May 1, 2013

Alum shines during opening Major League Lacrosse game

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It was a quick transition from school teacher to professional goalie for Haverford College alumnus Joe Banno '12 as the two-time All-America netminder was signed to the 40-man roster of the Rochester Rattlers in early April and playing between the pipes for the Rattlers in their home opener against the Chesapeake Bayhawks at Al Lange Stadium on Saturday, April 27.

Though the Rattlers lost, 17-14, to Chesapeake, Banno put up numbers in his 30 minutes of second-half action that are good enough to lead Major League Lacrosse (MLL) in goals against average (10.00) and saves percentage (.737).

 Banno got the call at the intermission, with Rochester trailing 12-9, that he would be taking over in goal for the second half. He finished his 30 minutes under the lights with 14 saves, seven each in the third and fourth periods, and only five goals allowed -- two of which came with the Bayhawks on man-up chances.

As a sophomore at Haverford, Banno helped the Fords win their first Centennial Conference tournament title and advance to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division III men's lacrosse tournament. A three-time All-Centennial honoree, Banno finished his career atop Haverford's record books for career wins (41), career goals-against-average (7.89) and single-season wins (13). He is also the seventh keeper in league history to register 700 career saves (706).

Since August 2012, Banno has been teaching upper school history at St. Stephen-St. Agnes School (Alexandria, Va.), and assistant-coaching lacrosse, football and basketball. "I'm thankful to SSSAS," Banno said, "and most especially Upper School Director Bud Garikes and Athletic Director and head varsity boys lacrosse coach Andy Taibl -- himself a three-time all-American lacrosse goalie and NCAA champion (Washington College, '99). They've been supportive of my commitment to teaching, coaching and to pursuing this great opportunity with the Rattlers."

Banno is currently evaluating combined teaching/Masters programs, such as The University of Pennsylvania's Residency Master's in Teaching fellowship at several private academies throughout the tristate/New England area. Such programs would allow Banno to continue teaching full-time while earning his MAT degree over a two-year period.