Carter leads a third quarter surge that paves the way to a 15-13 victory over AACS
by Dave Larkin
Sophomore attackman Samuel Carter scored three consecutive third quarter goals to spark Indian Creek School to a thrilling comeback victory as they finished off their Anne Arundel County neighbors, Annapolis Area Christian School, 15-13, to capture the 2018 MIAA C Conference lacrosse championship, Friday afternoon at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium.
Carter accounted for seven goals and three assists, and senior attackman Langston Sheppard contributed four goals and an assist for Indian Creek. The two schools split their two regular season games, and it looked like AACS was going to run away with the championship as they dominated the first half and led 11-6 halfway through the third quarter.
Senior attackman Jay Jenkins scored a team-high six goals and had three assists, and junior midfielder John-Gaga Collier netted four goals and added two assists, but it was not enough to hold off ICS.
Indian Creek (14-5) crept within two after three quarters and pulled even in the decisive fourth quarter, behind goals by Sheppard and Carter, before bursting in front when senior midfielder Sam Homick found a wide open senior Michael Troese who tickled the twine with a right-handed rocket from 15 yards out.
Indian Creek head coach Jason Werner was asked what he said to his team at halftime. “I told them that a couple of bounces didn’t go our way, and if we just kept after it, a three-goal deficit is nothing, and some of those bounces might go our way. One good play snowballed into three or four, and the next thing you know we are up by two and hoisting the trophy. It’s fantastic.”
Carter gave credit to Indian Creek’s senior leadership for the comeback.
“With all the seniors, they were making people keep their heads up the whole time and never thinking we were going to lose. A couple goals and the whole team started going with it.”
When asked what his team’s late season win over AACS (14-4) meant Carter responded, “A lot. We lost by 10 the first game and I felt like that brought a lot of our confidence down and, when we beat them at the end of the regular season, that brought a lot of it.”
Coach Werner reflected on all of the hard work his team put in to turn the season around.
“This has been the most fulfilling season coaching wise. We are a different team than we were in March. Getting a nice win over Beth Tfiloh last week and winning in double overtime against Annapolis Area the week before, we knew we could come and challenge for a championship.
“I didn’t even know we were down six goals,” Werner said of the ICS comeback. “I just knew we needed to play better. Some guys put the team on their backs and Sammy wasn’t going to be denied.”
AACS first-year head coach Bob Sturgell, although not happy with the outcome, had high praise for his young team and their two seniors Jay Jenkins and Cole Vazquez.
“It’s been a pretty emotional season for the team. We’re very young with only two seniors, and they played their hearts out today. Vazquez and Jenkins had great games for us today. We had some rough patches in the beginning of the season, and our goal was to get here, and that’s what we did.”
The Indian Creek faithful erupted with joy when their team finally went on top in the fourth, but the lead proved to be short-lived, as Jenkins fed sophomore attackman Mason Fortlage who tied the game at 13-13 with 7:22 remaining.
The game-winner came quite unexpectedly when Hornick gobbled up a loose ground ball right in front of the crease and deposited an underhand quick-stick with 6:32 left in the game.
Indian Creek fended off several assaults by AACS, played a few minutes of “keep away,” and Carter provided the icing on the cake with his seventh and final goal with just 51 seconds remaining.
MIAA C CONFERENCE LACROSSE CHAMPIONSHIP
(AT Johnny Unitas Stadium, Towson University)
INDIAN CREEK 15, ANNAPOLIS AREA CHRISTIAN 13
AACS 2 5 5 1 -1 13
ICS 2 2 6 5 — 11
GOALS: AACS-Jay Jenkins 6, John Cage-Collier 4, Ben Sturgell 2, Mason Fortlage; ICS-Samuel Carer 7, Langston Sheppard 4, Sam Homick 2, Michael Troese, Jonah Amin.
ASSISTS: AACS-Jay Jenkins 3, Ben Sturgell 3, John Cage-Collier 2; AACS-Samuel Carter 3, Sam Homick 3, Jonah Amin, Ronan Fanning, Langston Sheppard, Michael Troese.
SAVES: AACS-Cole Vazquez 16; ICS-Shaun Gerety 5.
SHOTS: Indian Creek, 53-28.
GROUND BALLS: Indian Creek, 46-34.
FACE-OFFS: Annapolis Area Christian, 17-15.