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By Christopher Lawlor

SOUTH HUNTINGTON, N.Y. – Mac Costin had the flair for the dramatic and so did No. 11 Haverford (Pa.) School on Saturday morning.

After three quarters of high-ended that saw only five goals scored, Costin, a Utah commit, hit the target with 14.7 seconds to go and the Fords upended No. 22 Ward Melville (Setauket, N.Y.), 6-5, in the GEICO High School Lacrosse Showcase at St. Anthony’s High School’s Cy Donnell Field

It was a fitting way to open the day of three games involving teams from the Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse Top 25 High School Power Rankings.

For 36 minutes the defenses ground the game to near standstill as both coaches were involved in a chess match. The Fords, who improved to 13-3 overall and won for the seventh consecutive outing, dominated time of possession and five times needed to rally to equalize.

And when they needed possession after tying it on Peter Garno’s third goal of the match with 2:12 left, the faceoff when their way. It resulted in Costin’s lightning bolt shot that stung Long Island team. WM’s final possession fizzled in the waning seconds on a stick check spilling the ball on the turf.

Garno, who was named the GEICO Most Valuable Player of the game, hit for the hat trick and assisted once. Costin had a goal and assist while Jack Leary and Geordy Holmes also scored for the Fords.

Senior Sage Garito rejected eight shots in cage for the victory. The Fords scored four goals on 11 shots with no turnovers in the fourth period. For the game, the Fords held a 40-25 shots and 32-17 ground-ball advantage.

Ward Melville (9-3) entered the game having lost two of three games after peeling off eight straight wins. The Patriots lost to rivals and nationally ranked Smithtown West, 11-8, on April 25.

WM’s Dylan Pallonetti and Steven Germain each pumped in two goals and Arthur Berry III and Brandon Aviles added assists. North Carolina-bound Collin Kriec also made eight saves.

Pallonetti, the No. 9 player in the senior class by Inside Lacrosse, is headed to Maryland.

Yet when the game was on the line, the offenses awoke with a flurry of three goals in 80 seconds, including two from the Fords, that led to a 5-all tie.

Germain had the nose for goal and produced his second unassisted goal for a 4-3 lead with 6:07 left.

Garno netted his second goal of the game and tied it for the third time at 3 with 7:07 remaining. Costin found Garno on 15 yards. Garno’s hands were free as he rifled past Kriec.

With the game dragging, the Fords solved WM’s defense after a scoreless span of over 27 minutes. Burke did the honors with 10 minutes left in the third to even it at 2.

Germain ended WM’s scoring drought with 4:20 left in the third tallying an unassisted goal off a poor clearance by the goalie and a 3-2 lead.

Each team took nine shots in the third but manufactured only two markers in the tightly contested national matchup.

Haverford favors the up-tempo attack but the Patriots have built their reputation on an airtight defense that has yielded less than four goals per games.

That script held up in the first half when Ward Melville was up a goal at 2-1. The defining stretch was the final five-plus minutes when the Fords unloaded on goalie Kriec, who made four saves. WM was outgunned, 20-10 and the Fords held a 14-7 advantage on ground balls.

Ward Melville carried a 2-1 lead into the second quarter even though the Ford outshot them 8-6. Late in the frame, Rocco Barbero fired in a feed from Aviles for the edge.

In the early going, both teams were tentative with opening possessions but it paid off with goals and a 1-1 game. Haverford’s stick man defense limited WM’s chances. Dylan Pallonetti opened his account at 10:13 and only 67 second later it was the Virginia-bound Garno equalizing for Haverford.

It was a clean game with no penalties.