The Calvert Hall boys lacrosse team entered Friday's game against St. Paul's with a three-game losing streak, and then watched the visiting Crusaders score three goals in the final minute of the first quarter — the last coming with four seconds left — to take a four-goal lead.
If ever there were a time a team could have wilted, that might have been it. Instead, the No. 5 Cardinals showed poise and went on to find a last-second hero of their own in Carter Brown.
The sophomore attackman finished off a chance with nine seconds left to give Calvert Hall a confidence-boosting 9-8 win over the No. 2 Crusaders.
"It's a great feeling. It's my first year on varsity, and to score a winning goal is just amazing. First quarter, we were down by a lot," Brown said. "But we had the heart to come back, and we just kept working at it, and it ended up in our favor."
Calvert Hall, which got three goals from Robby Zoppo and two goals and an assist from Brown, improved to 6-4 overall and 4-4 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference.
St. Paul's (9-3) fell to 6-2 in league play.
Leading 1-0 in the final minute of the first quarter, the Crusaders got goals from Jay Carlson, Pat Powderly and Spencer Parks to take a 4-0 lead. But the Cardinals answered with a balanced attack in the second quarter, getting goals from six players, with Phil Castronova scoring in the final second for a 6-5 halftime advantage.
After St. Paul's reclaimed the lead at 8-7 on a goal from Alex Chay to end the third quarter, the Cardinals tightened up on defense and found the equalizer on Zoppo's third goal of the game with less than three minutes to play. Brown sealed the win, finding space on the right side and finishing promptly.
"I think in the first quarter, everybody wanted to win the game and they were each trying to do it by themselves," Calvert Hall coach Bryan Kelly said. "We told them we had to win this as a group, and I think we banded together and won as a group today. We desperately needed this win, and we were fortunate to come away with it because St. Paul's is a great team."
No. 4 St. Mary's 13, No. 10 Gilman 6: Ryland DePol had four goals to power the visiting Saints (9-4) past the Greyhounds. St. Mary's broke a 3-3 first-quarter tie with a 4-0 run in the second quarter.
Bel Air 9, No. 8 Fallston 7: Carson Kalama had four goals to lead the visiting Bobcats to an upset over the Cougars (9-1). Mike Antinozzi scored twice for Fallston.
No. 14 Catonsville 11, Perry Hall 7: The host Comets (9-1) bounced back from a 16-4 loss to No. 9 Hereford on Wednesday.
Nikko Gurnsey and Sean Urban each had hat tricks, and Catonsville outscored the Gators, 5-3, in the second half.
No. 12 St. Mary's 6, No. 5 Bryn Mawr 5: Kaitlin Stewart had a hat trick and Lyndsey Munoz made 14 saves as the visiting Saints (10-3) upset the Mawrtians (9-2). Bryn Mawr's Morgan Rubin led all scorers with four goals.
No. 8 South River 13, No. 3 Broadneck 12: Brooke Griffin scored a game-high eight goals as the host Seahawks upset the Bruins (7-2).