John Carroll goalie Stash Rote stopped nearly everything while teammate Zach Thornton was tough to stop. Together, they lifted the Patriots to a championship.
Rote made 14 saves, and Thornton scored one goal and assisted on two others as John Carroll scored three times in the fourth quarter to defeat Friends, 5-2, in the Maryland Scholastic Association BB Conference championship game yesterday at UMBC Stadium.
This is the fourth consecutive championship for John Carroll (12-3), which defeated Friends three times this season. The Patriots have won three straight BB Conference titles. The previous year, they won the B Conference title.
The game was delayed for 30 minutes in the fourth quarter due to a thunderstorm. Play was suspended at 4:28 p.m. with 5 minutes, 9 seconds left.
Rote made nine saves in a first half that saw Friends (10-5) pressure the Patriots early and often. He allowed just one goal in the first half and, later, blanked the Quakers for the game's final 12 minutes, 32 seconds.
"I [give] credit to my long sticks in front of me," said Rote. "I wasn't that nervous because I had a lot of faith in the long sticks."
Thornton helped the Patriots take command after a slow start. Trailing 1-0, he fed Brian Turk for the tying goal in an extra-man situation with 2:06 left in the first half.
He then put the Patriots on top 1:56 into the second half with a good individual effort. He dodged one defender and fired over two others in the middle for a 2-1 lead.
"He's a super athlete," said John Carroll coach Boo Smith.
Steve Benerjee then tied it for Friends with 2:32 left in the quarter. Thornton almost put the Patriots ahead with another good play. He raced to the edge of the crease, leaped and beat goalie Gage Monk (10 saves), but the goal was disallowed because he was ruled to be in the crease.
"I knew it was my last high school game in any sport," said Thornton, who also played soccer and basketball. "I was a little flat in the first half. We [all] came out too psyched."
John Carroll took the lead for good when Jeff Raymond scooped up a loose ball in the Patriots' end of the field and raced along the right sideline into Friends territory. He fed Chris Marshall, who put it in from the edge of the crease with 7:14 left.
Fifteen seconds after play began following the delay, Thornton found Tim Ferriter, who scored from just outside the crease for a 4-2 lead.
"[Rote and Thornton] are two very experienced kids," said Friends coach Jon Garman. "I had nobody that could rate with them."