Practice makes St. Mary's better

Rested Saints end slide by beating Gilman, 15-8

Boys lacrosse

HIGH SCHOOL High Schools

April 06, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

St. Mary's Geoff Christhilf and his lacrosse teammates had an ailment only winning could cure.

"We were sick of losing," said the senior midfielder. "We came in and took out our frustrations today."

The second-ranked Saints dominated every aspect of yesterday's 15-8 rout at No. 10 Gilman, leading by as much as 12-2 early in the third quarter of a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference victory that ended the home team's winning streak at three games.

The Saints (6-3, 2-1 MIAA A Division I) had lost three straight times over a four-day stretch - with no practice in between - ending with Tuesday's loss to Mount St. Joseph.

But St. Mary's hit the ground running yesterday.

The Saints scored on four of their first seven shots, outscored Gilman 5-0 on nine second-quarter shots and converted three goals on their first five shots of the third period.

Defender Genty Fitzpatrick played well for Gilman, but St. Mary's had too much firepower.

"Being able to have those two days of practice really helped because we were able to break down our offense and work on plays," said Connor Blemly, who had a goal and four assists. "What separated this game from the three that we lost was tempo. We were able to move the ball around and look for people to get open."

Blemly had a goal and three assists in the first half, when seven of the Saints' first nine goals were assisted.

James Hyland scored his three goals in the first half, and Scott Falatach had his four goals in the second. Also contributing were Nick Bonnaici (one goal, two assists), Brian Ponne (two, one) and Garret Stanwick (two goals).

Possession was another key for the Saints, as Christhilf combined with Will Dalton to win 19 of the game's 27 faceoffs. St. Mary's won 11 of 14 in the first half.

Defensively, St. Mary's turned in its best effort of the season.

Gilman got off only six shots in the first half against defenders Eric Zerrlaut, Brendan Teague and Eric Lundblad. And when the ball did get past those players, goalie Colin Finnegan (nine saves) was often there to prevent it from going into the nets.

"We tried to work our offense, but we only had the ball like six times in the first half. Meanwhile, their shots were on, they looked faster than us, they got all the ground balls," said Luke Wilson, whose two goals and Clarke Finney's three assists led Gilman.

Assistant Brooks Matthews stood in for Gilman coach Dave Allan, who did not attend the game due to a family emergency.

"Coach Allan has such a presence and is such a great game-day coach, so we missed him," Wilson said. "We were able to score eight goals to make it respectable."

Dalton had a goal and two assists and Christhilf a goal.

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