Expectations are high this spring for Westminster’s boys lacrosse team, even with what looks to be a challenging regular-season schedule.
The Owls dropped their opener at Mount St. Joseph 10-7 on Tuesday, despite a strong defensive stand anchored by sophomore goalie Logan Covey. The game was rescheduled from last week in the aftermath of Winter Storm Toby that resulted in closed schools and canceled practices and games.
Westminster’s slate includes DeMatha, another private-school foe, along with non-Carroll County Athletic League opponents Kent Island, Fallston, C. Milton Wright, and Damascus, mixed in with the CCAL portion of the spring.
Sophomore midfielder Conner Covey, Logan’s twin, led with three goals in the Owls’ loss. Logan Covey had an impressive debut in goal with 11 saves coming off an injured freshman season.
Alec Kozlowski, a senior attackman, scored twice, and junior midfielder Christian Etchison added a goal and an assist.
“It was a good game, a tough loss, but we’ll bounce back in the next game,” Logan Covey said. “We played good on ‘D’ and played good on offense and it was a good game all around.”
Members of both teams are quite familiar with one another within the lacrosse community, Owls coach Steve DeFeo said. Their familiarity comes from club and indoor teams that are generally played during the summer and fall.
The level of talent on both ends of the field was quite evident as the two teams exchanged goals back and forth through much of the first half. The Gaels made it 3-3 with a goal on the man-up advantage early in the second half, but the Owls were quick to respond on a connection between Kozlowski and junior Chase Buckwalter.
The Gaels netted two more goals with an advantage to give them a 6-4 lead. Prior to the start of the second half, one of the Owls assistant coaches told his players it was time to “get hungry.”
There were no goals scored through the first seven minutes of the third quarter until junior attackman Bubba Love’s goal trimmed the deficit 6-5 with 5:13 left in the quarter. Etchison dialed in with a tally about three minutes later that tied the teams 6-6, sending the Owls’ sideline into a frenzy.
The Owls called a time out shortly after Kyle DeCrispino netted his second goal early in the final quarter. Covey picked up the hat trick with abut five minutes left to play, but the Gaels would take advantage of the game’s final minutes with three straight scores.
“It’s good to be out with the guys and I’m very much looking forward to this year, looking forward to the season ahead as well,” DeFeo said. “We have 13 games to go, plus playoffs ahead so there’s so much to learn from today and gain that valuable game experience and just move forward with it.”
The Covey brothers aren’t the only underclassmen making an early name for themselves. The Owls’ roster is sprinkled with freshmen and sophomores with experience and DeFeo said it not only benefits the program now, but for the future.
Kozlowski remembers those times, and now he gets to help mentor the team’s new talent.
“It’s awesome really because I was a freshman once too on varsity and that was scary and everything was scary,” Kozlowski said. “It was really fun to come along with the team. It’s great to see all of them get into their groove and play their own game.”
Goals: W-Conner Covey 3, Alec Kozlowski 2, Christian Etchison, Bubba Love; MSJ-Kyle DeCrispino 3, Michael Kiley 3, Zach Rozgonyi, Eben Orbakowski, Griffin Corbett, Jack Callis.
Assists: W-Chase Buckwalter 3, Etchison; MSJ-DeCrispino 4, Rozgonyi, Orbakowski.
Saves: W-11 (Logan Covey); MSJ-19 (Kyle Botsford).
Halftime: MSJ, 6-4.