Brendan Gill's goal with 3: 05 left in overtime lifted third-ranked St. Paul's to a come-from-behind, 9-8 victory at fifth-ranked Boys' Latin yesterday in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference action.
Brandon Childs, who had an assist on the winning goal, played a major role in the second half of a muddy, rain-soaked game that was tied five times -- three times in the third period.
At 9: 56 of the third period, the unheralded senior assisted Ben Cusson for a 6-5 lead, the Crusaders' first of a game they trailed by as much as 4-1. Childs also converted a pass from Gill for an 8-7 lead with 5: 63 to play.
But Childs was just one of many heroes for St. Paul's (7-2) before about 2,000 who endured the inclement weather.
Boys' Latin (6-3) took its three-goal lead at 9: 29 of the second period, scoring on four of its first six shots. The scores came from Dan Lamonica, Dan Berger, Jeremy Fried and Chris Conkling.
But the Crusaders responded to assistant coach Ben Strutt's sideline pleas for intensity, scoring three times over a 50-second span for a 4-4 tie with 2: 41 left in the half.
Gill sandwiched assists on the Crusaders' second and fourth goals -- by Grant Halford and Ethan Haire -- around the first of two goals by Conor Ford. Midfielder Jack deVilliers won four of five faceoffs during that stretch (11-of- 14 for the game).
In a physical game, DeVilliers got off the ground several times to make plays after being leveled. "Their guys didn't make it easy," said deVilliers. "You have to keep going after it because winning faceoffs, that's what's going to give you the momentum."
St. Paul's junior Geoff Hunter shadowed Lamonica (two goals, one assist), a two-time All-Metro attackman, as part of a defense that included Ben Bartlett, Pat Connelly, Charlie Conkling -- Chris' twin -- and keeper Paul Spellman (eight saves).
"He's a great player, so I just tried to force him to his off-hand, his left hand, not let him stand behind the goal and get the easy feeds," said Hunter, who earlier limited Gilman's Ryan Boyle to one assist.
Brian Nee's 40-yard goal beat the halftime buzzer to make it 5-4, Boys' Latin. But after deVilliers tied the game at 5 with the first goal of the second half, the Crusaders never trailed again.
Berger led all scorers with three goals, tying the game at 7 entering the fourth period, and at 8 with 3: 67 left in regulation.
Boys' Latin was outshot more than 2-to-1 (39-17) for the game, but got a yeoman effort from goalkeeper Ryan Lafferty (17 saves) to stay in it. Lafferty made six stops during a third-period stretch when the Lakers were outshot 8-0.
And during the waning moments of regulation, Lafferty stopped two shots during an extra-man situation for St. Paul's, and later, cradled blistering shots by Halford (with 25 seconds left) and Pat Connelly (: 02 to go).
"If we don't hit the pipe on the one shot [by Nee], we're up 5-1 with a lot of momentum," said coach Bob Shriver, whose Lakers beat No. 2 Loyola, 8-7, in overtime Tuesday. "But that kid at the midfield stripe [deVilliers] is good for 11 or 12 good possessions a game, which is a dimension no one else has."