By Tom Peace
BaltimoreLacrosseNews.com, Posted 5/17/15
It was just 20 days ago that St. Mary’s dropped an 18-8 game to Gilman and appeared to be sinking out of the race in the powerful Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association “A” Conference.
Today, the Saints are conference champions for the first time since 1996.
“After the loss to Gilman had a big meeting and made some decisions,” said senior Alex Woodall. “And they worked!”
Led by MVP Woodall, who was 19 of 25 at the face-off X with 13 groundballs, St. Mary’s finished off an improbable run to the top Friday by defeating McDonogh School, 13-8, in the title game at Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood Field.
Bennett Johnson, Jake Carraway and Timmy Hardy each scored three goals as St. Mary’s (12-6) won its sixth straight game.
Also for St. Mary’s, Griffin Giles added two goals and an assist, while Jack Andrews had a goal and two assists and Sean Mooney scored once. LSM Kevin Fox and defenseman Bryce Carrasco led the St.Mary’s defense.
Connor Young and Robbie Black each had two gaols for McDonogh, which finished 14-5.
McDonogh seized a 2-1 lead in the first period, but the Saints notched all five second-period goals and never let the Eagles back into the game.
“I think this is a journey,” said an elated St. Mary’s coach Ben Rubeor. “The kids bought in. They took one on the chin in losing by 10 to Gilman and we decided to commit to each other. I would say they bought into the idea that everyone has a piece of this thing and I think they showed it.
“I can’t believe it. I am so proud of these guys. What a great group of kids. I told them it was going to be a group effort and I thought that it was their best game of the season.”
St. Mary’s had the ball most of the final three periods.
“The key was groundballs,” said Hardy. “We didn’t get them in the first period, but then we turned it around in the second period and in the second half. We knew having possession would be the key.
“It’s been a long ride. We have 20 seniors on the team and since before the season started we always said this would be our year. We were underdogs but we came out on top.”
Rubeor said Woodall was a deserving MVP and that his Saints adjusted after slow starts at Homewood.
“Alex Woodall, I think, has been the most important key to our success,” he said. “You can’t substitute anything for the amount of possessions that we got this year. I don’t think they (The Eagles) saw the ball very much in the second quarter.
“I think our guys have never played on this type of stage and it’s understandable that they may have been a little slow to start. I thought we came out came out in the second quarter and when have the lead with Alex Woodall it’s a good position to be in.”