No. 12 Friends stops John Carroll's streak

No. 11 Patriots had won 22 before 12-7 loss to Quakers

Boys lacrosse

High Schools

May 12, 2004|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

The Friends boys lacrosse team did not qualify for the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoffs, which start later this week, but the Quakers still had plenty of motivation in their season finale against visiting John Carroll.

Intent on making a statement to the top team in the B Conference and looking to send out their seniors on a winning note, the 12th-ranked Quakers downed No. 11 John Carroll, 12-7, yesterday, ending the Patriots' 22-game winning streak spanning the past two seasons.

"I think basically what it would've come down to [is] if we hadn't won this game, there would be questions in people's minds that maybe we don't belong in the A Conference," said junior goalie Rob Wheeler, who was sharp, making 16 saves. "We knew that they won the B Conference, but we wanted to show that there is a huge step from the B to the A Conference. It was definitely a statement game."

On a day in which they honored their 10 seniors, the Quakers (12-9) were led by a pair of juniors in downing the Patriots (14-1). Wheeler backed a tough defense that held John Carroll scoreless for the game's first 23:03.

Junior attackman Peter Whitney had a team-high three goals and four assists, including the first score in a game-opening five-goal run, which included two goals from senior attackman Colin Molloy.

"We really spread the ball around, and when we do that, we can be very effective," said Whitney.

Midfielder Randall Cooper added three goals for the Quakers, who never had any less than a four-goal lead after the 2:29 mark of the first quarter.

"The A Conference plays at a very fast level," said Friends head coach Rich Seiler. "John Carroll has a lot of talent and are a very capable team, but I think we are used to a little quicker pace especially in the goal and around the crease."

Normally dominant on groundballs, the Patriots lost the majority of them yesterday, but still closed to 10-6 on a bounce shot by junior attackman Brett Leppert (two goals, two assists) with 7:31 to play.

However, Friends put the game away, thanks to goals from Will Harrington and Whitney.

John Carroll opens its defense of the B Conference crown Tuesday as the top seed.

"We played a good three quarters, but they were the superior team today," said John Carroll coach Keith Hinder, whose team also got two goals from Dane Frank. "But we learned a lot from them. Our main goal is to win our conference, and games like this make you better."

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