After holding the Darrell-Ehrhardt Alumni Cup in pictures with his Boys’ Latin School lacrosse teammates in the middle of Tullai Field following the Lakers’ victory over St. Paul’s School Tuesday afternoon, Luke Shilling poignantly summed up the moment.
“This game means more than just a win for us, it’s the BL/St. Paul’s rivalry,” said Shilling. “We’re playing not only for ourselves but everybody that wore this jersey before us.”
On a stunningly beautiful afternoon, Laker Nation beamed with pride as the 2017 squad claimed a 10-9 victory over the fifth-ranked Crusaders in the 100th meeting between the area private programs in front of a huge audience in Brooklandville.
Senior Greg Ey and Koby Russell each scored two goals for Boys’ Latin (13-5 overall, 7-2 MIAA A), and Shilling added a goal and four assists. Logan Posner finished with a game-high four goals for St. Paul’s.
The Lakers overcame an early three-goal deficit, getting a goal from Russell with 8 minutes, 38 seconds left in regulation for the game-winner. The victory secures the No. 2 seed for Boys’ Latin and a bye into the MIAA A final four Monday evening at Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood Field.
It was the 22nd one-goal decision in the rivalry that defines the nation’s toughest boys’ lacrosse league. The Lakers now have a 51-48-1 lead in the series that started in 1933.
“You couldn’t ask for anything for better – the weather, the atmosphere and the people involved. It’s such a wonderful experience,” said Boys’ Latin coach Brian Farrell, a 2006 alum and star defensemen for BL and the University of Maryland.
It was even sweeter for the Lakers, who snapped a two-game losing streak. The Lake Avenue school answered the bell after St. Paul’s established a 3-0 first quarter advantage.
“I thought our guys were relentless all day,” said Farrell.
“We really needed this win,” said Ey. “We really wanted to be off Friday.”
Ey, a senior captain bound to Penn State in the fall, put the Lakers on track to Friday’s off-day, scoring unassisted following a BL timeout. Ey’s second tally, with two minutes left in the quarter, pulled the Lakers even.
“We were struggling a little bit on the offensive end, but soon as we got on a roll, we got the key points,” said Ey.
With BL trailing 6-4 in the second, Shilling answered. He scored off a pass from freshman Brendan Grimes and flipped a no-look pass to junior Konner Caplin, who put his shot past Crusaders standout goalie Alex Rode to draw the Lakers even at six at halftime.
The Lakers upped the advantage to 8-6 in the third quarter as Shilling provided helpers to Reagan McNemar and Grimes. St. Paul’s battled back, tying the game at nine on sophomore Logan Zimnoch’s unassisted tally with 34.8 seconds remaining in the third.
Russell, one of 12 seniors, got a pass from Shilling and put the ball high past Rode, for the lead. Matt Brandau and junior Basil Aburn also scored for the Lakers, who lost to Calvert Hall College and Gilman School last week.
Though it was pivotal in the playoff picture for BL, Shilling said the St. Paul’s match has much greater signifiance.
“I know it’s a long season, but this game has been on our schedule all year,” said Shilling, whose team has won seven of eight since St. Paul’s defeated the Lakers in the 2010 league final at Towson University. “We’ve had this in the back of our minds all year.”
Senior Keegan Pearl had a goal and four assists for St. Paul’s, and Zimnoch finished with two goals and an assist. The Crusaders had an opportunity to tie in the final minute, but Posner had a shot go wide and he and Jack Brocato had attempts hit off the post.
St. Paul’s coach Rick Brocato, coaching his final regular season game Tuesday, said the BL/St. Paul’s rivalry is indescribable.
“I don’t think I can really put into words, I’ve been trying for so long to put it into words, It’s such a special rivallry and special game – this is what I’m going to miss,” said Brocato. “Two teams going to toe-to-toe that have a lot of respect for each other that want to beat each other in between the lines – that’s high school sports.”
The Crusaders (14-5, 5-4 MIAA A) have the No. 4 seed in the MIAA A tournament and will host No. 5 seed Loyola Blakefield Friday afternoon at Tullai Field. McDonogh has the No. 3 seed and will host sixth-seeded St. Mary’s Friday.
The Lakers will get the McDonogh/St. Mary’s survivor Monday at Homewood Field. Boys’ Latin lost in the final to McDonogh last May.
“We got to get guys back to square one. We’re certainly not going to take days off, but we do want to enjoy the time together,” said Farrell. “You really want to fight for a bye and these kids have earned it.”
No. 3 Boys’ Latin School 10, No. 5 St. Paul’s School 9
Goals: Boys’ Latin – Ey, 2, Russell 2, Aburn, M. Brandau, Caplin, Grimes, McNemar, Shilling; St. Paul’s – Posner 4, Zimnoch 2, Barthelme, Cabral, Pearl
Assists: Boys’ Latin – Shilling 4, M. Brandau; St. Paul’s – Pearl 4, Barthelme, Zimnoch
Saves: Boys’ Latin – C. Brandau 9; St. Paul’s Rode 5
Boys’ Latin 3 3 3 1 – 10
St. Paul’s 4 2 3 0 – 9