Title game ranks as super matchup

Gilman, Boys' Latin set to clash in 1-2 showdown

MIAA lacrosse

High Schools

May 19, 2000|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Tomorrow's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title game pits perhaps the area's most durable boys lacrosse team, No. 1 Gilman, against the hottest, No. 2 Boys' Latin.

The rubber match featuring the nation's top two high school attackmen should lure a crowd that exceeds Towson University's 5,000 capacity at Minnegan Stadium.

The Greyhounds, who are led by Princeton-bound, two-time first-team All-Metro attackman Ryan Boyle, won the first meeting, 14-12. But University of Maryland-bound, first-team All-Metro attackman Dan LaMonica led the Lakers (16-3) to a 9-6 win at Gilman (15-1) two weeks ago.

The teams had identical advantages of 14-8 in faceoffs in semifinal playoff wins in which 19 goals each were scored: Gilman in its 11-8 triumph over Loyola, and Boys' Latin in a 10-9 victory over St. Paul's.

And each will try to exploit possible mismatches: The Lakers' offense against Gilman's inexperienced defense, and the Greyhounds' veteran midfield vs. Boys' Latin's no-name midfield.

Gilman's second-half poise prevailed in come-from-behind victories over St. Mary's, St. Paul's, Loyola, Boys' Latin and Landon of Montgomery County.

But LaMonica stole the third-quarter thunder of Gilman's only loss, scoring the first two goals of the second half and assisting on the third. Also, Lakers goalie Ryan Lafferty (19 saves) and defenders Matt O'Malley, Chris Brown and J.J. LaSeta shut down Boyle and Co."We'll need to play a very strong team defense against their attack. Faceoffs will play be important. And we had 36 shots for only six goals, so we'll need to shoot better," said second-year coach Dave Allan, who is after Gilman's fourth crown since 1994.

Boyle (32 goals, 43 assists) runs with two-time second-team All-Metro Andrew Lucas (37, 17), a left-handed, 6-foot-2, 200-pounder, and 6-4, 240-pound right-hander Richard Tuohey (19, nine). Boyle and Lucas have 92 and 82 ground balls, respectively.

The Lakers' offense is a mirror image of Gilman's, having totaled 61 points in the past four games behind LaMonica (10 goals, 14 assists in that span), lefty Brian Nee (13, eight) and righty Dan Berger (11, six).

Boys' Latin has avenged losses to Gilman, St. Paul's and St. Mary's - the latter by 17-3 - in its six-game winning streak. It is after 21st-year coach Bob Shriver's fourth crown, and the Lakers' eighth overall.

But Shriver calls Gilman's midfield "simply the best in the state."

It is led by fleet-footed and versatile Lance Zimmerman, who has 34 goals, 11 assists and 97 ground balls, and Kevin Boland with 23, 19 and 98. Faceoff middie J.D. Nelson and Rob Lindsay, the latter who has a rocket shot, help keep pressure off four-year veteran goalkeeper Jay Pfeifer and a defense that is Gilman's question mark.

Meanwhile, Noah Gerstmyer and Greg Grevey have been pivotal in the Lakers' midfield improvement, particularly in winning Friday's battle against St. Paul's top faceoff man, Jack deVilliers. Gerstmyer was coming off two days of bed rest after suffering from dehydration in the recent heat wave. Grevey, who broke his left leg as a sophomore, plays with a surgically implanted metal rod running from knee to ankle.

They are part of an unselfish midfield that includes Mike Laird, Phil McKnight, Matt Spero, John Gallagher, Jason Holman, Jeremy Freed, Will Shearer, Matt Field, Mitch Hendler, Chris Conkling and Mike Cheek."Our midfielders heard some disparaging comments going into St. Paul's," Shriver said. "They've accepted roles and gotten better at them."

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