After his team’s 15-14 victory over Severn School Tuesday afternoon, Gilman School lacrosse coach Brooks Matthews admitted it was the kind of game the Greyhounds would’ve lost a year ago.
“We didn’t believe last year and this year it’s different,” said Matthews. “Our seniors have us believing.”
The Greyhounds (8-4 overall) were resilient in the final minutes of regulation, improving to 3-2 in the nation’s toughest high school boys’ lacrosse league. Austin Hudson paced the Roland Park schoool with three goals and two assists and Johnny Shapiro scored two goals to go with an assist.
Leading 15-11 at the start of the fourth, Gilman needed a stop from goalie Sam Tirone with two seconds remaining in regulation to celebrate victory. The Greyhounds went just 3-13 last spring.
“We really struggled last year,” said Hudson, whose team lost to Severn in last year’s league opener.
“We’re getting better and it’s fun to watch that,” said Matthews. “It’s a long season and you’re going to have highs and lows. You want to make sure you’re staying at it and getting better.”
Matthews was impressed with his defensive unit that had a clean sheet Tuesday after drawing 11 flags in Saturday’s victory over Mount St. Joseph. The unit, featuring Hank Bethel, Sam Cosimano, Xander Martin, Sawyer Lynch, Sam Jeppi, Taylor Cashman and Jack Stuzin, created several groundballs on Severn’s offensive end in the fourth quarter.
“We came together in the fourth quarter,” said Bethel, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound sophomore. “We cleared balls and shook up the attacks and middies.”
Trailing 10-9 early in the third quarter, Gilman scored three unanswered goals to grab the lead. The Greyhounds opened up a 15-11 advantage on Jonathon Hazlehurst’s goal with 10:25 remaining in regulation. Severn scored the next three goals, including scores from Lamon and Ben Bedard, just 23 seconds apart, pulling the hosts to within a score with 72 seconds left in regulation.
Jake Brummett won the ensuing faceoff for Gilman. Severn longstick Charlie Marculiwetz checked the ball out of Wade Oursler’s stick, giving the Admirals an opportunity with about 23 seconds left.
Charlie Olmert’s attempt was corralled by Tirone with five seconds remaining. Tirone finished with eight saves.
Mike Lamon scored four goals for Severn (9-7), and Dylan Gergar added three goals and two assists. At 0-5 in the league, the Admirals, who reached the MIAA A final four at Johns Hopkins University last spring, face nearly impossible odds of qualifying for the postseason tournament which starts in a couple of weeks.
Severn coach Jamie McNealey again saw his team play tough, but fall short.
“We’re talented. The pieces are there, but it’s not coming together,” said McNealey, whose team welcomes No. 1 Calvert Hall College Friday afternoon. “There’s still four games left and right now, it’s not about the playoffs, but whether we can get better everyday and get some wins.”
Will Godine and Piper Bond each scored twice for Gilman, and Oursler had one goal and two assists. Dylan Bird, William Demuth, Douglas Godine, Billy Spilman and Hazlehurst each scored once and Jeremy Cranston had a pair of assists and Ronald Fisher III had one assist.
Gilman is tied for fourth with reigning champ McDonogh School and St. Paul’s School. The Greyhounds head to Brooklandville Friday for a key match with the No. 6 Crusaders.
“We got a lot of experience last year and those guys really believe when they step on the field they can win,” said Matthews. “People can say it but believing is different and our guys believe they can win.”
No. 8 Gilman School 15, No. 9 Severn School 14
Goals: Gilman – Hudson 3, Sharpiro 2, Godine 2, Bond 2, Bird, Demuth, D. Godine, Spilman, Hazlehurst; Severn – Lamon 4, Bedard 3, Gergar 3, Olmert 2, Mandish 2
Assists: Gilman – Hudson 2, Oursler 2, Cranston 2, Hazlehurst; Severn – Gergar 2, Olmert, Volk, Mandish
Saves: Gilman – Tirone 8; Severn – Emmons 6
Gilman 6 2 6 1 – 15
Severn 3 4 4 3 – 14