By Nelson Coffin
BaltimorelacrosseNews.com, Posted 3/10/15
While trying to downplay last year’s overwhelming 17-2 beating at the hands of Boys’ Latin, the memory of that pounding was still fresh enough to make Gonzaga’s 13-6 triumph Tuesday afternoon in soggy Baltimore thoroughly enjoyable experience for the Eagles’ coaches, players and fans.
That decisive victory was foreshadowing of what was to become for the Lakers, who finished the 2014 season unbeaten (18-0), captured the highly-competitive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference crown and were the consensus mythical national champions.
Now, it might be Gonzaga’s turn to stake its claim as a contender for a top ranking after this impressive showing. The defending Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champion Purple Eagles (2-0) entered play as the No. 5 team in the Epoch Lacrosse North America Rankings. Boy’s Latin was No. 8.
“The last two years, we’ve lost to them by (a total of) 22 goals,” Gonzaga coach Casey O’Neill said. “So, yeah, it was definitely in the back of our minds. We came in hungry and with an attitude. Still, we wanted to play smart lacrosse and play within the system. We didn’t want to make it just about the scoreboard.”
The game turned early in the second quarter after Gonzaga senior attackman Timmy Monahan and BL freshman attackman Matt Brandau, on a feed from senior attackman Patrick Spencer, traded goals to forge a 1-1 tie at the end of the opening period.
Monahan, assisted by junior face-off midfielder Nick McEvoy, started a 3-0 run by scoring seven seconds into the second quarter for a 2-1 advantage.
A minute later — and five seconds after that — Gonzaga began to put more distance between the Beltway rivals after junior midfielder Avery Myers found the range from up top and Monahan rifled in another rocket with 10:42 left in the half.
After Boys’ Latin senior attackman Devin Shewell’s goal shaved the Lakers’ deficit to 4-2, freshman attackman Jack Myers, senior Ridge Slater and Avery Myers scored in succession to close out the half with a 7-2 cushion for the Eagles.
Timmy Monahan had three goals and an assist to lead a balanced attack as the Purple Eagles avenged a 17-2 rout to the Lakers last year.
“A win is a win, but it’s always good to get a payback,” Monahan said. “Once we got used to playing with each other (after not being on the field much this season), we started to feel more comfortable. We went off in the second quarter, and that made us even more comfortable.”
During the offensive fireworks for the Purple Eagles, it should also be noted that junior goalie George Christopher was more than holding his own between the pipes.
The first four or so of his dozen saves thwarted the Lakers at every turn.
“Their goalie made a couple of remarkable saves,” said Boys’ Latin coach Bob Shriver, the dean of Baltimore-area coaches who is now in his 36th and final campaign at his alma mater. “Plus we kept giving them second and third chances at the other end. But when we had some chances on the doorstep, he stoned us, and that can be demoralizing.”
Junior attackman Luke McCaleb upped the Eagle advantage by notching the first two tallies of the third quarter, all but ending the suspense with 10 minutes left in the third quarter.
When Spencer finally solved Christopher to end a drought that lasted more than 13 minutes, the Eagles came back for more on goals by senior midfielder Teddy Myers and McCaleb to hold an 11-4 lead heading into the final frame.
Gonzaga 13, Boys’ Latin 6
Gonzaga 1-6-4-2- 13
Boys’ Latin 1-1-1-3- 6
Timmy Monahan 3g, 1a; Avery Myers 2g; Nick McEvoy 2a; Jack Myers 1g; Ridge Slater 1g; Luke McCaleb 3g; Teddy Myers 1g; Brian Townsend 1g; Sam Offutt 1g; Luke Vassos 1a
Matt Brandau 1g; Devin Shewell 1g; Patrick Spencer 1g, 3a; Davey Lizana 1g; Logan Wisnauskas 1g; Jared Snyder 1g; Brendan Mullally 1a
G: George Christopher 12 saves
BL: Liam Frerichs 6 saves; Jack Pezzulla 5 saves
Tags: Boys' Latin