Friends left no doubts about the best team in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference this year.
On the strength of a 10-goal run, the Quakers thrashed three-time defending champion John Carroll, 13-4, for the B conference championship yesterday at Homewood Field. It is the fourth B Conference title for Friends and its first since 1993.
"You just want to see the kids accept the challenge, and they did that today," said 13-year Friends coach Jon Garman, who was still drenched after his team poured the water cooler's contents over him. "Nobody had a bad game. Everyone stepped up."
Friends (13-4), winner of seven straight games, rolled through an undefeated B Conference schedule. The Quakers had a strong incentive after losing to John Carroll (12-4) in the championship game the past three years.
"It's incredible," said Friends senior attackman Matt Swann, who had three goals and an assist. "The seniors have waited for this day for three years."
The Quakers scored 42 seconds into the game on an unassisted goal by Jake Martin. Answering five minutes later, John Carroll tied the game when Greg Leary fed Aaron Naworol for a score.
Jamie Hubbard and Rob Travieso then powered in goals in the final four minutes of the first quarter to give the Quakers a 3-1 lead.
Friends silenced the Patriots for 34 minutes as it built an 11-1 lead. During that stretch, the Quakers shut out John Carroll on three man-up situations.
Offensively, the Quakers scored on a variety of ways -- off dodges, fast breaks and unsettled situations around the crease.
The Patriots, who ended their drought by scoring on a two-man advantage, couldn't counter the Quakers all season. They lost two regular-season games to Friends by a combined score of 22-12.
"I knew we had to play our best lacrosse to beat them -- enough said," said John Carroll coach Boo Smith, who is stepping down after 19 years to go to a teaching and coaching position at Gilman, his alma mater.
Friends used a proven defensive formula yesterday, switching from Bob Michel to Justin Sussman in goal during the game.
The duo combined for 11 saves and continually turned away John Carroll's high, sailing shots.
"Bobby is so quick and athletic; Justin has great mechanics," Garman said. "As a goalkeeper -- what a position -- knowing you have to focus for just 24 minutes, there should be no mental lapses."
It has been a breakthrough year for Friends, which only lost to A Conference members St. Paul's, McDonogh and Mount St. Joseph, as well as Georgetown Prep, one of the top teams in the Washington area.
"I think after this year, we should get the respect we've deserved," said Swann.
Pub Date: 5/17/97