Half done, St. Paul's cranks up heat on Gilman, wins, 11-4

Depleted Greyhounds run with No. 1 team for a half

Boys lacrosse

High Schools

March 24, 2001|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Mitch Whitely's top-ranked St. Paul's boys lacrosse team led by only one goal against sixth-ranked Gilman when he delivered his good-news, bad-news speech at halftime.

"That we're winning and playing horrible is good news," he said. "Bad news is, we're playing horrible."

The Crusaders responded with six goals in the third period, routing the defending Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champions, 11-4, in a nondivisional game.

Grant Halford (four goals, one assist), Brendan Gill (one, three), Jack deVilliers (two, one) and Sean Link (two, one) led the Crusaders (3-0), who overcame Gilman's stingy zone defense along with the early-season jitters.

In the first half, Gilman (0-2) didn't seem like a team whose roster had been decimated by the graduation of four first-team All-Metro players, a second-team All-Metro player and a second-team All-City/County player.

St. Paul's was outhustled until the second half, when consecutive goals by Brent Hargest, Link and Alex Salihi during a four-minute span sparked a 5-0 run that lifted the Crusaders to an 8-2 lead.

"Gilman's going to be good because coach Dave Allan knows what he's doing over there," said the Virginia-bound deVilliers, who battled through double teams to win five faceoffs. "Whether it's Gilman, Loyola, Boys' Latin or whoever, they're going to try and knock you off the mountain."

Gilman's faceoff man, J. D. Nelson, won the opening faceoff against deVilliers, scored the first goal and assisted Justin Redd's goal for a 2-0 lead with 5:44 left in the first period. Later, Nelson twice stripped the ball from deVilliers, once clearing it into Gilman's offense.

"They pressured well, to the point where you were like, `Should I pass or not?'" Halford said. "They came out expecting to win like any other team."

St. Paul's gradually took the lead, getting two straight goals from Halford for a 2-2 tie entering the second period. An underhanded shot by deVilliers with 6:43 left in the first half made it 3-2 -- the lead St. Paul's would take in to halftime.

"Our long sticks played well," Nelson said. "But they adjusted and ran us into the ground in the third quarter."

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