Westminster boys 'tougher' than No. 13 Mount St. Joseph in 15-7 win

Owls pull away with six of first seven goals in second half at Gaels' Easter Lax Day

March 30, 2013|By Rich Scherr, For The Baltimore Sun

Mount St. Joseph lacrosse coach Dave Slafkosky wasn't looking for cupcakes for his team's Easter Lax Day. Tough challenges, he thought, could only help his young squad heading into the core of its Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference schedule.

The No. 13 Gaels found more than they could handle in their opener Saturday against Westminster.

The Owls, who lost to South River in the Class 4A-3A state final last season, took 14 of the game's first 15 shots, getting four goals each from midfielder C.J. Nichols and attackman Ryan Drenner in a 15-7 win.

"Westminster ran by us and played tougher than us in every aspect," Slafkosky said.

Mount St. Joseph (7-2) rebounded in the second game with a 13-4 victory over South Carroll, a Class 2A-1A state finalist last season. Westminster, meanwhile, improved to 4-0 on the season with a 15-4 win over Bel Air (1-2). South Carroll (1-2), in its other game, beat St. Vincent Pallotti (3-2), 14-3.

On this day, however, it was the play of the Owls that stole the show at Mount St. Joseph.

Led by All-Carroll County faceoff specialist Travis Wunder, Westminster dominated play early against Mount St. Joseph, building a 5-1 lead, then shrugged off the Gaels' comeback attempt by scoring six of the first seven goals in the second half.

"Lacrosse is a game of momentum," Nichols said. "We've learned that the good way and the hard way. We always stress that we've got to get the momentum and put it on our side."

The Owls dominated time of possession, time and again turning Wunder's faceoff wins into easy chances at the offensive end, frequently finding attackmen wide open on the wing.

The Gaels, who got two goals each from midfielder Clay Kirby and attackman Jimmy Lucas, cut the lead to one near halftime when Lucas' hard shot ricocheted off Westminster goalkeeper Ryan Aler and teammate Johnny Norton put back the reboumd.

But once Westminster scored three straight goals to open the second half, the Gaels never again challenged.

"We're not built to go out and press people," Slafkosky said. "When you're down four or five goals, we had to try and go press a little bit, and I don't have the speed on defense to do that. That became evident when we went out against some of the Westminster guys who are pretty good athletes, and they just ran by us."

Mount St. Joseph had significantly less trouble against South Carroll, a team that Westminster edged in overtime, 12-11, to open the season.

The Gaels rolled to a 6-1 lead by halftime on goals from six different players, at times physically dominating the smaller Cavaliers. Eleven players scored for Mount St. Joseph, led by Norton and sophomore Nick Willertz (two each).

Michael LeClair also had a goal and three assists for the Gaels, who ended a two-game losing streak.

Boys lacrosse

Westminster 15, Mount St. Joseph 7

Goals: W-Nichols 4, Drenner 4, Hursey 2, McDonough 2, Uhlman 2, Davis; MSJ-Kirby 2, Lucas 2, Norton, LeClair, Gigliotti. Assists: W-Hursey 2, Uhlman, Drenner, Twery; MSJ: Carter 2, Altenburg. Saves: W-Aler 9; MSJ-Reymann 10. Half: Westminster, 5-4.

Mount St. Joseph 13, South Carroll 4

Goals: SC-McDermott 3, Styers; MSJ-Norton 2, Willertz 2, Reymann, Kirby, Lucas, B. Costabile, K. Costabile, Carter, Doan, Sears, Cesky. Assists: SC-McDermott; MSJ-Reymann 3, Norton, Lucus, K. Costabile. Saves: SC-Schoenfelder 8; MSJ-Reymann 8, Lawson 1. Half: Mount St. Joseph, 6-1.

Other scores

Westminster 15, Bel Air 4

South Carroll 14, St. Vincent Pallotti 3

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