Essex brings home junior college title

Bishop's goal in OT beats N.Y.'s Herkimer, 17-16

College Lacrosse

May 10, 2004|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

There was something familiar for CCBC-Essex yesterday in the National Junior College Athletic Association men's lacrosse championship game.

Just as in Saturday's semifinal against Nassau, the host Knights needed a goal to force overtime. And once again, Jonathan Beard led his team to the comeback it wanted. And just like Saturday, it was Andy Bishop who took a low shot that worked, giving Essex a 17-16 win over Herkimer and its first national title since 1991.

Essex (19-0) also earned its second undefeated season ('91 is the other) and only the third NJCAA title for a Maryland school. Anne Arundel won in 1998.

"I have goose bumps," Bishop said. "This team has so much heart, it's just unbelievable. For us to win with a lot of freshmen, it was great that we could be so cohesive."

And with 19 players returning, it creates high expectations for next year, too.

"We're going to try keeping the trophy down south for a while," said first-year coach Brian Duncan, referring to the dominance of New York schools. That included defending champion Herkimer (15-2), which beat Essex last year in the championship game and seemed ready to steal its ninth title.

Led by attackman Jamie Ireland, the visiting Generals came back from a 7-2 deficit in the second period to take a 15-14 lead when Adam Zuder-Havens scored with 4:45 left in the game. The team had its final edge on a goal from Dan Carey to give the Knights the challenge to come back from 16-15 with 2:45 left.

With just 1:15 left in regulation, Beard used a spin move to get past a defender before his shot went past Mike Bringley to tie the score at 16.

But the hair-raising moment came within the final two minutes, when Essex goalie William Stadtler stonewalled three Herkimer attempts from Zuder-Havens, Kevin Walker and Ireland, from the right, left and the top.

"They made the biggest plays - we didn't do anything wrong," said Herkimer coach Scott Barnard. "He stones a kid at the finish. That happens, part of sports."

That put things into hands of Bishop, who struggled offensively in the same way he did against Nassau, with only a goal to show for his shots in regulation before taking control in overtime.

After Bishop won the faceoff, the original plan was to swing the ball some for a shot. Instead, the freshman midfielder was given the opportunity of a short-stick defender off a timeout and converted it roughly 20 seconds into the overtime, giving a tired team the title - and a chance to rest.

"That fourth quarter, I could barely run," said Beard, who had four goals. "I thought that I have one more quarter left, then you have all summer to rest."

CCBC-E 5 3 5 3 1 - 17

Herkimer 2 5 4 5 0 - 16

Goals: CCBCE-Beard 4, M. Wade 3, Kay 2, Bishop 2, Clark 2, Flood 2, A. Wade, Maynard; H-Zuder-Haven 4, Carey 4, Ireland 3, Mitchell 2, Adams, Butler, Walker. Assists: CCBC-E-Masimore 3, A. Wade 2, Beard, M. Wade, Kay, Clark, Carmack; H-Carey, Bateman, Woolshlager.

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