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Indian Creek boys lacrosse edges Glenelg Country, 13-12, for program’s first MIAA B Conference win

The Indian Creek boys lacrosse team celebrates after beating Glenelg Country, 13-12, in Ellicott City on Tuesday for the program's first MIAA B Conference win.
The Indian Creek boys lacrosse team celebrates after beating Glenelg Country, 13-12, in Ellicott City on Tuesday for the program's first MIAA B Conference win. (Tim Schwartz / Capital Gazette)

Indian Creek earned the right to move up from the lower Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference before the 2020 season after the Eagles were runners-up in 2019 and champions of the league in 2018 for a third time in five years.

The pandemic had other plans for Indian Creek, however. Its inaugural season in the more competitive MIAA B Conference was wiped out when the school canceled the 2020 spring season.

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It was worth the wait. On Tuesday, the Eagles notched their first MIAA B Conference win in school history, a rollercoaster 13-12 victory at Glenelg Country School in Ellicott City.

“We knew that nothing would come easy to us in the B [Conference],” Indian Creek coach Jason Werner said. “But that’s what we really wanted, to embrace it. Playing in a one-goal game in the fourth quarter is something that I embrace as a coach and I want our players and ultimately the program to get used to and just be in those moments. … We feel making that jump that we would get that opportunity week in and week out.”

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Junior Will Mercer led the Eagles with five goals, including the go-ahead goal with 7:32 remaining that was part of a 6-1 run, and sophomore Benny Carter netted four goals, the last of which proved to be the difference in the game.

That scoring duo has been a theme for Indian Creek (5-1 overall, 1-1 MIAA B). Carter and Mercer combined for 10 goals in a 19-13 loss to Archbishop Curley on Friday and nine in a 14-6 win versus Gunston March 30.

“They’re both extremely coachable and just very smart lacrosse players,” Werner said. “They’re crafty, they know how and when to pick their spots, so it’s kind of like having two coaches out on the field, so to speak, who can run the offense. And if they see something they like, I have all the trust in the world in them to make plays. … It’s kind of nice having two guys you can green light and just let go play.”

Carter’s final strike with 2:39 remaining put Indian Creek ahead 13-11, and a delay of game gave the Eagles possession following the goal. But when Dragons (0-2, 0-2) got the ball they quickly answered with a goal by freshman Charlie Reid with 49 seconds remaining.

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The Dragons won the ensuing faceoff and senior Connor Malone, who scored a team-high four goals, all in the first half, ripped a shot off the post with less than 30 seconds to go. Another shot soon after sailed wide, and Glenelg Country couldn’t get a shot on goal in the final six seconds when it regained possession.

It was a valiant effort for the short-handed Dragons. They only have 17 players on the roster, and throughout the game different guys raced to the sidelines to exchange short sticks for long poles, or vice versa, to play on both ends of the field.

“We don’t have a ton of guys but the guys that we have are really good teammates and they play hard and the understand their ability and they play within themselves. Although our numbers aren’t huge, we have the right players in place to make the plays that we need to make,” Glenelg Country coach Kevin Boland said. “Some of our issues just with those numbers come with guys just running out of gas at the end.”

The Dragons huffed and puffed late as their gas tanks neared empty. After battling back and going on a 6-0 run in the second quarter to take a 7-6 lead and then scoring the first three goals in the second half to take a 10-7 advantage, Glenelg Country couldn’t sustain the momentum.

Mercer and Carter buried goals back-to-back to cut the deficit to one, and Nick Stroble netted his second goal of the contest early in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 11. The scoring duo then put the game just out of reach.

The Eagles scored the first four goals and held a 6-2 lead early in the second quarter as they took advantage of numerous Glenelg Country penalties by scoring three times on the extra-man offense. Malone then buried three shots as the Dragons rallied to eventually tie the game at seven by halftime and take a three-goal lead after an 8-1 run.

“We were down but we weren’t necessarily out,” said Werner, who noted his team has enjoyed fast starts in several games this season. “We just had to make a couple plays. Win a faceoff, pick up a ground ball, finish a shot and get the momentum going, and we ultimately did that to start the fourth quarter.”

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