A classic MIAA A Conference lacrosse playoff battle, Friday between No. 7 Calvert Hall and No. 2 Gilman, ended in a flash as Gilman’s Tyler Ruhl ripped a low whistling shot, from the right wing, lifting the host Greyhounds to an 11-10 overtime win over the young and gutty Cardinals, in Roland Park.
The win advances Gilman to Tuesday’s MIAA A Conference semifinal double-header at Towson University. Top-ranked Boys’ Latin will face No. 4 McDonogh in the first semifinal, at 5:00 p.m., and Gilman will square off with No. 3 St. Paul’s at 7:30 p.m. McDonogh also advanced on Friday with an 11-6 quarterfinal win over No. 6 St. Mary’s.
Ruhl’s game-winner, which came with 2:01 to play in the extra session, was assisted by Andy Matthews as the pair combined for four goals and three assists on the day. Matthews fed Ruhl from the back of the box and the senior attackman cranked a knee-high blast past Cardinal goalkeeper Joe McSorley, sending the Gilman student-body streaming onto the field to join the celebration.
“I saw a defender kind of sluff down towards Andy and we had a two-on-one on the back side, so I just called ‘one more’ to Andy and he was nice enough to feed it to me and I was fortunate enough to get a goal,” said Ruhl in describing the game-winner.
Calvert Hall’s Ryan Powers, who won the face-off battle most of the day, got the draw to start overtime, but the Cardinals never settled into their offense and eventually turned the ball over. Gilman also had a turnover in the overtime, but came up with the ball after Calvert Hall was unable to clear its next possession from the defensive end.
With 2:21 to go, Gilman coach Brooks Matthews called a timeout and, shortly after the break, Ruhl and Matthews team upped to end the drama.
“MIAA A Conference playoffs, this is what you get. You get great teams, well coached kids playing very hard,” said Coach Matthews. “We’re honored to be a part of this kind of game; lucky to have a home game and (I’m) just proud of our guys because everything we got today we earned.”
Gilman led 9-8 after three quarters and Ruhl gave the Grehounds a two goal advantage with an unassisted score with 6:24 to go in the fourth quarter. The young Cardinals, however, battled back to tie with a pair of extra-man scores.
With 5:35 to go, junior Timmy Kelly gathered a rebound off the post, from a Braden Atkinson shot, and quickly buried it into the net for his second goal of the day. Then, with 2:52 left in regulation, junior Jason Brown converted a pass from freshman JT Bugliosi to knot the contest at 10-10.
The third quarter was also tight, as the teams combined for three scores in the first two minutes. Wittich, from Ruhl, put Gilman on the bored first, but Jason Brown and Kelly scored for the Cardinals to tie the game at seven. It remained tied until the period moved under five minutes, when Gilman scored the two times to move in front, 9-7. William McBride got the first Greyhound tally in the second half, with an assist from Peter Brown, and Andrew Gemma got the other, unassisted, with 31.7 seconds to go in the quarter. Calvert Hall, however, kept the pressure on Gilman, when Omari Berry scored his second goal of the day, with just 9.4 seconds remaining in the quarrier.
Gilman jumped on top just nine seconds into the game when Tom Riley won the draw, quickly advanced the ball upfield to Ruhl, who whipped a pass inside to Chase Wittich, who finished. Wittich, who finished with three goals and an assist, scored again, unassisted, less than two minutes later, and the Greyhounds looked like they might get on an early roll. Calvert Hall, however, feeding off of Powers’ 16-6 advantage on face-offs, settled down and climbed back into the contest.
Jason Brown put the Cardinals on the board when he followed up a rebound of a Berry shot off the pipe, with 8:20 to go in the opening quarter. Berry then tied the game with an unassisted goal, with 5:39 left in the first. Before the quarter ended, Matthews got his first goal for Gilman and Jason Brown, with an assist from Bugliosi, scored again for the Cardinals.
Gilman, which never trailed in the game, opened the second quarter with goals from PeterBrown and Chase Campbell and, later in the period, Matthews scored with an assist from Ruhl. Calvert Hall scored twice in the second quarter, with goals from Michael Fanshaw and Jack Kinnear.
Both goalkeepers came up big, especially Calvert Hall’s Joe McSorley, who had several point blank stops among his 11 saves. Gilman’s Fitz Lee had 10 stops against Calvert Hall, which held a 32-27 edge in shots.
“We fought hard,” said Calvert Hall head coach Bryan Kelly. “We’re just a very young offensive team. I think they have grown up all year. I don’t think anyone ever thought we would be here, when you look how young our team is.”
Kelly also praised the Greyhounds.
“You have got to give Gilman credit. They are a senior heavy team, very old and experienced team. For us to come in and battle, I am very proud of our kids.
MIAA A CONFERENCE LACROSSE QUARTERFINALS
NO. 2 GILMAN 11, NO. 7 CALVERT HALL 10, OT
CH 3 2 3 2 0 — 10
GIL 3 3 3 1 1 — 11
Goals: CH-Brown 3, DeBerry 2, Kelly 2, Kinnear 2, Fanshaw 1; GIL-Wittich 3, Ruhl 2, Matthews 2, Brown 1, Campbell 1, McBride 1, Gemma 1.
Assists: CH-Bugliosi 2, Kelly; GIL-Ruhl 2, Wittich 1, Matthes 1, Brown 1.
Saves: CH-McSorley 11; GIL-Lee 10.
Shots: Calvert Hall, 32-27.
Faceoffs: Calvert Hall, 16-5.