The Culver Military Academy Prep lacrosse team finished the season with the 2016 Inter-Ac Challenge championship trophy on the team bus and three wins against Philadelphia area opponents; 15-4 over Germantown Academy, 14-3 over Lawrenceville, and 8-7 in the championship against Haverford School.
It was the second time the Eagles met the Fords, pulling out a one-goal win in each instance. The two teams met on March 20 during CMA’s spring break trip with the Eagles taking a 9-8 overtime victory.
This was the first year the Eagles have played in the Inter-Ac Challenge, a post-season tournament featuring Inter-Ac League members and its invitees. The championship, played at Villanova University, boosted the Eagles to fifth in the nation. CMA finished the season at 20-3.
Along with the tournament trophy, the seven Eagles were named to the all-tournament team. Here is what the tournament selection committee said about each player:
Attack Wheaton Jackoboice – The Brown commit was excellent for the Eagles, tallying five times and adding an assist. He scored twice in the championship game, including a third-quarter transition goal that held up as the game-winner after Culver fended off Haverford’s final comeback attempt. Jackoboice has a quick release and is deadly if left unattended to.
Attack Ethan Walker – One of the best seniors in the country, Walker was the focal point of Culver’s offense and everybody else’s defense. The Canadian’s box lacrosse background is extremely apparent in his game. The Denver signee used his knowledge of picks and a deadly lefty shot to rack up a team-best seven goals while also adding a pair of assists.
Middie Alex Simmons – Another one of Culver’s Canadian imports, the Denver commit’s box background is obvious when watching him play. He’s got an innate ability to score on low-angle shots and covering him with a short-stick midfielder is almost conceding a goal. Simmons had four goals and four assists, including a pair of tallies against Haverford.
Faceoff specialist Brett Handsor – The freshman Johns Hopkins commit picked a great time for his first two career goals, netting one in both the semifinals and final to give the Eagles a jolt. He took the second half’s opening faceoff down for a goal to push the lead over Haverford to 7-3 and to give Culver a huge lift. Handsor was also strong at the X despite going against bigger, older players.
Defenseman Liam Duff – The MVP of the championship game, Duff was incredibly effective for the Eagles as they only ceded 14 goals in three games. He forced turnovers and bad passes, and when he got the ball in his stick, he was able to be an asset in the clearing game. A Delaware commit, Duff will be the backbone of the Eagles’ defense next year.
Defenseman Jacob Kanak – A Notre Dame signee, Kanak did it all for Culver. He’s got a great stick and good size, and rare were the attackmen who wanted to take him on 1v1. He can blanket just about anybody and handled his assignments with relative ease.
Goalie Matthew Schmidt – Schmidt didn’t play in the opener, but he was excellent in the two biggest games of the tournament. The Notre Dame commit stopped nine shots against Lawrenceville and added eight more in the final. A big goalie who can move exceptionally well, Schmidt gave opponents little to shoot at.