Joe Benson provided the game-winner in sudden-death overtime to send the No. 3-ranked McDonogh Eagles past No. 1 Gilman, 8-7, and into the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference boys lacrosse championship game tomorrow.
But the standout junior was more interested in talking about the goal that gave him the chance - sophomore Travis Holmes' second of the game with 15 seconds left in regulation to draw the Eagles even in last night's semifinal at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field.
"Travis made a great play. He split a couple defenders, and I don't know how he hung on to the ball. But he did and then put it in there."
Then it took just 40 seconds into the first four-minute overtime period for Benson (three goals, one assist) to pounce on a loose ball in front and finish, giving the Eagles a third chance against Loyola - a 15-5 winner over Severn in the other semifinal - and a bid for its second conference title.
The championship game is set for 8 p.m. tomorrow at Hopkins. Loyola beat McDonogh twice during the regular season.
Gilman ended a scoring drought of more than 18 minutes when J. D. Nelson tied the score at 5 with 6:45 left in the third quarter. The Greyhounds then got consecutive goals from Justin Redd to claim the game's only two-goal lead.
Tyler Kelly cut Gilman's margin to 7-6 with 9:48 left, and then the Eagles had a couple of chances turned back before Holmes found the equalizer with 15 seconds left.
No. 2 Loyola 15, No. 4 Severn 5: The Dons (19-4) enjoyed a 9-0 run over two-plus quarters - exploding in the second half to come away with its third win in three tries against Severn (12-9) this season.
Andrew White scored four times and Phil Grillo added three goals and an assist to lead a Loyola attack that got goals from 10 players.
"We were hustling all over the field, getting ground balls and the goals followed," White said. "Our defense also did a real nice job holding down a good team like Severn."
The game resumed where it left off yesterday, before the thunder and lightning that suspended play Tuesday with 8:08 left in the first quarter and the score tied at 2.
After the Admirals got a goal from Todd MacMullen to take a 3-2 lead on the opening possession - coming with 6:56 left in the first quarter - Loyola kept the ball and the goals eventually followed.
Strong play in goal from Matt Larkin (17 saves) kept the Admirals close for a half, trailing 5-3 at intermission, but Loyola's speed in transition proved too much in the second half, with the Dons extending the lead to 11-3 into the fourth quarter.
Loyola 15, Severn 5
Goals: L - Tolson, White 4, Wagner, Grillo 3, Gallant, Rubeor, A. Rodgers, Cosgrove, Mulford, Lennon; S - Habeck 2, Houser, MacMullan, Jones. Assists: L - Burch, Gahan, Grillo, Gallant, Rubeor, Simms, Wagner; S - Wright, Biles. Saves: L - T. Rodgers 10; S - Larkin 17. Half: L, 5-3.
McDonogh 8, Gilman 7
Goals: G - Weinstein, Nelson 2, Wilson 2, Redd 2; M - Benson 3, Holmes 2, Prossner 2, Kelly. Assists: G - Finney, Wilson; M - Prossner, Holmes, Benson. Saves: G - Thomas 18; M - Bates 12. Half: M, 5-4.