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Photo courtesy of The Lacrosse Network’s Nick Ieradi.

Nineteen seconds is what it took Ben McCarthy to show what makes him such a special prospect at the faceoff stripe.

Nobody doubts McCarthy’s credentials. The Haverford School junior earned All-Inter-Ac honors as a sophomore, a rare feat in itself. He then followed it up by dominating everywhere he went last summer, earning five-star honors and the label of the No. 2 overall prospect in the class of 2024. McCarthy followed it up by committing to ACC powerhouse Duke, so, no, he’s not exactly a diamond in the rough.

He showed why in last Friday’s game against rival Malvern Prep. The Friars had just scored to stake themselves to a three-goal first-quarter lead and looked like they might crack the game wide open with another possession or two.


McCarthy had other plans. He won the ensuing faceoff, ran down the field and hammered home a shot right before the end of the first quarter. He then took the second quarter’s opening faceoff, found sophomore lefty Evan Large on the point, who hammered home a wing rip. Then, on the next faceoff, he hit a filthy reverse clamp, sprinted up field and found four-star Army commit Ryan DiRocco, who buried a goal to tie the game.

Nineteen seconds. Three goals for the Fords. A goal and two assists for McCarthy, and a glimpse of what makes the future Blue Devil such a special prospect. Haverford found new life, and eventually, four-star Virginia signee Wills Burt buried the overtime winner to give the Fords a clean sweep of their rivals and the inside track for their first Inter-Ac title since 2017.

The McCarthy Show starts at 24:39

Game Breaker at the Faceoff Stripe

“I kind of knew that it was a great opportunity to take advantage of short time and get something done,” McCarthy said. “I had a feeling that they weren’t ready for us in transition, so tried to push it and they were on their heels. We knew that we weren’t out of it. Malvern had just taken advantage of some transition, but everyone saw that we could take advantage of their mistakes, too, and it gave us a little boost.”

For all intents and purposes, the Fords are a virtual lock to win the Inter-Ac’s regular-season championship, which is who the league identifies as its champion, regardless of what happens in the postseason tournament. They’d have to lose three of their last four games which, uh, ain’t happenin’. But while adding another league title to the trophy case will be nice, Haverford also has a chance to take out the NLF’s No. 1 team in unbeaten St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) this Saturday. It’s rare to find such an elite nonleague battle in May, something that’s not lost on McCarthy and his teammates. They’re relishing the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with the best.

“We’re excited that our coaches decided it would be a game worth playing. You don’t usually get a shot at a team like that this late in the season,” McCarthy said. “We’re pretty pumped for this one. We know how talented we are and we’re willing to prove ourselves. We’re going to come out swinging because we’re looking forward to playing against a great team and show that we might be one of the best teams in the country.”

NLF High School Top 25

1. St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) 

Defending Connecticut state champion Staples was the latest to feel the Friars’ wrath in a 16-4 rout. NLF No. 3 senior Owen Duffy (Team 91 LI / North Carolina) had another casual day at the office with four goals and three assists, while four-star junior Brown commitment Michael Moon (Team 91 LI) won 19 of 24 faceoffs. Four-star senior Harvard commit Jack Speidell paired two goals with two assists. St. Anthony’s hits the road Saturday for a date with No. 4 Haverford School.

2. Lawrenceville (N.J.) 

The Big Red rolled Pennsylvania Catholic powerhouse La Salle, 14-2, in a game where they led 13-0 at one point. Four-star senior Johns Hopkins signee Chuck Rawson bagged two goals and two assists, while sophomore Luke Cascadden won seven of 10 faceoffs. It’s a big week for Lawrenceville, with a neutral-site game against Prep Nationals rival Deerfield (Mass.) tomorrow and a Saturday tilt with No. 13 Hill Academy (Ont.).

3. McDonogh (Md.) 

The defending MIAA champions have connected for five consecutive wins since their first loss of the season against Loyola Blakefield. NLF No. 1 senior McCabe Millon (Team 91 Maryland / Virginia), five-star sophomore Brendan Millon (Team 91 Maryland) and four-star junior Luke Miller (Notre Dame) combined for 13 goals in a 14-9 win over St. Paul’s. Sophomore Aidan Seibel (Team 91 Maryland) has taken over the starting goalie job since the second half of the Loyola game and hasn’t looked back, looking the part of being one of the top 2025 goalies in the nation.

4. Haverford School (Pa.)

5. Manhasset (N.Y.) 

The Woodstick Classic lived up to the hype yet again, with the Indians knocking off rival Garden City, 9-8, in overtime. Four-star senior Duke signee Cal Girard was a perfect 19-for-19 at the faceoff stripe. Senior Harvard commit Jack Petersen buried the overtime game-winner for his second goal of the day.

6. Culver (Ind.) 

The Eagles bulldozed Everest Academy (Ont.), 25-7, on the strength of four goals and three assists from senior Johns Hopkins signee Gabriel Sorichetti. Four-star junior North Carolina commit Mason Szewczyk popped off for five goals and an assist, while four-star Princeton verbal Aidan McDonald paired three goals with three assists. Culver heads to the MSLA Midwest Championships this weekend.

7. Taft (Conn.)

Four-star senior Yale commit Peter Moynihan headlined the Rhinos last week with 18 points in wins over previously-unbeaten Choate (Conn.)Hotchkiss (Conn.) and Trinity-Pawling (N.Y.). Junior Ben Wick has been a prolific goal scorer for Taft, scoring hat tricks against Choate and Hotchkiss and burning T-P for five goals.

8. Salisbury (Conn.) 

The Crimson Knights hammered Hotchkiss, 21-8. Salisbury squares off with Choate on Saturday in a battle of one-loss teams.

9. Belmont Hill (Mass.) 

The Sextants got a challenge from ISL rival St. Sebastian’s (Mass.), but sophomore Preston Evans (Laxachusetts) led the offense with a goal and three assists in an 8-5 win. Senior Air Force commit Matt Torrey (Laxachusetts) made 14 saves to keep a good Arrows offense at bay.

“I had a ton of confidence in my defense,” Torrey told BostonLax’s Jared Keene. “They got some decent shots, but the five poles we play who are always in front of me make that job so much easier. And I’m really comfortable with saving any shot when they’re on the field, so that’s kind of why this game was so low-scoring. They did their part in allowing me to see the easiest shots possible and I’m really happy about that.”

10. Brunswick (Conn.) 

The Bruins blitzed Hill Academy (Ont.) with an impressive 18-11 win and followed it up by beating Trinity-Pawling, 11-6. NLF No. 2 senior Leo Hoffman (Team 91 LI / Penn) and senior four-star Jackson Wolfram (Prime Time / Brown) each had three goals and three assists against hill. NLF No. 7 senior Tomas Delgado (Prime Time / Duke) and Max Warden (Brown) each collected four points.

Rounding Out the Top 25

11. St. John’s (D.C.)
12. Chaminade (N.Y.)
13. Hill Academy (Ont.)
14. Georgetown Prep (Md.)
15. Mount Sinai (N.Y.)
16. Radnor (Pa.)
17. Boys’ Latin (Md.)
18. Loyola Blakefield (Md.)
19. Fairfield Prep (Conn.)
20. Malvern Prep (Pa.)
21. Seton Hall Prep (N.J.)
22. Academy of the New Church (Pa.)
23. Bayport-Blue Point (N.Y.)
24. Wilton (Conn.)
25. Calvert Hall (Md.)