The Baltimore boys all-star team struggled against the heat and the spirited Midwest All-Stars in the opening day of the underclassmen games in the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic at sweltering Towson University on Friday afternoon.
Baltimore prevailed, 11-10, in a game that was every bit as close as the score indicated, getting a key groundball from longstick midfielder Tyler Mayes (Calvert Hall) to gain possession in the final minute and then running out the clock.
Temperatures threatening the triple-digit mark under an unrelenting sun presented both teams with additional challenges.
Baltimore coach Josh Hatmaker (Glenelg High) said he implemented "ice hockey-type line changes" to keep his players as fresh as possible in the blistering conditions.
Even with that tactic, one of the Baltimore middies, Johnny Kelly (Calvert Hall), showed signs of heat exhaustion and left the game in the first half for good.
Kelly was taken to an air-conditioned building in order to recover while his teammates finally grabbed the lead for good on a goal by midfielder Ben Pridemore (Boys' Latin) on a feed from attackman Michael LeClair (Mt. St. Joseph) with :01 remaining in the third quarter.
Leading, 8-7, the locals then rattled off two more quick goals by attackman Jordan Geremerhausen (Calvert Hall) and middie Tal Bruno (BL) to surge ahead, 10-7. Geremerhausen then answered a score by the Midwest to maintain a three-goal advantage with less than five minutes to go.
But the Midwest rallied on goals by midfielder Tanner Barco (Dublin Jerome, Ohio) and attackman Pierre Byrne (Culver Academies, Ill.) to close the deficit again.
"We made too many mental mistakes to beat a team as good as the Baltimore team," Midwest coach A.J. Auld (Dublin Jerome) said. "When you make a mistake against a team that good, they make you pay."
The Baltimore girls were on the opposite side of the competitive coin, pounding New Jersey, 17-3 after building an 8-1 halftime advantage.
Despite the heat, Baltimore goalies Caroline Federico (Maryvale) and Haley Hicklen (Towson) barely had to break a sweat in splitting time and four saves in the runaway victory.
"It was great to see the kids come together the way they did," Baltimore coach Krystin Porcella (John Carroll) said. "Our attack was nice and balanced. We're not quite a team yet, but we're getting there."
Veteran official Sue Diffenderfer shrugged off the heat, saying that in her 30 years of officiating the sport, this is not the worst weather she has ever encountered.
"It's June and it's Baltimore.......that's what happens here," she said, allowing that her only concession to the elements was the wet towel she draped around her neck.
Boys game results
Goals: (B)-Bruno 1, Pridemore 2, Stanwick 1, LeClair 1, Germerhausen 2, Drenner 1, Frederick 2, Mayer 1; (M)-Bano 1, Barco 1, Collison 2, Dutkanych 2, King 1, McGinley 2, Byrne 1.
Assists (B)-Diehl 1, LeClair 1, Geremerhausen 1, Bedard 1; (M)- Bano 1, Nuefeldt 2, O'Loughlin 1.
Saves (B)-Doyle 2, Cunningham 3; (M)-Burgdorf 4, Russert 2.
Girls game results
Goals: (B)-Torggler 2, Jablonski 1, M. Haggerty 2, Reese 1, Danko 1, Whittle 3, Wells 1, Valis 2, Stukenberg 2, Snouffer 2; (NJ)-Carr 2, Wiesse 1.
Assists (B)-Jablonski 1, Whittle 1, Burgess 1; (NJ)- Perrotta 1.
Saves (B)-Hicklen 2, Federico 2; (NJ)-Brown 5, Glynn 4.
Half: B, 8-1Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun