St. Paul's star attackman Mikey Wynne painfully watched visiting McDonogh score three quick goals while he was serving a one-minute penalty for a high check on Friday.
It gave the No. 2 Eagles a five-goal advantage and seemingly control of the game midway through the third quarter. Fortunately for Wynne, there was still time left to make amends.
And did he ever.
The All-Metro senior scored three of his game-high five goals and added an assist when the No. 5 Crusaders scored the game's final eight goals to come away with an improbable, 12-9 win over McDonogh in Brooklandville.
Wynne had plenty of help, including 14 saves by junior goalie AJ Barretto.
After Barretto stopped a point-blank shot from Eagles midfielder Brinton Valis with 6:29 left, senior midfielder BJ Mattheiss scored 18 seconds later to give the Crusaders their first lead, 10-9.
Wynne scored his fifth goal with an inside roll to provide insurance and Henry Riehl iced the win with a goal in the last minute.
The ups and downs in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference were on full display in Brooklandville. St. Paul's (7-4) was coming off a 9-8 loss to No. 6 Gilman on Tuesday and things didn't look good on Friday.
McDonogh (9-2) appeared poised to go to 3-0 in league play before Friday's late collapse puts the team at 2-1. The Crusaders improved to 2-1.
"That was a heartbreaker," Wynne said. "Gilman is a great team, we felt we had a really good shot at them and we fell a little short. So, it's great to come back and get a big win like this going into other MIAA games."
"But, like coach [Rick Brocato] said, it's just one game in a very tough season, a very tough schedule — so, MIAA lacrosse, anything can happen, just keep on chipping."
The Eagles were controlling faceoffs, getting strong play in goal from Jacob Stover, and Robert Clark assisted on four goals by Trey McGee to help build a 9-4 lead late in the third quarter.
But Brocato's team chipped away, getting a goal from Carter Flaig to end the Eagles' string of five straight goals before Wynne scored two straight to pull within 9-7 going into the fourth quarter.
At the start of the fourth, Flaig scored his second of the game and then Jack Pollard tied the game at 9 when he scored a man-advantage goal with 8:08 to play.
McDonogh coach Andy Hilgartner described the tough ending as a "major collapse," but is confident his team will rebound.
"The great thing about playing in this league — with the ups and downs — if there's one thing it's going to prepare our guys for, it's life," Hilgartner said. "It's going to prepare our guys when they leave McDonogh and go on to college and life beyond. Life is ups and downs and that's what this game was.
"What we just said to the guys after the game was this was going to be a true test of our character with how we come back as a team. But what I really appreciate about our team is the character of our guys on and off the field is very strong, so I have no doubt we'll come back from this game."
5 St. Paul's 12, 2 McDonogh 9
Goals: M – Austin 2, McGee 4, Medghalchi, Clark, Valis;
SP – Mattheiss 2, Witzler. Wynne 5, Flaig 2, Pollard, Riehl
Assists: M – Young, Clark 4, Austin;
SP – Anderson 3, Pearl, Flaig, Sheehan, Wynne.
Saves: M – Stover 8;
SP – Baretto 14.
Half: M, 3-2Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun