As happy accidents go, Sean Mckee's introduction to lacrosse has turned out to be quite fortuitous.
The 5-foot-10 junior goalie might be the backbone of Penn Charter's defense right now, but in sixth grade Mckee was just a kid who couldn't decipher which stick did what.
Soccer had been his main sport.
When he tried out for the Crooked Crosse Lacrosse Club in Upper Dublin, Mckee said that the coach (Dave Sowers) handed him a goalie's stick because he mistakenly believed Mckee had been a soccer goalie.
"He handed me a goalie stick and I had no idea what it was," Mckee said. "I didn't really even know what lacrosse was. I assumed I would be playing in the field or something, but he said, 'No, you're playing goalie.' So I just went with it."
On Monday, the Fairfield -bound goaltender helped the Quakers hold off visiting Germantown Academy, 5-4, in first-round action in the Inter-Ac Challenge.
"It was a great win," said Mckee, who made 11 saves. "Playing GA twice a year, every year, it's a big school rivalry so it's always a big game for us. . . . They got us [last time] and we're always upset when they do."
In three meetings this season, each game was decided by one goal. The Quakers won, 3-2, in April and the Patriots rebounded, 6-5, in May.
"That game we kind of came out flat," Mckee said. "I think they scored four quick goals on us and we just didn't know what happened. This time, we were ready for them."
Cody Sweeney's three goals helped the Quakers to a 4-1 advantage at halftime. Rob Keehfuss added two assists, and his steal with less than a minute remaining helped secure the victory.
Behind two Garrett Trucksess goals and another from Jimmy McAfee, the Patriots closed to within 5-4 with about six minutes remaining.
Mckee may have been unfamiliar with goaltending before, but his fine stickwork bolstered the Quakers' defense.
"For me it's about knowing you can have a direct influence on the game," he said. "You can save any shots they take, and have a positive impact for your team."
You can also parlay that talent into a college career.
"I think it's pretty lucky," Mckee said of his introduction to lacrosse, "but I'm happy it happened and I'm definitely grateful for the opportunity to start playing."
Germantown Academy 1 0 0 3 - 4
Penn Charter 0 4 0 1 - 5
GA: Matt Ho, Garrett Trucksess 2, Jimmy McAfee. PC: Cody Sweeney 3, Blake Target 2.
Saves: GA - Ian Davies 11; PC - Sean Mckee 11.