2021 MIAA B CONFERENCE
FRIENDS SCHOOL QUAKERS
Friends dominates Curley for MIAA B lacrosse title; Forbush and Hastings combine for 10 goals (VIDEO HERE!)
by Gary Adornato
Before the turn of the century, Friends School dominated the lacrosse landscape in the MIAA B Conference, winning three straight titles between 1997 and 1999.
Shortly after returning to the B Conference in 2010, following a 10-year stint in the MIAA A Conference, the Quakers picked up their fourth B Conference crown in 2011. Since that time, however, no new lacrosse championship hardware has been added to the school’s trophy case.
Well, make room.
The Quakers are bringing home the MIAA B Conference championship plaque back to Charles Street after Friday’s impressive, 15-10, win over top-seeded Archbishop Curley in the B Conference title game, played on a gorgeous evening at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis.
Senior midfielder Ned Forbush helped set the tone for the Quakers (9-1 overall) with a first quarter hat-trick. He ended up scoring four times in the opening half and finished with five goals and two assists.
“It’s a surreal moment,” said Forbush, who is headed to the University of Denver. “I’ve been working for it for four year, my high school career, and just to play my last high school game and win a championship, it’s amazing. Both sides of the ball locked down for all four quarters and I am just really proud of this group of guys.”
When Curley (9-4) finally started applying more defensive pressure to Forbush, junior midfielder Bryan Hastings picked up the slack for the Quakers, exploiting the Friars’ defense for five goals and an assist, including unassisted scores in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter to turn a four-goal Friends lead into a commanding 13-7 bulge.
“We put the ball in the cage and we scored,” said Hastings. “We knew we had to attack the low wing and X. They were lacking the slides there and we kept pushing them; we kept scoring. We ran away with it at the end of the first half and we maintained it.”
The lead eventually grew to 15-7, with 5:14 to play in the final quarter, after back-to-back goals by Harry Deller, before Curley scored three straight in final minutes to claw back within five.
Senior attack Denzel Evans had a hat-trick for the Friars while Caleb Haire, Lee Rock and Kanell Ward netted two goals each for the Friars.
Another major factor for Friends was the play of junior goalkeeper Garrett Taylor, who made 11 saves, including a couple from point-blank range in the first half.
“I owe it all to my defense,” said Taylor. “I don’t think I had the best game and my defense was always there to have my back to make the saves I had easy. We’ve worked hard every day at practice, all of our defense, and everything they have done has led to this, and we’re happy.”
When Taylor wasn’t frustrating the Friars, they hurt themselves with a stream of uncharacteristic drops, off-target passes and mis-fired shots. By the time Curley’s offense finally got on-track in the second half, the outcome was no longer in doubt.
The win avenged the only loss of the year for the Quakers. Curley, which was seeking its fourth B Conference title and second straight, had been undefeated against B Conference competition prior to this contest, including an 11-7 win over the Quakers last month.
To a man, the Quakers pointed to that earlier loss to the Friars as motivation for this win.
“The first time we played Curley it was an eye opener and we wanted to get back to this.” said Friends head coach Bill Ball. “It was the first time we had played a team that athletic and it was different for us. We watched film afterwards. We opened some eyes they made a decision, the seniors especially, that they wanted to get back and get a chance at them.”
According to Hastings, the Quakers knew what they needed to differently in this match-up with the Friars.
“We knew, offensively, we just had to put the ball in the cage,” said Hastings. “In the first game, we just weren’t doing it, we where you’re hitting pipe, missing passes. This game we came out ready, we came out prepared.”
For Ball, it was special moment for his seniors.
“This group, this senior group, they’ve been with me for all four years,” said the Quaker coach. “They really bought in.”
One senior in particular got a little extra praise from Coach Ball.
“What a way to go out,” he said of Forbush. “A four-year starter for us, captain, going to the University of Denver, an incredible midfielder and leader. I am really proud of him that he had a great, great game today and a great year overall.”
MIAA B CONFERENCE LACROSSE CHAMPIONSHIP
at NAVY-MARINE CORPS STADIUM
FRIENDS SCHOOL 15, ARCHBISHOP CURLEY 10
FR 4 5 2 4 — 15
AC 2 2 3 3 — 10
GOALS: FR-Ned Forbush 5, Bryan Hastings 5, Harry Deller 2, Julian Marchetti, Bo Whiteford, Benjamin Kondner; AC-Denzel Evans 3, Caleb Haire 2, Kanell Ward 2, Lee Rock 2, James Zingo.
ASSISTS: FR-Forbush 2, Hastings 1; AC-Denim Evans.
SAVES: FR-Garrett Taylor 11; AC-Christian Kalb 3.