Spalding rallies past St. Mary’s, takes sole possession of second in MIAA A lax; Weisshaar scores three goals (VIDEO HERE!)


Spalding’s Ryan Schrier (left) tries to work around St. Mary’s longstick Sam Palmisano during Thursday’s MIAA A Conference lacrosse contest. The Cavaliers ceased control in the second half for a 10-6 victory at Pascal Field in Annapolis.

by Nelson Coffin

Archbishop Spalding’s lacrosse team, which found itself in the rarefied air near the top of the MIAA A Conference before Thursday’s confrontation with St. Mary’s, climbed even higher up the league ladder after rallying past the Saints, 10-6, at sunny Pascal Field in Annapolis.

Just 48 hours after handling Calvert Hall College, the three-time reigning league champ, for the first time, the Cavaliers (9-2 overall, 7-2 MIAA A) posted their first win over their Anne Arundel County rival St. Mary’s since 2013, putting them on the verge of clinching the second seed for the upcoming playoffs.

It’s an unprecedented accomplishment for a program that has not hoisted a championship trophy since the 2002 Spalding squad completed a three-peat in the B Conference.

The manner in which the Cavaliers prevailed says a lot about their confidence level, considering that they spotted the Saints a 3-0 lead in the first quarter before unleashing an unrelenting comeback.

“We just didn’t continue to play with the same intensity that we started with,” St. Mary’s coach Victor Lilly said.

Lilly was referring to the early broadside his team fired at Spalding that featured goals by senior attackman Tyler Barnett and sophomore attackmen Nick Golini and Erik Chick.

After junior midfielder Michael Weisshaar answered for the Cavaliers, the Saints (6-2, 6-2 MIAA A) countered on a goal by junior Will Hopkins to craft a 4-1 advantage with just over a minute to go in the opening period.

Shortly thereafter, Spalding began to find its footing at both ends of the field and finished the game by scoring nine of the game’s final 11 goals to win in convincing fashion.

The Cavs’ defense especially displayed its stingy chops by allowing just a single goal over the next 33 minutes and 34 seconds, killing a 6-on-4 penalty and two other extra-man opportunities in the process.

“We have a lot of talented and rangy defensemen who get out on their (opponents),” Spalding coach Brian Phipps said. “We knew it was going to be a roller coaster ride and that we would just have to buckle our seat belts.”

Junior defenseman Alex Ross said that the defense regrouped after the Saints’ opening surge.

“We played a little bit of zone,” the Penn State University commit said. “But then we went back to man-to-man and we picked up the pace. That was working, so we stuck with it.”

Senior goalie Jake Oliver faulted himself for some of St. Mary’s goals.

“I was being a little too aggressive,” said Oliver, headed to Penn in the fall. “We went back to fundamentals, with heavy slides and getting on their hands.”

With the ‘D’ bearing down on the Saints, The Cavs tied the score by halftime on two more goals by Weisshaar (game-high three goals) and one by junior midfielder Nicholas Guiterrez.

St. Mary’s took its last lead — and notched its only goal during the long drought — on a tally by senior midfielder Will Brimhall.

Spalding then rattled off goals by senior attackman Finn Kelly, junior attackman Race Ripley and senior midfielder Josh Tang to bolt ahead, 7-5, by the end of the third quarter.

The Cavs moved further in front when Kelly and Ripley struck again to open a 9-5 gap midway through the final period.

Barnett rolled the crease to put a dent in the deficit that was quickly restored by Tang with 70 seconds left in regulation.

After reeling early, Spalding’s defense, featuring senior goalie Jake Oliver (left) and junior longstick Alex Ross, slowed down St. Mary’s offense Thursday afternoon. The Cavaliers scored 10 of the final 13 goals for their first victory over the Saints since 2013.

When senior Trey Fleece secured the final face-off, the game was over and Spalding was alone in second place.

“We’re earning respect,” said Phipps, whose team is ranked No. 4 in the nation by Inside Lacrosse. “With the new tournament format, this is where we wanted to get to.”

The Cavs can secure the No. 2 seed with a victory over Mount St. Joseph on Tuesday in Severn, the same day St. Mary’s tangles with traditional rival Severn.

“Let me be crystal clear about this,” Lilly said. “Severn School is our main rival and our biggest game will be next Tuesday.”

Archbishop Spalding 10, St. Mary’s 6

Goals: Spalding – Michael Weisshaar 3, Nick Guiterrez 2, Race Ripley 2, Josh Tang 2, Finn Kelly; St. Mary’s – Tyler Barnett 2, Will Brimhall, Erik Chick, Nick Golini, Will Hopkins

Assists: Spalding – Ripley; St. Mary’s – Hopkins

Saves: Spalding – Jake Oliver 7; St. Mary’s – Wes Schmidt 9

Spalding 2 2 3 3 – 10

St. Mary’s 4 0 1 1 – 6

by Nelson Coffin

Archbishop Spalding’s lacrosse team, which found itself in the rarefied air near the top of the MIAA A Conference before Thursday’s confrontation with St. Mary’s, climbed even higher up the league ladder after rallying past the Saints, 10-6, at sunny Pascal Field in Annapolis.

Just 48 hours after handling Calvert Hall College, the three-time reigning league champ, for the first time, the Cavaliers (9-2 overall, 7-2 MIAA A) posted their first win over their Anne Arundel County rival since 2013, putting them on the verge of clinching the second seed for the upcoming playoffs.

It’s an unprecedented accomplishment for a program that has not hoisted a championship trophy since the 2002 Spalding squad completed a three-peat in the B Conference.

The manner in which the Cavaliers prevailed says a lot about their confidence level, considering that they spotted the Saints a 3-0 lead in the first quarter before unleashing an unrelenting comeback.

“We just didn’t continue to play with the same intensity that we started with,” St. Mary’s coach Victor Lilly said.

Lilly was referring to the early broadside his team fired at Spalding that featured goals by senior attackman Tyler Barnett and sophomore attackmen Nick Golini and Erik Chick.

After junior midfielder Michael Weisshaar answered for the Cavaliers, the Saints (6-2, 6-2 MIAA A) countered on a goal by junior Will Hopkins to craft a 4-1 advantage with just over a minute to go in the opening period.

Shortly thereafter, Spalding began to find its footing at both ends of the field and finished the game by scoring nine of the game’s final 11 goals to win in convincing fashion.

The Cavs’ defense especially displayed its stingy chops by allowing just a single goal over the next 33 minutes and 34 seconds, killing a 6-on-4 penalty and two other extra-man opportunities in the process.

“We have a lot of talented and rangy defensemen who get out on their (opponents),” Spalding coach Brian Phipps said. “We knew it was going to be a roller coaster ride and that we would just have to buckle our seat belts.”

Junior defenseman Alex Ross said that the defense regrouped after the Saints’ opening surge.

“We played a little bit of zone,” the Penn State University commit said. “But then we went back to man-to-man and we picked up the pace. That was working, so we stuck with it.”

Senior goalie Jake Oliver faulted himself for some of St. Mary’s goals.

“I was being a little too aggressive,” said Oliver, headed to Penn in the fall. “We went back to fundamentals, with heavy slides and getting on their hands.”

With the ‘D’ bearing down on the Saints, The Cavs tied the score by halftime on two more goals by Weisshaar (game-high three goals) and one by junior midfielder Nicholas Guiterrez.

St. Mary’s took its last lead — and notched its only goal during the long drought — on a tally by senior midfielder Will Brimhall.

Spalding then rattled off goals by senior attackman Finn Kelly, junior attackman Race Ripley and senior midfielder Josh Tang to bolt ahead, 7-5, by the end of the third quarter.

The Cavs moved further in front when Kelly and Ripley struck again to open a 9-5 gap midway through the final period.

Barnett rolled the crease to put a dent in the deficit that was quickly restored by Tang with 70 seconds left in regulation.

When senior Trey Fleece secured the final face-off, the game was over and Spalding was alone in second place.

“We’re earning respect,” said Phipps, whose team is ranked No. 4 in the nation by Inside Lacrosse. “With the new tournament format, this is where we wanted to get to.”

The Cavs can secure the No. 2 seed with a victory over Mount St. Joseph on Tuesday in Severn, the same day St. Mary’s tangles with traditional rival Severn.

“Let me be crystal clear about this,” Lilly said. “Severn School is our main rival and our biggest game will be next Tuesday.”

Archbishop Spalding 10, St. Mary’s 6

Goals: Spalding – Michael Weisshaar 3, Nick Guiterrez 2, Race Ripley 2, Josh Tang 2, Finn Kelly; St. Mary’s – Tyler Barnett 2, Will Brimhall, Erik Chick, Nick Golini, Will Hopkins

Assists: Spalding – Ripley; St. Mary’s – Hopkins

Saves: Spalding – Jake Oliver 7; St. Mary’s – Wes Schmidt 9

Spalding 2 2 3 3 – 10

St. Mary’s 4 0 1 1 – 6