Ripley scores three times to lead St. Mary’s to a 9-8, come-from-behind, MIAA A lax win at Boys’ Latin

by Dave Larkin

The St. Mary’s boys lacrosse team called on their senior captains to lead them back from several two and three goal deficits as the visiting Saints rallied for a 9-8 MIAA A Conference victory over Boys’ Latin School on a beautiful spring day in North Baltimore on Tuesday afternoon.

Boys’ Latin raced out to an early 3-0 lead after first quarter goals by sophomore attackmen Garrett Glatz and Riar Schell, and standout freshman attackman Dominick Pietramala. St. Mary’s countered with goals by senior attackman Ian Kramph (1G) and junior middie Allen Hockenberry (2G, 1A). Glatz tallied his second of three goals on the day with eight seconds left in the first quarter to give the Lakers a 4-2 lead.

The Saints from Annapolis outscored Boys’ Latin 4-3 in the second quarter but still trailed 7-5 at the half. That’s when St. Mary’s head coach Victor Lilly turned to his core of talented and seasoned seniors to save the day.

“We asked our captains to step up and play the way that they can play, and that’s what they did,” said Lilly. “We asked them to do a gut-check to see where they’re at. Those guys responded and played well.”

Some half-time defensive adjustments turned out to be crucial for the Saints as they shut out Boys’ Latin in the third quarter and well into the fourth.

“They were burning us with their cutters in the first half,” said senior midfielder Scout Ripley (3G). “We tightened up and played more bookends instead of chasing them all over the field. On the offensive side, we subbed out our D much faster and that gave us more time to run our offense.”

Senior attackman Garrett Nilson (2G, 1A) was key for the 2nd-ranked Saints in the second half as he stole a Laker clearing pass, and rifled it home to cut the Lakers’ lead to 7-6 with mere seconds elapsed in the third quarter.

Ripley then drove to the goal from the left side of the crease and deposited the ball into the five-hole to square the match at 7-7. Nilson gave the Saints their first lead of the game, at 8-7, when he unleashed a rocket from 10 yards, with 2:25 left in the third. Boys’ Latin had their best scoring opportunity late in third quarter when senior attackman Cam Spencer found himself all alone in front of an open cage, but the junior goalie Westin Schmidt made a miraculous save for the Saints with the butt end of his stick. Schmidt had a stellar second half and finished with 10 saves.

Ripley scored his third and final goal of the game with an unassisted missile that tickled the twine with only 59.8 seconds remaining. The two-goal lead turned out to be critical when the Lakers’ junior middie Cole Erickson scored on a fast break with 48.1 left. The fired-up Saints sealed the deal when senior face-off specialist Jack Kerr won the final face-off and St Mary’s played keep-away as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

Coach Lilly was pleased with his team’s effort which put the Saints at 5-1 in the country’s deepest and most talented league.

“BL is a darned good squad, so this was important today,” said Lilly. “Driving up to North Baltimore on a Tuesday afternoon is no fun. We get no love on Lake Avenue. We have to park far away, carry all the water buckets and gear. Bobby Shriver (the Lakers long-time coach who retired after the 2016 season) built this place that way I think.”

St. Mary’s, which improved to 5-1 in the league and 8-4 overall, will return to action next Tuesday when it has an even longer road trip to John Carroll.

The Lakers fell to 3-2 in the league and 7-4 overall. They host Severn School next Tuesday.