In a game in which neither team made many mistakes, an attempt to flip the ball to Calvert Hall junior attackman Timmy Kelly in overtime afforded Gilman senior defensemen Chase Campbell the opportunity he needed to force a turnover.
About 30 seconds after Campbell checked the ball from Kelly's stick, the ill-advised exchange came back to haunt the No. 5 Cardinals when Gilman senior Tyler Ruhl converted a perfect feed from fellow attackman Andy Matthews to give the No. 6 Greyhounds an 11-10 victory in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference quarterfinal Friday afternoon in Roland Park.
The win avenged Gilman's 9-7 loss to Calvert Hall (13-6, 5-5 conference) late last month and advanced the third seeds to a conference semifinal on Tuesday at Towson University against No. 2 St. Paul's, which earned a first-round bye as the second seed.
The Cardinals, who claimed the 2012 title and were semifinalists a year ago, were eliminated from the postseason after rallying from a two-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime.
Both goals came on extra-man opportunities, with Kelly stuffing in a rebound from a scrum in front of the crease and junior attackman Jason Brown rifling in a feed from from freshman attackman J.T. Bugliosi with 5:25 remaining in regulation.
Calvert Hall then killed a non-releasable, one-minute penalty to keep the tie intact and force overtime.
In overtime, junior specialist Ryan Powers claimed his 17th faceoff of the game to give the Cardinals a possession that eventually went awry.
"On that play, our defense was very composed," said Gilman coach Brooks Matthews, a teammate of Calvert Hall coach Bryan Kelly at North Carolina. "We didn't extend too far, and Chase made a great play on the flip. We did it all in OT. We played defense, we got a ground ball — we were composed to the end."
Ruhl's goal came after Matthews alertly saw that Ruhl was free from the right wing, about 10 yards to the left of Greyhounds sophomore goalie Joe McSorley. The Notre Dame-bound star ripped the shot to set off a wild celebration.
"We had a little mixup there on our [defensive] rotation," Bryan Kelly said. "Sometimes, things like that happen. But I thought we would come in here and battle, and we did."
Ruhl said that Andy Matthews was "kind enough to get me the ball" after noticing hesitation by the Calvert Hall defense.
"Andy saw a defender slough off of me," said Ruhl, who added that the Greyhounds (11-6, 7-3) practiced for the Cardinals' zone defensive alignment.
Gilman jumped to an early 2-0 lead on two goals by senior attackman Chase Wittich before the visitors evened the score on goals by Brown and freshman midfielder Omari DeBerry.
That pattern repeated itself throughout the game, beginning with the Greyhounds spurting ahead on Matthews' first goal and Brown netting the equalizer to end the first period, 3-3.
The Greyhounds jumped back on top in the second quarter and established a 7-5 lead early in the third period before the Cardinals knotted the score again on goals by sophomore attackman Jack Kinnear and Kelly.
Ruhl's left-handed rocket hopped over McSorley's shoulder to give the Greyhounds a 10-8 cushion with 6:24 to go before the Cardinals fought back yet again.
"We thought we had a shot to win it," Bryan Kelly said. "We did a lot of growing up this year and we were good enough to be here."
No. 6 Gilman 11, No. 5 Calvert Hall 10
Goals: CH-Fanshaw, Kinnear 2, Brown 3, Kelly 2, DeBerry 2 G-Wittich 3, Ruhl 3, Matthews 2, Brown, McBride, Gemma
Assists: CH-Bugliosi 2, Kelly G-Ruhl 2, Matthews, Brown, McBride
Saves: CH-McSorley 12 G-Lee 8
Half: G 6-5Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun