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.@MIAA_LAX ‘A’ Championship: Boys’ Latin finishes perfect season with title

Saturday, 17th May 2014

Categories Boy's/Men's, High school  
 

By Derek Toney
BaltimoreLacrosseNews.com, Posted 5/17/14

TOWSON, Md. – This time, Boys’ Latin finished what it started.

The Lakers, who last year went undefeated until the season’s final game – won the contest it waited for all year tonight by defeating St.Paul’s School, 17-11, in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) “A” Conference championship at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium.

Boys' Latin - MIAA A Champions, 2014 - Photo by Derek Toney

Boys’ Latin – MIAA A Champions, 2014 – Photo by Derek Toney

The win caps a perfect 18-0 season for the Lakers, who were ranked No. 1 all year in every national poll. The same thing happened last year – until the MIAA finals when the Lakers gave up a 6-0 lead and fell to Loyola Blakefield, 10-9, in a loss the players could not forget.

Devin Shewell led Boys’ Latin with four goals and two assists and Hunter Moreland was named the game’s MVP by winning 23 of 29 face-offs and scoring three goals.

Mikey Wynne had four goals and three assists for the Crusaders, who kept coming back but were unable to slow the potent Boys’ Latin attack.

“This is an unexplainable feeling, especially after last year when we came up short and fell in the last minute,” said Moreland, who is headed to Johns Hopkins. “This group was fired up from last year, and we kept fighting.

“I think this team had a lot of returners and we stayed humble and stayed hungry.”

BL senior attackman Shack Stanwick said the Lakers never let down in 2014.

“Every game, every point we knew we could be beaten, we knew we had to hustle for every ground ball,” he said. “One of our philosophies was win every single play.”

“I couldn’t imagine anything better than going out on top and undefeated.”

Boys’ Latin coach Bob Shriver addressed the thought that the Lakers could not live down last year’s title-game loss without winning it this year.

“”It was in the back of everybody’s mind [last year], well we can put that demon to rest,” he said. “We are 37-1 in 2 years. That’s just remarkable stuff.

“This team had matchup nightmares; it was very hard to shut them down. But in all honesty, they play with an incredible joy and they love the game of lacrosse.

“They like to play and they like each other.”

Stanwick, the nation’s No. 1 player who’s bound to Johns Hopkins University, finished with two goals and two assists Friday. On its penultimate game of the season, Boys’ Latin’s dearth of talent was on full display in front of a spirited audience.

Nine players (not including Stanwick) scored for the Lakers, who outshot the Crusaders (43-36) and won the ground ball battle (43-20) against their arch rivals. Moreland, a senior midfielder/faceoff specialist, won 23-of-29 at the X.

“Any time you can generate instant offense, it gives our defense to get a break,” said Moreland. “Everybody collectively step up.”

Moreland was front and center as the Lakers gained some distance in the fourth quarter, converting back-to-back face-off wins into scores, turning a 12-8 advantage into a six-goal lead within the opening 21 seconds.

“Hunter’s such a big part of this team,” said Stanwick, his future teammate at Johns Hopkins, “that’s why we won.”

“With the score 9-7, I thought we had him [Moreland] really tired,” said St. Paul’s coach Rick Brocato. “We got the ball and hit a post and that turned into a goal on the other end. Then Hunter got his energy back and made some big plays and scored.”

Four different players – T Moyer, Tally Bruno, Shewell and Patrick Spencer – scored as Boys’ Latin built an early 4-1 lead. The Crusaders crept back into contention at 5-3 after an unassisted tally by Wynne, but the Lakers answered with Stanwick scoring twice and assisted on a third, extending their to 8-3.

The Crusaders, looking for their first title since 2010, got to within 8-6 on Mitch Gordon’s goal in the third quarter. Moreland won the ensuing face-off and scored. Boys’ Latin later responded to Wynne’s goal that made it 9-7 with scores from O’Connor, Shewell and Austin Brown.

“We were battling against the odds, but we fought a good fight,” said St. Paul’s coach Rick Brocato. “The effort was outstanding. We had to play a perfect game, we played a strong game, but we didn’t catch any break.”

All the breaks fell right for Boys’ Latin, which now has nine MSA/MIAA A titles to its credit. The Lakers have accounted for three of last six perfect seasons in the MIAA A/MSA A league over the last 45 years.

“I’m getting a little long in the tooth, how many more opportunities do you get in these situations, you never know,” said Shriver. “They’re all special. We’re very fortunate to have a lot of good kids that play some good lacrosse.”

Brocato also praised his team.

“We threw everything at them but the kitchen sink,” he said. “I thought today we prepared well for (Moreland), but and our guys kept him off balance, but he got the energy back and made big plays.

“I am so proud of this group; it was so enjoyable to coach them. They are a special group. In terms of chemistry, kids don’t come around often like this.”

MIAA A Conference lacrosse championship, at Towson University

No. 1 Boys’ Latin School 17, No. 2 St. Paul’s School 11

St. Paul’s 1 4 3 3 – 11
Boys’ Latin 5 3 4 5 -17

Goals: St. Paul’s – Wynne 4, Sheehan 2, Mattheiss, Sheehan, Flaig, Gordon, Riehl, Pollard, Gordon; Boys’ Latin – Shewell 4, Chell 3, Moreland 3, Stanwick 2, Bruno, Moyer, Spencer, Brown, O’Connor

Assists: St. Paul’s – Wynne 3, Anderson, Flaig; Boys’ Latin – Shewell 2, Stanwick 2, O’Connor, Spencer

Saves: St. Paul’s – Barretto 11; Boys’ Latin – Pezzulla 10

Shots: St. Paul’s 36; Boys’ Latin 43

Ground balls: St. Paul’s 20; Boys’ Latin 43

Faceoffs: St. Paul’s 8-of-31; Boys’ Latin 23-of-31

Clears: St. Paul’s 17-of-20; Boys’ Latin 8-of-59Extra-man opportunities: St. Paul’s 0-for-2; Boys’ Latin 0-for-1

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