The race is on and here comes defending champion Boys' Latin, charging down the stretch.
The Lakers jumped right into the middle of a three-team battle for the MIAA B Conference regular-season championship yesterday with a 1-0 victory over St. Mary's at Boys' Latin.
The Lakers scored the game-winner on a nifty header by Todd Ulrich off a perfect feed into the box by Ian Shure 5:10 into the second half.
Third-place Boys' Latin (7-5-2 overall) improved its league record to 7-2-2 (16 points) and trails co-leaders St. Mary's (9-2-2 overall) and St. Paul's (both 8-2-1 for 17 points) by only one point with three league games left.
St. Paul's lost to Severn in overtime, 1-0, yesterday when Court Creeden scored on a header.
In the Boys' Latin game, the physical tone was set for the day midway through the first half when the Lakers' David Rose and St. Mary's Justin Wells each went up strong for a ball and banged heads in mid-air.
Rose, the Lakers' top scoring threat, received a gash over his left eye and was taken to the hospital for stitches. Wells, a standout sweeper, incurred a cut on his head but returned to play briefly in the second half.
When Rose went to the sideline, both teams were playing without their big scorers.
St. Mary's right wing Chris Chriswell watched the entire game in street clothes because he had received a red card last Friday in a 1-0 sudden-death win over Friends. Chriswell has eight goals ++ and seven assists this season.
Boys' Latin coach Butch Maisel said the key to the game was tenacity. "We didn't give up when we lost David Rose," he said. "He's our best player and means a whole lot to us, but Matt Thanner and Rob Sappe came in as replacements and did a super job."
The Saints were hit with four yellow cards, including two to
sophomore halfback Adam Shiley, who was ejected from the game.
"Things just seem to happen like that when we come up here to play," said St. Mary's coach Jamie McNealey.