On Wednesday, Noah Gerstmyer was bed-ridden and dehydrated as a result of working with a landscape company, "cutting down trees in the heat" as part of his senior project.
Yesterday, the Boys' Latin midfielder again braved sweltering temperatures, on Towson University's Astroturf field at Minnegan Stadium. This time, he scored a goal and helped the No. 2 Lakers chop down third-ranked St. Paul's and faceoff-man extraordinaire Jack deVilliers in a 10-9 Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference semifinal victory.
The Lakers (16-3) face top-ranked Gilman (15-1), an 11-8 winner over Loyola, next Saturday at Towson for the title. Boys' Latin edged Gilman, 9-6, last week.
Against St. Paul's, Dan Berger had two goals and two assists, and Dan Lamonica, one goal and two assists in a game that was tied nine times, and, during which neither team led by more than a goal. Phil McKnight and Brian Nee scored twice each for the Lakers, with Nee's game-winner coming with 2:51 to play.
But as coach Bob Shriver said, "We won the game by winning the faceoffs battle. That kid [deVilliers] is the best there is, but we got the better of him today."
DeVilliers entered the day widely recongnized as Maryland's undisputed, king of faceoffs, having won nearly 90 percent overall, and 11 of 14 in the Crusaders' regular-season, 9-8, overtime victory at Boys' Latin.
Yesterday, however, Washington College-bound Gerstmyer won six, and Grevey, eight against six for deVilliers, whose team lost 14 of 22 draws."We wanted to jam him up, let the ball roll out to the wings and let our guys sweep it up," said Gerstmyer, whose one-on-one goal put the Lakers up 4-3 with 8:48 left in the half.
Boys' Latin's wing middies, Jason Holman, Mitch Hendler and John Gallagher, set the tempo as the Lakers won seven of nine faceoffs in the first half, which translated to a 6-5 lead"Jack stuck it to us the last time," Grevey said. "But we wanted to come out and prove how much we believe in ourselves."
Grant Halford had five goals and an assist, and deVilliers, two goals and one assist for St. Paul's, which had its final lead, 5-4, with 4:21 left in the first half. But Lakers' defenders Chris Brown and Matt O' Malley limited Brendan Gill and Conor Ford to a combined one goal and two assists.
Lamonica was troubled in the 9-8 loss by the Crusaders' defense, which yesterday was without starter Geoff Hunter for disciplinary reasons.
Lamonica was contained yesterday by St. Paul's defender Charlie Conkling, who practiced all week against coach Tim Whiteley, a former Virginia star and All-Metro Player of the Year who emulated Lamonica."Charlie did a nice job, but our game is built on possessing the ball," said St. Paul's coach Mitch Whiteley. "Today, we didn't do that and we were out of sync in other areas like with clears."
In Gilman's victory, Lance Zimmerman scored five goals, had one assist and won three faceoffs against Loyola. Ryan Boyle added three goals and had three assists.
Loyola (12-7) was led by Owen Mulford and Phil Grillo with two goals each, Mike McNamara and Devin Weatherly with two assists each, and Brian Miller (one goal, one assist).
Zimmerman keyed a 14-8 advantage in faceoffs, with Boland (one goal, one assist) winning four faceoffs, and J.D. Nelson taking six. Loyola was ahead 9-8, with 5:32 left to play before Zimmerman scored twice in the game's final 31 seconds for the margin of victory.
Loyola keeper Trae Rodgers (20 saves) thwarted five of Gilman's first seven shots.
Annapolis Area Christian School 16, Park 8: Junior attackman Alex Bitzer had a game-high seven points on five goals and two assists to lead the Eagles (12-3) over the Bruins in the MIAA B semifinal.
Glenelg Country 17, Chapelgate 4: Elliott Hoke scored five goals to extend his league-leading points total to 65 as Glenelg Country won an MIAA C semifinal.