On a day when its offense seemed stuck in the mud, Boys' Latin's defense refused to let Mount St. Joseph rain on its parade. The Lakers' boys lacrosse team withstood a third-period offensive surge by the Gaels, then scored three of the final four goals in an 8-4 victory played in the rain at Mount St. Joseph.
The No. 1 Lakers won for the eighth straight time to move to 10-1, 4-1 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference. The Gaels (3-3, 2-3), whose No. 3 ranking is believed to be the highest in school history, had won three straight.
The Lakers' offense, which turned the ball over 16 times, was led by Bobby Griebe with four goals and an assist, Ian Loizeaux with three assists, Adam Hagelin with two goals and Matt Feild with a goal and an assist.
But the real story was a Lakers defense that has held every opponent to fewer than nine goals.
Trailing 5-3, the Gaels fired eight shots in the last 5:35 of the third period but failed to score against goalie Trey Sheain (11 saves) and defenders John Gallagher, J.R. Stahl, Duncan Swanston and Ryan DiPasquale. A goal by Corey Nash, assisted by Brendan Mundorf (one goal, one assist), brought the Gaels to within 5-4 with 6:06 to play, but the Lakers closed with a 3-0 run.
"Our defense stepped up and our offense was able to put a couple of goals in," said Sheain, his wet uniform stained with mud. "We slid better in the second half and played great close defense."
Facing an extra-man situation for Mount St. Joseph, Sheain blocked one volley by Chad Holmes and deflected another by Andrew Mecchi. Mecchi missed four shots in the third period, also bouncing one off the pipe to Sheain's right. Twice in that period, DiPasquale stripped the ball from the sticks of offensive players. Once, DiPasquale scooped the ball out of the mud and ran with it into the Gaels' defensive side.
"We weathered the storm," said Lakers coach Bob Shriver. "And then we weathered their storm."
Boys' Latin had an 8-7 edge in faceoffs, where two of the league's best dueled. Dan Michalowicz won all seven for the Gaels, and Alex Smith won six for the Lakers.