Ian Vickery's 27th goal of the season, with 25 seconds left, lifted Poly to a 9-8 win over visiting 4A-2A City League rival Forest Park yesterday.
The victory -- Poly's second over the Foresters -- guarantees the Engineers (10-2, 10-2) a berth in this weekend's 4A-3A Region I boys lacrosse playoffs. The loss could cost Forest Park (10-2, 10-2) its top seed in 2A-1A Region II.
The game's result also forces a three-way tie with 4A-2A rival City, which twice defeated Poly.
Although the Engineers were out-shot, 35-28, yesterday, goalie Jeff Renner (16 saves) continually thwarted the Foresters. He stopped five of Forest Park's first six fourth-period shots, all point-blank.
"I just kept stopping their one-on-ones," Renner said. "Then our offense took up the slack."
The ending resembled the Engineers' earlier 8-7 win over the Foresters, when Seung Lee's 27th goal of the year, with 1:42 left, ended Forest Park's 16-game winning streak.
"It was my play to just cut and shoot," said Vickery, who roll-dodged a defender. "The guy overplayed me on the right, so I just went left and did it."
Unlike the previous game, in which the Engineers had an early
three-goal lead, yesterday's contest was tied at 2 after a period, and at 4 for the half.
"We dropped the ball too much and weren't making our clears," said Poly's James Wisniewski, whose three goals raised his scoring to 25 goals, 15 assists. "We usually come back in the second half."
Forest Park outscored the Engineers 3-0 over the first 3:02 of the third period on goals by Dathan Jones (10, 16), Keith Fatherly (21, three) and Ronald Foster (44, seven). Fatherly and Foster scored three times in the game, and teammate Pierre Ford scored once.
But in a quarter when Poly was outshot 8-0 early on and 12-5 overall, Lee (31, eight) made it 7-5 with 2:06 left.
On a one-minute, unreleasable penalty, man-advantage goals by Poly's Mica Hartman and Morrison Wheeler tied the game at 7.
Just 14 seconds later, Foster came from behind the net for an unassisted goal that put the Foresters up 8-7, but Wisniewski tied the game at 8 with 1:04 left.
"We just had a mental letdown," Foster said. "We gave our all, but you've got to give it to Poly -- they're a great team."