While scouting a semifinal game last week, Gilman lacrosse coach John Tucker told a friend he thought his then-No. 2-ranked Greyhounds should still be the area's top-ranked team.
"We beat McDonogh head-to-head," Tucker said. "But we'll prove it. We'll prove it."
Last night, before a record crowd of 7,213 at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field, Tucker's No. 1 Greyhounds (16-1) used a 6-0 run over the second and third quarters to turn a tight game into a 16-12 victory over No. 2 St. Paul's.
Gilman earned Tucker his 101st career win and his third Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference crown in his final game at the school. His teams also won in 1994 and 1995.
"It was motivation enough, playing a great ballclub like St. Paul's, but for me, it's a storybook ending," said Tucker, who will become Boys' Latin's dean of students this fall.
The Greyhounds won their eighth straight game since a regular-season loss to Loyola spoiled hopes for an unbeaten spring. Alex Lieske and Ryan Boyle each had four goals and an assist for Gilman, followed by Andrew Lucas (three, two), Jesse Kohler (one, four) and Andrew Faraone (two goals).
Gilman defender Damien Davis held St. Paul's All-Metro attackman, Conor Gill, without a point before the intermission. Gill registered his second shot of the game at 3: 50 of the third quarter and the first of three goals 2: 26 before the fourth.
Pat Tracy scored three times with an assist for St. Paul's (13-4), followed by Gill and Michael Satyshur (two, two).
Gill's 236 career points broke the St. Paul's career points mark of 234 set by Tim Whiteley in 1992. Running mate Pat Tracy (three goals, two assists) eclipsed by three the school's single-season goal-scoring mark two others held.
"I couldn't be more proud of this team. We've been through so much that just to get here was tremendous," said St. Paul's coach Rick Brocato. "The bottom line is that the two best teams were out here, and Gilman played outstanding and beat us."
St. Paul's had played shakily after Gill suffered a concussion in the teams' first meeting. That injury forced Gill, the Crusaders' best player and emotional leader, to the sideline for two weeks.
Then came the devastating suicide of Syracuse-bound goalkeeper Alec Schweizer. A moment of silence in his memory rTC was observed before last night's game, and his teammates wore T-shirts bearing his photo during warm-ups.
Both teams came out firing last night, their combined 15 shots producing 10 goals and a 6-4 Gilman lead heading into the second period.
In the first half, the score was tied three times and both teams went on scoring runs, Gilman for five goals and St. Paul's for three. But Gilman had the lead, 9-6, at halftime.
In the second period, Davis thrice knocked the ball from Gill's stick, the last time scooping it up and sprinting away to generate a four-pass relay that resulted in the halftime margin.
The Greyhounds pulled away as Lieske scored the first of his two third-period goals 36 seconds after the intermission during a 6-0 run. That spurt ended with Boyle's goal for a 12-6 lead 7: 41 before the fourth.
In the game's first minute, Crusaders goalie Paul Spellman stopped Gilman's Jesse Kohler from point-blank range, and Lieske hit the pipe. But Satyshur put the Crusaders up 1-0 on an unassisted goal at 1: 33.
Gilman tied on Boyle's unassisted tally at 9: 47, but after another Lieske shot into the net was disallowed on a crease violation, Tracy grabbed a rebound and put in his record-breaking 53rd goal of the season at 8: 40 for a 2-1 Crusaders lead. Satyshur then wheeled off a pick by Gill for a 3-1 lead at 6: 37.
Gilman scored five straight for a 6-3 lead 32 seconds before the second period, but Satyshur assisted Tracy's second goal with 11 seconds left to bring the Crusaders within two.
Pub Date: 5/16/98