Welcome to Fordham Prep lacrosse 2019. The Prep opened up its season down in sunny Miami taking part in the reinstated 2019 Jesuit Lacrosse Classic - a great event and host school who could not of been more gracious. Playing lacrosse in warm weather was just a small part of what this event was all about. Belen Jesuit was a tremendous host, and truly emphasized the Jesuit brotherhood that the event encompassed. They organized a wonderful dinner for all six teams which gave each a chance to get to know each other better off the field, as well as a celebrating mass together on Saturday. Although the competition was fierce on the field, the sportsmanship was clearly visible, and a testament to the Jesuit background of the schools. Coach Hemsley and his staff did an impeccable job of coordinating the logistics, and making sure the boys had a fulfilling trip both on and off the field. Kudos to the coaching staff.
Belen Jesuit was the first opponent with the game played on the main field late Friday afternoon. The Wolverines have been in season for the past few months and sported a strong 8 - 1 record coming into the game. The first half was neither schools’ best as each team committed several unforced errors and ill-timed penalties as well as a few lost opportunities. Fordham got on board first with both sides trading goals through the rest of the half. The Rams had opportunities to extend the lead but could not capitalize as the half ended with the Prep up 4 - 3. However, in the second half Fordham started to find its mojo as Mekhi Simpson ‘20 (New Rochelle) won a succession of faceoffs and Brendan Sowarby ‘19 (Manhattan) got his first goals of the year to push out the lead. Belen Jesuit would not roll over and kept fighting through the final quarter as the heat started to wear on the players. At the four minute mark the Rams showed strong resolve holding Belen Jesuit scoreless on a couple of man up opportunities and were able to run out the clock for an 11 - 7 final. We’ll take it for the first game of 2019.
Unfortunately there was no rest for the Prep as they had to rally the subsequent morning at 10am and play #16 nationally ranked Gonzaga Prep (DC). The Bullpups entered the game already well into season form with a roster filled with future collegiate talent. Gonzaga played a very strong first half across the board taking a 9 -1 lead into halftime. The deficit would have been much more if it wasn’t for some exceptional goaltending by Will Rice ‘20 (New Rochelle). We all know there are two halves to every game and Fordham finally started to play its game after the break. Even though the squad was not able to put any points on the board in the second half, the offensive sets were crisper and they had some excellent looks, only to be stifled by Gonzaga’s goalie who made some excellent saves. The defense was very solid as they essentially held Gonzaga to one goal in the half, as two of three scores were flukes. In addition, the poles were able to force turnovers and collect ground balls. Overall, a great event and experience for the boys as they represented Fordham Prep lacrosse and school very well. Turning a negative into a positive, playing a team like Gonzaga will provide huge dividends come April and May as the team heads into its local season.
The tough early schedule does not get any easier as the Rams face #21 nationally ranked Georgetown Prep tomorrow down in Washington, DC before heading back north for their first home game on Saturday versus Wilton (CT). Georgetown Prep is 4 - 2 including a 10 - 9 OT loss to Gonzaga. This will be Wilton’s first game of the season and the Prep will be looking to avenge last year’s 9 - 8 2OT loss up in Connecticut (recap).
Congratulations to Quinn English ‘19 (Port Chester), Patrick McAllister ‘19 (Manhattan), Ethan Tym ‘19 (New Rochelle), and Stephen Zupicich ‘19 (Bronxville) for being named captains for the 2019 season. We will be hosting Bronx Lacrosse and Bronxville on Saturday as they play a game before the Prep/Wilton game. We’ll see you on the sidelines!