Quick start pushes Gilman lacrosse past Archbishop Spalding

Gilman's starting unit came to play early against Archbishop Spalding in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference battle on a balmy Friday afternoon in Roland Park.

Coupled with the fact that the Greyhound reserves showcased a strong finishing kick, the result was an impressive 14-6 victory over the Cavaliers.

"We push each other in practice very day," said Gilman senior midfielder Mac Hanson, who scored his first two goals of the year against Spalding. "We give 100 percent effort, and it's good to see all that hard work pay off."

Hanson wasn't the only backup to make a name for himself in the victory.

Junior longstick middie Kevin Walker's performance also caught the eye of Gilman coach Brooks Matthews.

"He was making good checks and picking the ball off the ground," Matthews said.

Others seniors who shined coming off the bench were midfielders Tyler Wakefield and Jordan Wagman and attackmen Jack Harris and Peter Awalt.

"We were hoping for this kind of outcome," Matthews said. "We wanted to get off to a good start, and we did that."

Did they ever.

The Greyhounds (5-3, 2-1 conference) scored on four consecutive — and six of their first eight — shots to build a 6-1 bulge with 4:29 left in the opening period. 

Attackman Andy Matthews opened the scoring by converting fellow senior Peter Brown's feed 47 seconds after the opening face-off. Junior midfielder Charlie DeMuth, senior midfielders Jett Ratcliffe and William McBride and senior attackmen Chase Wittich and Tyler Ruhl inflicted the other early damage for the Greyhounds against junior goalie Justin Bell and the beleaguered Cavalier defense. 

When Andrew Dirks took over between the pipes for Spalding (6-6, 0-3) in the second quarter, the senior net minder at least slowed Gilman's roll by totaling a dozen saves.

Even so, the Greyhounds' 5-0 run in the third quarter gave them a 13-3 advantage and allowed them to start emptying the bench, giving players like Hanson, Awalt, Wakefield, Harris and Wagman quality game experience.

"We always want to play all of our guys," Matthews said. "A lot of those guys don't get to play much, but we always want them to be prepared to play. They were prepared, and I'm proud of them. They make us better."

The coach was also proud of the Greyhounds' dominance in scooping more than twice as many ground balls (33-15) than their opponent.

Playing on Gilman's old-school field with clumpy grass is an art form the Cavaliers obviously haven't mastered.

"It takes some getting used to," Matthews said, whose school also boasts a turf field like most of his A Conference rivals.

The other area that Gilman owned was the face-off "x," with seniors Tom Riley, Coleman Tirone and Ratcliffe and junior Zach Cohen in a rotation that collected 17 of 24 draws.

All in all, it was a day the home team enjoyed and should have it raring to go for a trip to play Fallston on Saturday morning in Harford County.

"I think we're headed in the right direction," Matthews said. "In this league, you have to be in the right place to take the right shots, and, today, we got ourselves to great spots."


Goals: AS-Zepko 2, Melendez, P. Cooper, Hirschman, Reilly   G-Hanson 2, Ruhl 2, Matthews 2, DeMuth 2, Awalt, Wittich, Brown, McBride, Gemma, Ratcliffe

Assists: AS-Reilly  G-Ruhl 2, Wagman, Brown, McBride, Matthews

Saves: AS-Bell 3, Dirks 12  G-Shmerler 4, Lee 2

Half: G 8-3

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