When two schools whose history’s are over 100 years each are separated by just a few miles rivalries can develop. And just as sure as the sun will rise and set, this rivalry is strong. What happens to these rivalries when one team dominates for any period of time? Currently that is the case between The Haverford School Boys Lacrosse team who’ve currently won six in a row against their Inter-Academic League rivals, Malvern Preparatory.
If you ask around to those attending the lacrosse match between these two, they will tell you that the rivalries only get more heated when one team dominates. Either side will tell you that the longer a streak runs the deeper the passion. Amber Dehney of Radnor has a son who plays attack for Haverford.
“We haven’t seen the Fords drop a game to Malvern since our son has been on the team.” Said Dehney. “We feel like we are part of something.”
Being on the losing end of a rivalry can be tough, but some players use that a motivation on the field.
“It makes me practice harder, even longer.” Said Seamus Glynn, a Junior at Malvern Prep. “I want to do whatever it takes to knock them down.”
The longer the rivalry the more of an impact is felt by the players.
“It isn’t only a win, but it’s satisfying as a competitor when you feel like you’ve got the other teams number. It is also a confidence booster.” Said Haverford Senior, Conner Mosebrook.
“It’s a motivator for me.” Said Michel Fay, a Senior on the Malvern squad. “It makes me want to play better for all of my team mates. We are in this together and we will break the streak together. We have Seniors on this team who haven’t beaten Haverford and we are in it to send them out knowing that they were able to beat them.”
A series like this can also be tough on friendships. It isn’t uncommon for players to have friends that are on other teams, and often these rivalries can put them on pause in the name of continuing or snapping a streak.
“I have friends who play for Malvern and almost every other school in the Interac.” Said Junior, Harrsion Fellheimer. “The lacrosse community is pretty tight. I have played with most of these kids in camps and other leagues growing up and playing lacrosse. And when we have games coming up we talk less the days before but we all remain friends off the field.”
For the alumni this rivalry is still alive. Mark Habler, Midfielder, class of 1994, recalls the rivalry when he played for Haverford.
“It was always a big game. The coaches and the players were always very intense before the game.” Said Habler. “23 years later I still come back if I can, just to see my alma mater play Malvern.”
One thing is certain is that nobody is forgetting this rivalry for now. It’s fresh and it is on fire as the Haverford boys traveled to Malvern in search of seven consecutive wins against the Friars.