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High School sports

Indian Creek boys lacrosse grew up into a team that could be champions, faces Archbishop Curley for MIAA B Conference title

Indian Creek boys lacrosse didn’t have what it takes to beat Archbishop Curley or become champions at the beginning of the spring. Coach Brian Silcott reckons his Eagles do now. They just had to grow up a little bit.

Indian Creek turned into their reality following an April loss to the Friars. The Eagles were playing as disjointed puzzle pieces scattered across the table. Silcott impressed on his players then that if they couldn’t come together, they’d be suffering through more post-defeat huddles the rest of the season.

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“They started to notice when they moved the ball more, the goals started coming more easily and our shooting percentage goes up,” Silcott said. “The net result is actually more goals, not less, when they don’t try so hard to score alone.”

Indian Creek lost to Archbishop Curley, 20-11, on April 12. Now, a matured Eagles team gets another shot at the Friars at 5 p.m. Friday in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference championship game.

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Their new offensive unity has resulted in a 52-19 scoring differential in the last three games. Though Silcott believes more strength lies on the team’s offense than defense, the increasing closeness among the defense has led to fewer mistakes. They recognize that opposing players may beat them out in one-on-one situations. Now, the Eagles operate like pack animals, hunting down targets together.

“They’re less focused on their guy, saying, ‘Well, my guy didn’t score,’ and more focused on, ‘They scored a goal.’ It’s everyone’s responsibility to prevent that from happening,” Silcott said. “So, we’ve gotten much better at working as a unit, communicating and sliding — helping with a second slide to help the first slide. It’s just been a massive improvement over the course of the year.”

Just as those units have stepped up for one another, players have also stepped out of their comfort zones into roles their team needed. Though the Eagles don’t have faceoff specialists, two midfielders — Nick Strobel and Benny Carter — put their athleticism to use to win possessions for their team. As to what the Eagles do with those possessions, Indian Creek is led offensively by Strobel, whom Silcott considers the “most dynamic lacrosse player” he’s ever coached who “has no idea how good he is,” as well as Carter and senior attack Will Mercer.

“He’s been fantastic,” Silcott said of Mercer. “He’s really provided great leadership and grown tremendously over the season.”

Silcott highlighted sophomore goalkeeper Ty Spencer for holding down the cage, as well as senior defender Austin Harrison, who battled back from an early-spring concussion to provide an anchoring, grounding effect on his unit.

The maturity that’s blossomed within Indian Creek extends beyond how it plays to how it responds. There’s every possibility Curley jumps out to a hot start at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Friday. Were it March or April’s Eagles having to contend with that, Silcott knows the likelihood would be much higher his players would crumble, or try to overcompensate as individuals, flinging bad, rushed shots in an effort to save everyone.

“I think that we’re really in a much better place mentally and that they are prepared,” Silcott said, “that if Curley scores the first two goals, we’re going to keep doing what we do and have faith over the full course of the game, that we should come out on top. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”


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