Gilman's Lance Zimmerman said he was "shell-shocked" at halftime of yesterday's game with visiting Landon of Montgomery County. His top-ranked Greyhounds trailed by four goals, had lost nine of 10 faceoffs and seemed en route to their first loss of the season.
"But at halftime, coach Dave Allen asked [us] to dig deep, and, somehow, we got a second wind," Zimmerman said. "I honestly don't know where it came from, but we found some extra energy."
Gilman was a different, more emotional team in the second half, scoring six goals in the third period of an 11-10 victory before the nearly 3,000 screaming lacrosse fans who encircled the muddy field.
A 19-time Interscholastic Athletic Conference champion under 25th-year coach Rob Bordley (342 career wins), Landon brought a 28-game winning streak into yesterday's game.
The streak included victories in four of five games against Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference teams, the last of which came over Gilman, 9-7, at Landon last spring. Landon (9-1) is ranked No. 1 in the Washington area and was ranked No. 1 nationally during the preseason by Lacrosse magazine.
"There'd always been this Baltimore-New York rivalry, but then, here comes this D.C.-area team out of nowhere getting 'Ws' against our best teams," said two-time All-Metro Ryan Boyle. "Losing to them down there hurt our pride a little bit. We walked into the lion's den and got embarrassed."
The Greyhounds (11-0) were similarly battered by Landon's Mike Petrash, who dominated faceoffs before Zimmerman keyed the third-quarter charge by winning all three of his faceoffs and scoring two of his three goals for leads of 7-6 at 4: 20 and 8-6 at 2: 01.
Two-time All-Metro attackman Andrew Lucas scored the first three goals of the second half, including one from behind the back, and Gilman's J.D. Nelson won three of four third-period faceoffs.
Boyle assisted on Gilman's fifth, eighth and 11th goals and tied the game with an over-the-shoulder goal 7: 36 before the fourth period.
"They took it to us in the third quarter," said Landon defender Justin Duffie. "They controlled the ball, they controlled the faceoffs."
Gilman never trailed again after the third period, although Landon was within a goal on three occasions.
Gilman keeper Jay Pfeifer made seven of his 16 saves in the second period. Three of Pfeifer's second-quarter stops came when Gilman was down three men due to penalties.
"Lawson Grumbine, Franco Gould and Mike Rodgers were the three guys in there at that time, and we just packed it in, hoping to make them shoot from six yards or more, and I figured I could get those," Pfeifer said. "Coach [Brooks] Matthews really got on us at halftime, and I think that's what set us up for the second half."
Gilman's defense was even more aggressive in the fourth period.
Defender Rodgers assisted on the Greyhounds' 10th goal. Dave Taler stripped the ball from a player whose point-blank attempt would have tied the game. Pfeiffer made a kick save on another close-range shot.
Rob Lindsay assisted on Gilman's first goal for a 1-0 lead and scored the second for a 2-0 lead at 9: 47 of the first period. But Landon responded with six straight goals.