The difference between the area's No. 1 team, Boys' Latin, and the state's consensus top public school team, Hereford, turned out to be fairly significant on Thursday.
The Lakers, also ranked No. 1 nationally, was better in every phase and got a three-goal, eight-assist performance from All-Metro first-team senior attackman Shack Stanwick, seven goals from senior Colin Chell and a dominating effort from senior faceoff specialist Hunter Moreland to come away with a 14-5 win over the host Bulls.
"They've been playing together for a lot of years," Boys' Latin coach Bob Shriver said of Stanwick and Chell. "They play club ball together and they've played at BL for three years. Colin has a great knack of getting open obviously, and Shack has a great knack for finding people. ... and Colin is good enough to find the seams for Shack to get him the ball."
Boys' Latin, last year's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference runner-up, improved to 5-0 this season. No. 7 Hereford, which won its sixth straight Class 3A-2A state title last season, fell to 1-1.
The Lakers started practicing earlier and have played three more games than the Bulls, and their crisper play showed that.
But it was Hereford that got off to the fast start, getting a big save from senor goalie Brock Turnbaugh (10 saves) a goal from senior midfielder Adam Ceribelli to take a 1-0 lead 2:13 into the first quarter.
Boys' Latin was quick to respond. Moreland, who won the game's first 11 draws, cleanly won his second of the game, raced up field and found Chell to tie the game eight seconds later.
Stanwick, who was in control throughout the game, scored his first two goals on consecutive possessions that took less than one minute to give the Lakers a 3-1 lead they never relinquished.
Hereford cut the lead to 3-2 midway through the first quarter, but the Lakers scored five straight goals — Stanwick accounting for four assists and a goal in the run — to pull away.
After the Bulls scored the final goal of the first half and first of the second half, closing within 8-4 early in the third quarter, the Lakers responded with consecutive goals — Chell from Stanwick on both — to lead 10-4 after three quarters.
Chell then scored on Stanwick feeds on two consecutive goals to start the fourth quarter.
1 Boys' Latin 14, 7 Hereford 5
Goals: BL – Chell 7, Stanwick 3, Spencer 2, Moyer, Wisnauskas;
H – Ceribelli 2, Lewis , Ashwood, Popowski.
Assists: BL – Moreland, Stanwick 8, Moyer;
H – Ashwood 3.
Saves: BL – Pezzula 2 ; H – Turnbaugh 10.
Half: BL, 8-3