St. Andrew's (Fla.) Itching to Test Itself Against Out-of-State Competition


St. Andrew’s (Fla.) coach Tony Seaman issued a challenge, not just on behalf of his squad, but for all of the teams in Florida. His challenge was directed at the lacrosse hotbeds of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

“This area is growing, and there are some good teams playing and a lot of really good coaches that are down here now,” Seaman said. “We welcome anyone to come down. Come to South Florida. We would love to have them. We can play with a lot of people.”

While Florida teams have become accustomed over the years to welcoming out-of-state competition on spring break trips, it’s been three years since many teams in the region have faced interstate competition. The COVID-19 pandemic put an abrupt end to the 2020 season, and teams like St. Andrew’s relied on in-state competition in 2021.

With the pandemic easing, the Scots are able to welcome the challenge of facing interstate competition again. Their 2022 schedule features Maryland power Boys’ Latin and defending Texas champion Dallas Jesuit.

Going against the likes of Boys’ Latin gives a squad like St. Andrew’s a good measuring stick for the upcoming season. While St. Andrew’s regularly had Boys’ Latin on its schedule before the pandemic, Seaman feels like he finally has a squad that can go toe-to-toe with one of the top East Coast teams.

“We can compete against them,” Seaman said.

The Scots got off to an early start against interstate competition, having already defeated Palo Verde, a program that frequently wins state championships in Nevada.

The Scots head into 2022 ranked No. 1 in the South Region after completing a 16-0 season that culminated in a state championship. While St. Andrew’s lost key players such as Will Adams and Anthony Borodiak to graduation, the squad returns much of its core from a year ago, including a number of Division I prospects.

And they are led by Seaman, a legendary coach who steered the program to its first-ever state title.

While it might sound cliche, Seaman agrees that his club has a target on its back. He expects that he’ll get an opposing team’s best performance every time.

“I think they look forward to it,” Seaman said.

Given the pandemic, the Scots needed a little bit of luck in order to win the state championship game. The team was in quarantine in the days leading up to the state tournament. Seaman said the team’s first practice after being in quarantine was on the same day of the first playoff game.

St. Andrew’s has the defensive firepower to stop just about anyone. The Scots return Sean Jordan, the reigning South Region Player of the Year. The long-stick midfielder committed to Harvard and is widely considered one of the top Class of 2022 prospects. Seaman said Jordan “is even better this year.”

“I said last year he was the best defensive player I have coached at the high school level,” Seaman said. “I have been around some good defensemen, and he can play with any of them.”

And if attackers manage to slip past Jordan, getting the ball past goalie Gunnar Schwarz will be a challenge. Schwarz, a Navy commitment, stopped 69 percent of the shots he faced in 2021 with a goals against average of 3.9 per game.

A year ago, the Scots only allowed more than five goals in a game twice, allowing seven in the season opener against Oxbridge Academy (Fla.) and seven against Lake Highland Prep (Fla.).

Offensively, Seaman expects big things out of junior attacker Jack Schulte, who led the Scots in scoring as a sophomore with 40 goals. Seaman also anticipates Gunnar’s twin brother Kurt Schwarz to play a larger role in the team’s attack.

“He’s ready to take over that role,” Seaman said of Schulte. “He is going to have a lot more assists.”

The next top two teams out of the South come from Texas, with Westlake entering the season ranked No. 2 and Dallas Jesuit No. 3. Dallas Jesuit won’t face Westlake in the regular season but does have a March 12 date set at St. Andrew’s.

The Rangers are accepting the challenge to visit Florida and also have matches scheduled at Western (Fla.) and St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.). Dallas Jesuit finished 2021 ranked No. 1 in the South Region.

Meanwhile, Ponte Vedra, which is ranked No. 7 in the South Region, faces St. Andrew’s April 8 in a battle between the top two teams in Florida.

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