Before the start of the high school lacrosse season, Gilman coach John Tucker predicted that this could be a very special year for the Greyhounds.
Yesterday at Gilman, his prediction looked better than ever, as the top- ranked Greyhounds routed No. 3 St. Mary's, 13-5, in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association game.
Gilman (5-0, 3-0) remained the only undefeated team in the MIAA, while St. Mary's, last year's Maryland Scholastic Association champion, fell to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the MIAA.
"Our kids are winners and they really wanted to prove a point to St. Mary's -- that we deserve to be where we are right now," said Tucker. "We played with a lot of intensity and shot very well."
Junior attackman Lorne Smith's four goals led the Greyhounds, who converted half of their shots (13 of 26), and senior attackman Mike Allan finished with three goals and an assist.
But it was the Gilman defense that had the most impact yesterday.
Seniors Tom Coleman and Than'l Badder and sophomore Chris Tully, who started for the ill David Biddison, held the potent St. Mary's attack to three goals before being replaced by reserves with three minutes left in the game.
"We played well and our defense really came together, especially with missing one of our starters," said Coleman. "Last year we missed the playoffs, and we thought we really deserved a chance, so we have some extra incentive this year."
Gilman lost three games last year by a total of four goals and didn't qualify for the MSA playoffs. In their past two games, the Greyhounds have beaten last year's champs (St. Mary's) and the winner of the previous two titles (St. Paul's).
"To be considered a contender in this league, you have to beat St. Paul's and St. Mary's," said Tucker, whose Greyhounds beat the Crusaders, 10-8, Friday. "Our objective is to get better each week and this week was a little better than last week."
Early on, yesterday's game looked like it would be a close one, as each team scored two goals in the first quarter. But Gilman scored the first four goals of the second period and led 6-3 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Greyhounds' defense held the Saints to four shots -- all unsuccessful -- while the Gilman offense rattled off three more goals.
"We really controlled the pace of the game and our defense stepped up on their big guns," said Allan, who had two of the Greyhounds' four goals in the second quarter and scored a back-breaking empty-net goal to start the fourth.