St. Paul's Gavin Llewellyn, left, pushes away Georgetown… (Steve Ruark, Baltimore…)
If Tuesday's fourth quarter against visiting Georgetown Prep is any indication, the No. 2 St. Paul's boys lacrosse team is poised to begin defense of its Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship.
With junior Spencer Parks taking over in the game's final four minutes, scoring three unanswered goals, the Crusaders were able to get past Georgetown Prep, 11-8, in their final game before league play.
After a season-opening loss to Haverford (Pa.), the Crusaders have won four straight, with their league opener set for Friday at Severn.
After squandering two three-goal leads in the first half and trailing 8-7 going into the fourth quarter, the Crusaders picked up their play at both ends to pull out the win. After junior Gavin Llewellyn tied the game at 8 with 7:20 to play, Parks, who had two assists earlier, created opportunities and made the most of them in the deciding minutes.
"At halftime, coach [Rick Brocato] gave us a big speech. He told us big players need to step up at the big times, and I just had some opportunities, so I took them," said Parks, who also gave credit to the team's defense, led by a 15-save performance from senior goalie Gunnar Waldt.
St. Paul's senior Robby Maddux finished with three goals and an assist, while senior Jay Carlson added two goals and two assists. It all helped offset a five-goal, one-assist performance from Georgetown Prep's Bobby Gribbin.
Leading 6-3 with 3:01 to play in the first half, the Crusaders gave up three unanswered goals to go into the break tied. The Hoyas (3-1) twice took one-goal leads in the third quarter before St. Paul's rallied in the character-building fourth quarter.
"Will Ridgely came in and did a great job on the faceoffs for us and got some big ground balls; Spencer Parks wanted the ball in his stick; and Gunnar Waldt, what can you say about the kid, he made huge saves when the game was on the line, and that's what great goalies do," said Brocato.
"We always play [Georgetown Prep] leading into our league schedule because they expose us for everything and it gives us that feel of league early on, so we're in it right now — there's no doubt about it."
2 St. Paul's 11, Georgetown Prep 8
Goals: GP -- Gribbin 5, Giblin, Sheehan, Dobyns; SP – Parks 3, Maddux 3, Carlson 2, Llewellyn, Gutberlet, Land
Assists: GP – Giblin 2, Williams, Gribbin, Dobyns; SP – Parks 2, Carlson 2, Maddux, Land, Gutberlet.
Saves: GP – Martin 8; SP – Waldt 15.