No. 1 Eagles show off, 17-5, against Gilman

Benson's 8 goals help McDonogh defeat No. 2

May 08, 1999|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

What began yesterday as a showdown between the area's top two boys lacrosse teams quickly turned into a showcase for top-ranked McDonogh.

The visiting Eagles held No. 2 Gilman scoreless for the first 20: 55, building an 8-0 lead en route to a surprisingly easy 17-5 win in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference finale for both teams.

The win clinched a top seed for McDonogh (18-2 overall, 8-2 league) in next week's MIAA playoffs. Gilman (10-4, 7-3), depending on other games, could drop as low as fourth.

"I told them that this is the best game I've ever seen McDonogh play," said Jake Reed, the Eagles' coach for seven years whose team outshot the Greyhounds, 41-27. "I think every single one of our kids played his `A' game today."

That sentiment certainly applied to attackman Bobby Benson, who scored a career-high eight goals to go along with two assists (10 points total).

On a team with multiple offensive weapons, the Johns Hopkins-bound senior said his relative anonymity worked to his advantage.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Benson twice stole passes from the keeper, once for a goal and once for an assist. Teammates call him "the garbage man" because, he said, "most of my goals come from cheap stuff around the crease.

"I don't get that much attention, and I was able to find a couple seams," said Benson of yesterday's performance. "When you've got a whole offense full of great players, they dodge, they move the ball, and I end up on the crease with an empty net."

Several other McDonogh players had big offensive showings, as well. Attackman Matt Primm scored four times and had an assist, midfielder Owen Daly scored twice, and attackman Ryan Floyd had a goal and two assists.

"We had a great week of practice, and I could sense this team was ready," said Reed. "I knew this was a game they really wanted to get."

McDonogh broke on top 2 minutes 28 seconds into the first quarter, when Daly scored unassisted. Four minutes later, the midfielder scored again, putting the Eagles up 2-0.

By the time Primm scored off a pass from Benson with 12 seconds left in the first quarter, McDonogh had built a commanding 5-0 lead.

The Eagles' domination continued into the second quarter's opening minutes, when Benson put in a pair of goals and Ryan Floyd added one to increase the lead to 8-0 with 4: 12 till halftime.

From there, Gilman never got closer than five.

"McDonogh played great, and they were sort of fun to watch at times," said Gilman coach Dave Allen. "We made mistakes, and they capitalized, and that's the mark of a great lacrosse team."

Allen said last week's loss of leading scorer Ryan Boyle, who on Monday had surgery to repair a ruptured hernia, played only a minor role in this game.

He said the most important thing for his team will be to refocus for the playoffs, which open Tuesday.

"We need to put this behind us, regroup, and come out and play our best game," he said.

Pub Date: 5/08/99

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