A couple of weeks back, when his top-ranked Boys' Latin lacrosse team struggled in a one-goal victory at No. 5 Calvert Hall, the Lakers' All-Metro senior attackman Greg Patchak was sidelined with a knee injury.
Calvert Hall, ranked No. 2, was the opponent again yesterday. And while others stepped up -- Ian Shure (two goals, two assists), David Ulrich (three assists), Aaron Vercollone, Kip Edwards and defender John Glatzel (all three with one goal, one assist) -- there was no doubt Patchak's presence made a huge difference.
The Duke-bound attackman scored two goals, assisted on three and played well off the ball as the top-ranked Lakers (11-0 overall) improved to 3-0 in Division I of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletics Association A Conference with a 13-4 rout of the Cardinals (6-3, 1-2).
Patchak attended Calvert Hall as a sophomore.
"It was really tough watching the last game on that field, but today, I didn't focus on that. It was more about the chemistry on this team than anything," said Patchak, who had 48 goals and 48 assists for 96 total points last year -- all single-season school records -- when he earned All-Baltimore City/County Player of the Year honors.
Patchak (29 goals, 15 assists this year) has 12 goals and seven assists since his return from a two-game absence.
And during that time, the Lakers have steamrolled, by an average score of 18-5, top-notch opponents such as No. 6 St. Mary's, last year's league champ with a 17-0 record, No. 3 Gilman and Landon of Montgomery County, ranked No. 1 in The Washington Post.
"It's a team game, and we've got so many talented players on this team, that it's going to be very hard to key on any one of them," said Boys' Latin coach Bob Shriver, whose Lakers had assists on 12 of 13 goals yesterday. "As a team, we've gotten considerably better, and there's no question about it, Greg helps immensely."
Glatzel, headed for Syracuse, keeper Brian Berger (10 saves), headed for the University of Denver, and defenders Nick Breslin, Tommy Nee, David Rose and Lance Davison, did an excellent job collaring Calvert Hall's go-to players, Brett Wagner (two goals) and All-Metro Tom Tamberrino (one goal). Tamberrino did not score his only goal, the Cardinals' last, until he got an extra-man opportunity in the third period.
Cardinals' keeper Beret Dickson (22 saves), who is headed for Brown, made it tough on the Lakers, along with defenders Jesse Radebaugh, David Rongione and particularly Chris Stebbings, whose attention to Patchak limited him to just one goal and one assist in the first half.
But it was Patchak's effort off the ball that impressed yesterday.
While Stebbings played him tough -- "He kept his stick tight, under my chestpad" -- Patchak set a pick on a defender to set up the Lakers' first goal, by Ryan Mollett off an assist from Vercollone 10 seconds into the game. Patchak assisted Tom Glatzel for a 2-0 lead, and scored, off an assist from Glatzel, to make it 3-0 heading into the second quarter.
"Collectively, we played great defense overall and just cleared the ball well, so I was able to get a couple of opportunities," John Glatzel said. "But when Greg's out there, defenses have to respect him. And that just opens things up for Ian, Tom [Glatzel] or Aaron."
Calvert Hall pulled to within 7-2 by halftime, and was within 7-3 when Wagner ripped one from 10 yards past Berger with 9: 30 left in the third period.
But the Lakers went on a 5-1 run that included goals by Kip Edwards, Patchak, Vercollone and Holt Hopkins -- with two assists from Patchak -- for a 12-4 lead with 2: 14 to play.
Patchak blocked an outlet pass attempt by Dickson that helped set up the 12th goal, by Mark Krastel on an assist from David Ulrich. Ulrich fed Krastel after digging up the ground ball that resulted from Patchak's interception.
"Every time we'd score a goal, we couldn't keep the momentum. They seemed to do something to take it back, mostly on unsettled situations," said Dickson, whose defense limited Boys' Latin to one goal in its eight extra-man opportunities. "They were better this time. It seems like they're a whole lot better when he's [Patchak] in there.
Pub Date: 4/20/97