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After fifth straight loss, Gerstell boys lacrosse facing uphill battle in making most of spring season

All eight boys lacrosse teams in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association’s B Conference are bound for the postseason this spring amid their condensed season, but Gerstell Academy left its home field Tuesday afternoon knowing it needs to improve quickly in order to enjoy some success over the final two weeks.

The Falcons were beaten by Park School 17-7 and lost for the fifth time in as many games, likely making their 2-1 start to the spring feel like it happened eons ago. Leading scorer Drew Huber, one of three seniors on Gerstell’s roster, had a game-high five goals to fuel the offense.

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Three of them came in the fourth quarter, however, after Park (1-3) led by as many as 13 goals.

Huber said “the effort we’re putting into practice and preparation for games” has been subpar. “During the game, we’re just not prepared,” he added. “We’re not in the game mindset that we need to be in. We’re not performing correctly.”

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Gerstell Academy's Kade Arnold passes the ball during the second half of the Falcons' 17-7 loss to Park in Finksburg Tuesday, April 27, 2021.
Gerstell Academy's Kade Arnold passes the ball during the second half of the Falcons' 17-7 loss to Park in Finksburg Tuesday, April 27, 2021. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

Huber, who had three goals and two assists for Gerstell (2-6) last week in a 12-6 loss to Glenelg Country School, scored the first goal in Tuesday’s contest. Park responded with six consecutive goals, and the Bruins led 7-2 at halftime.

They also won eight face-offs in the first half, which led to scoring chances for top gunners Jonah Friedman and Noah Heller. Friedman, a senior, and Heller, a sophomore, had four goals apiece, and Friedman added three assists.

Park coach Josh Davey had the luxury of playing a handful of reserves late in the game. Meanwhile, Bruins senior Jacob Peres shined in goal with 13 saves.

Alex Pristoop added a goal and an assist for Gerstell, Braden Hammond also scored, and goalie Dawson Hoar collected seven saves. Falcons coach Mike Flemming said his team has displayed its share of effort despite the string of losses, but Tuesday’s game was a bit of an exception.

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Gerstell Academy's Jackson Graham passes the ball while covered by drives downfield while covered by Park's Nicholas Hilsee and Charlie Applefeld during the first half of the Falcons' 17-7 loss to Park in Finksburg Tuesday, April 27, 2021.
Gerstell Academy's Jackson Graham passes the ball while covered by drives downfield while covered by Park's Nicholas Hilsee and Charlie Applefeld during the first half of the Falcons' 17-7 loss to Park in Finksburg Tuesday, April 27, 2021. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

“It’s the youth and inexperience,” Flemming said. “We have playing out there at any given time, four or five freshmen [and] a couple of sophomores. We only have the three seniors ... the big thing is, we’ve seen tremendous growth from them throughout the season. But a day like today is disappointing, because this was a team that we should compete with.”

Kade Arnold, Huber, and Marcel Luckie were honored before Tuesday’s game in a Senior Day ceremony that was soured with the Park School victory. Gerstell has Friends and Archbishop Curley, the top two teams in MIAA B play this spring, remaining in its conference schedule before entering the playoffs.

“I definitely believe that we can turn it around and start picking ourselves up, end up getting a win,” Huber said.

Goals: P-Jonah Friedman 4, Noah Heller 4, Skyler Redmond-Noel 2, Alden Pickering 2, Alex Zuk 2, Gregory Mann 2, Ryan Adams; G-Drew Huber 5, Braden Hammond, Alex Pristoop

Assists: P-Friedman 3, Heller 2, Zuk 2, Will Peres 2, Adams; G-Pristoop, Marcel Luckie

Saves: P-13 (Jacob Peres); G-7 (Dawson Hoar)

Halftime: Park, 7-2

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