WEST GOSHEN — It’s nice for a team to get a win to start the season and even bigger when it’s led by a freshman goaltender.
“It’s good to get the first win and get the early-season jitters out,” said Malvern coach Dave Dorman. “The freshman goalie got to step in and made the saves we needed him to make and I’m really happy for the kid. I’m sure he was beyond excited and it’s always good to see those young guys step in and do well for themselves.”
Though Malvern scored big against Roman Catholic, Dorman wasn’t too impressed with the energy level from his team at one point during the game.
“The energy was lacking early on,” he said. “It was nice to work through that and see the guys emotionally get themselves up.”
After losing so many seniors last year, Malvern’s roster has a sprinkling of young talent in underclassmen, who made their presence known in the game.
“It was nice to see some of the younger guys really competing hard,” Dorman said. “I thought they did a great job with their compete level and contributing early on. I think that’s going to be the key of our success — having those young guys step in and really help us make a push.”
Half of Malvern’s eight goals were scored by underclassmen — all sophomores, to be exact, in Jake Swayze, Joseph D’Elia, James Bell and Nicholas Fantini.
Danahy, who filled in for the usual starter, Matthew Hollingshead, while he was away, was impressive in his first start of the year.
“You kind of relish in those moments and you’re excited for them,” Dorman said. “He’s very athletic. As long as he plays within himself, he’ll be really good.”
The way Malvern started the season doesn’t show the team skipping a beat after graduating 12 seniors.
“We brought a good group in,” Dorman said. “There is some definite talent with the younger guys. One guy, who isn’t here tonight, is a real exceptional talent — a big strong body and skilled. It’s really going to help us out. I think that’s going to be the biggest challenge for us is kind of marrying those two extremes.
“We have that older group that has been here for a while and we have that young group. We’re kind of light in between, but I think if we can get everyone on the same page and pulling the rope in the same direction, we’ll be just fine.”
It will be important for Malvern to find that balance on the team as the Friars face a potentially harder Prep Conference with the addition of former DSHA power-house Delaware Military Academy (DMA) to add to the already talented teams, such as Holy Ghost Prep and La Salle.
“That’s what I keep hearing,” Dorman said. “I’m hearing DMA’s pretty good. I really don’t know what to expect, but that’s what everyone seems to be saying. I think anytime you can add a team that’s talented and really going to elevate the level of play in the league, it’s only good for the division. Anytime that happens, I’m all for it.”