St. Paul's built a three-goal lead midway through the fourth quarter yesterday and held on to defeat Boys' Latin, 7-6, in a battle of Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference lacrosse unbeatens at the Lakers' field.
The Crusaders, ranked No. 1, pulled away from a 4-4 halftime tie on third-quarter goals by Craig Scornavacca and Michael Watson and a fourth-quarter goal by Watson, who finished with three goals.
The Lakers, ranked No. 3, solved the St. Paul's defense of Randolph Roulette, Mac McCulloch and Patrick Doyle with 2:09 remaining, as Mark LaVerghetta, who scored three goals, beat goalie Tom Keratzes with a shot off a rebound to cut the lead to 7-5.
Matt Proutt scored an extra-man goal on a feed from David Pollock with eight seconds left to get the Lakers within a goal. Boys' Latin controlled the faceoff and was fouled with two seconds remaining. Kevin Bryan's hard, low shot from just inside the midfield line hit the pipe as time ran out.
"I'm getting too old for games like this," said St. Paul's coach Mitch Whiteley. "This is our third one-goal win in a row, and it starts getting to you. But this was a very nice win."
This was the first time in six years that St. Paul's (7-0, 6-0), which leads Division I, has beaten Boys' Latin (9-1, 5-1), the Division II leader.
"We didn't make any real adjustments in the second half," said Whiteley. "We just played excellent defense and controlled the ground balls. I think we have a little more depth than Boys' Latin, and it showed in the second half. They seemed to be tired. It was a well-played game between two very good lacrosse teams."
Boys' Latin coach Bob Shriver said: "It was a great game. I think they did wear us down some in the second half, but we made too many mistakes against a very good team. We had our chances to take command in the second quarter, but we failed on two fast breaks and that hurt. In the second half, we kept giving the ball away, and, against a team like St. Paul's, that is something you can't afford to do. But it's a long season and a lot of things can happen."
Boys' Latin's Andy Sharretts scored the game's first goal, on a pass from Proutt. Tim Whiteley's unassisted goal tied it, and the teams traded goals the rest of the first half.