Today was supposed to be Boys' Latin coach Butch Maisel's going away party. The only problem was, the Gilman boys soccer team decided to celebrate first.
Z. Ross Fragapane's goal with just under 13 minutes left gave Gilman a 1-0 win and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference championship yesterday at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field.
It was the first and only loss of the season for No. 15 Boys' Latin (19-1-0).
"That's all we wanted to do all year was to beat BL," said Fragapane, whose team lost to the Lakers twice in the regular season. "When we played them during the year, we thought we should have beaten them then."
The goal came on one of Gilman's few good chances all day. Senior Matt Morris threw the ball in from the right sideline, and it was headed down by junior forward Kyle Ariano in the box. The header found Fragapane's foot, and he fired a low hard shot past Boys' Latin keeper Matt Tielsch for the goal.
"We felt if we could just play tough in the back, they'd start pressing," said Gilman coach Ned Harris. "I thought the fact that it was scoreless at the half was important for us. All the pressure was on Boys' Latin today."
Gilman (12-7), which lost in the B Conference championship last year, used some of that experience yesterday. The Greyhounds gave up only two scoring opportunities after the goal.
"They took it to us in the first half," Harris said. "They've had an unbelievable year, and we were fortunate today. They've found a way to win these types of games all year."
For the Lakers, the loss was devastating. Several Boys' Latin players wept openly on the bench, most feeling that they let down their coach and a golden opportunity had slipped away.
"I told them before the game to win it for themselves, and not for me," said Maisel, who leaves the soccer program after 17 years and a 173-104-27 record. "One of the kids came up and apologized to me after the game. What they don't realize is that they motivated me to coach again this year."
Maisel had extensive heart surgery over the summer.
"We played a great game. The only thing we didn't do was get the ball in the net," Maisel said. "It took the perfect skim [on a header] to beat us, and there it was."
Lutheran 1, Arlington Baptist 0: Joshue Brintnall scored on header off of a deflection in the 15th minute as the Saints (19-2) beat the Eagles to capture the C Conference championship.
The win is Lutheran's first title since 1991, when it won the Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference title.