ran over and I was looking for my parents to give them a big hug and everything. I looked over to my team and seeing the look on their faces winning that game, there’s never been anything better.”
The Friars led 8-7 with 6.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter. However, Fords’ senior midfielder Mac Costin took the ball from out of bounds and into the net with one second left in regulation to force overtime.
Despite the happy ending for his team, Malvern Prep head coach John McEvoy would rather have the won the game in regulation.
“We didn’t it want to go to overtime, said coach McEvoy. “But it was a good effort on their end. That’s a total momentum swing.”
With the win, Malvern Prep ends its season with a 16-5 and a No. 16 national rank by Inside Lacrosse. Haverford fell to 17-5 and dropped to No. 17 nationally to end the season. Entering Tuesday’s game, the Fords ranked No. 8.
Fords’ senior midfielder Peter Garno led all scorers with five goals. Costin added a pair of goals for the Fords. For the Friars, junior attack Colin McGill led the team with four goals. Civitella added two goals.
“I think it’s nice putting up points obviously,” said McGill. “As an attack, you should be putting up points. I definitely think it helped.”
Both teams’ goalies had double-digit saves. Senior Will Pettit stopped 13 shots for the Friars, while senior Sage Garito saved 10 shots for the Fords.
Tuesday was not only about Malvern Prep winning the Inter-Ac title. It was also about Haverford head coach John Nostrant, who coached his last game with the team on Tuesday. Nostrant, who will be moving on to Maryland to coach Gilman, ended his 28-year career with the Haverford School garnering 492 wins, 15 Inter-Ac Championships and two State Titles. Nostrant also led the Fords to undefeated seasons in 2011 and 2015.
“He is the man,” said coach McEvoy. “He’s the legend of high school lacrosse in this area. He put Philadelphia high school lacrosse on the map. He’s one of my best pals. It’s very bittersweet right now. I feel great for these kids, but I feel bad for my friend and I’ll miss him greatly.”