Despite rally by No. 3 St. Mary's, No. 1 Gilman prevails, 12-11, in MIAA 'A' lacrosse opener

April 04, 2009|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Baltimore Sun

Top-ranked Gilman relies on its talented midfield to set the tone at both ends of the field, and Friday in its Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference opener, that unit and its defense made just enough plays to help the Greyhounds survive a late, spirited rally by No. 3 St. Mary's.

Marcus Holman and Davey Emala each scored three goals and visiting Gilman escaped with a 12-11 victory after leading by five goals heading into the fourth quarter. Holman said the Greyhounds (4-0) are determined to bounce back from last season's defeat to Loyola in the MIAA title game, Gilman's only loss of the season.

"St. Mary's is a very tough team, it was a great crowd, and we were just happy to get out of here with the win," said Holman, who will play for North Carolina next season.

J.P. Coombe led St. Mary's with four goals.

The teams played almost even statistically, with each side winning 24 faceoffs. St. Mary's (6-1) won more ground balls, 39-37, and outshot Gilman 38-30. Both goalies, Gilman's Conor McGee and St. Mary's Dominick Lamolinara (12 saves), had several stops from close range.

Gilman led 10-5 at the end of the third quarter, but St. Mary's continued to press. Coombe added his third and fourth goals early in the fourth quarter, and two goals by Nick Doub cut Gilman's lead to 11-9 with 5:49 left. Neill Lewnes pulled St. Mary's to within a goal with 4:34 remaining. Emala responded for Gilman before Lewnes closed out the scoring for the Saints.

"Both teams are very talented, and we are similar teams to a certain extent," Gilman coach Brooks Matthews said. "We both like to run up and down and make some plays. Whichever team was getting the ground balls was keeping possession, and that was the key."

Gilman opened a 2-0 first-quarter lead on goals by Holman. The Saints had nine shots on goal in the first quarter but couldn't get any past McGee.

The Greyhounds controlled the tempo with their quick transition that runs through the midfield. Emala's goal increased the Greyhounds' lead to three in the second quarter, then Cooper Brown scored even though the Greyhounds had two players serving penalties.

The Saints woke up, cutting the margin to one on goals by Mark McNeill, John Hogan and Coombe in a span of 1:52. After a timeout, the Greyhounds answered the rally on goals by Jack Doyle, Holman and Conor Doyle, giving the Greyhounds a 7-3 lead at the half.

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