Boys’ Latin drops No. 5 St. Mary’s for another MIAA A lacrosse final four trip (VIDEO HERE!)

Boys’ Latin’s Matt Brandau (36) looks to get around St. Mary’s defender Will Tominovich during the first half of Friday’s MIAA A Conference lacrosse quarterfinal. The fourth-ranked Lakers pulled away from the No. 5 Saints in the second half for an 11-5 victory at J. Duncan Smith Field in Roland Park.

by Donald Daniels

Boys’ Latin School’s lacrosse seniors know their time together is fleeting. The fourth-ranked Lakers will play some more after a solid defensive performance propelling them to an 11-5 victory over fifth-ranked St. Mary’s in a MIAA A Conference quarterfinal at J. Duncan Smith Field.

“We just played for each other today. We know our time together is limited, so we’re just playing for extra time and we did an excellent job playing hard,” senior goalie Chris Brandau said.

Tuesday, Boys’ Latin will head to Johnny Unitas Stadium at Towson University to take on No. 1 McDonogh School. The Lakers will hope another strong performance will be enough to knock off the Eagles as the Boys’ Latin lost to McDonogh, 8-7, in the regular season.

“It’s always a great game and they are the No. 1 seed for a reason. So we’re going to do our best to relax, get our bodies back together and prepare for them come Tuesday,” Boys’ Latin coach Brian Farrell said. “The game we played here was excellent, so I think we’ll try to reproduce that effort and try to get a different result.”

Unlike their first meeting St. Mary’s (12-5) was able to get lead when Taylor Bohannan scored the lone goal in the first quarter after Jack Burnett feed Bohannan an assist from behind the goal.

Laker sophomore attackman Brendan Grimes and senior Basil Aburn had a hat trick and senior defenseman Michael Ubriaco came up with two goals and forced three turnovers. Brandau had 13 saves for Boys’ Latin his final home game as a Laker.

The Lakers flipped the script in second, senior Basil Aburn knotted a tally three minutes into the period to tie the game. Two minutes later Ubriaco intercepted a Saint pass streaked down the middle of the field, juked pass a Saint defender and slung in tally to give Boys’ Latin (13-4) the lead. Brendan Crouse added a goal at the 2 minute and 12 second mark to extend the Laker lead to 3-1.

Ten seconds later, St. Mary’s cut the deficit back down to one after securing the faceoff which led to Burnett dishing out his second assist to Garrett Nilsen. Grimes helped the Lakers regain their two-goal advantage as sliced through the Saint defense and fired in a goal from seven yards out on the right side with just under a minute before halftime.

In the second half, the Saints once again cut the Laker advantage down to one when Nielsen found Tristian Michie for a score three and a half minutes into the third quarter. Boys’ Latin answered the Michie score 29 seconds later when Grimes tallied his second goal of the day, beginnin   a 7-0 run that stretched into the four minute mark in the fourth quarter. Grimes would go on to pick up his third goal during the Laker run and Ubriaco scored off another turnover.

“We had some great performances from some senior guys,” Farrell said. “Chris Brandau was excellent in the goal again. Brenden Crouse is starting to play really well. Michael Ubriaco has brought a lot of heart and energy to our team right now and it was fun to watch these guys finish their last game here on Lake Avenue with a nice win.”

St. Mary’s couldn’t find a way to sneak a goal pass Brandau, going scorless for 17 minutes. The Saints had where able to generate quality shots, but Brandau came up point blank saves to protect the Laker lead. In the final four minutes the Saints tallied two scores, but the game was well in hand for the Lakers.

“Time of possession was critical, but their goalie [Brandau] came up big for Boys’ Latin today. If you make those saves, you’re going to win,” St. Mary’s coach Victor Lilly said. “The last two years we’ve been in the playoffs, so we’re headed in the right direction. We’ve just got to keep on grinding to get to that final four. It’s tough to do in this league.”

MIAA A Conference quarterfinal

No. 4 Boys’ Latin School 11, No. 5 St. Mary’s 5

St. Mary’s 1 1 1 2 – 5

Boys’ Latin 0 4 4 3 – 11

Goals: St. Mary’s – Bohannan 2, Ripley, Michie, Nielsen; Boys’ Latin – Grimes 3, Crouse, Ubriaco 2, Aburn 3, Caplin, Glatz.

Assists:. St. Mary’s – Nilsen, Burnett 2;  Boys’ Latin – M. Brandau 2, Smith 2, Crouse.

Saves: St. Mary’s – Fyock 6; Boys’ Latin – C. Brandau 13