For the McDonogh boys lacrosse team, the second-half success Tuesday against visiting Boys’ Latin started in the middle of the field.
Sophomore Zach Hayashi started dominating on faceoffs, ground balls were won and possession time was primarily spent in the Eagles’ attacking end.
From there, McDonogh was patient, efficient and dominant in scoring eight straight goals to turn a two-goal halftime deficit into a comfortable 15-8 win over the Lakers.
Seniors Jack Horrigan (four goals, two assists) and Jack Dudas (three goals, one assist) provided much of the scoring, junior goalie Anthony Wilson turned away eight shots and Hayashi was the catalyst by winning 16 of 26 faceoffs. The win puts the Eagles at 3-0 overall and in the Maryland interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference.
After the Lakers spent a good chunk of the second quarter with the ball to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 6-4 halftime lead, the Eagles returned the favor with dominant work in the middle.
Coach Andy Hilgartner said it all started with Hayashi.
“Hayashi is a warrior,” he said. “I thought he was incredible today, not only getting the ball out where we could make a play on it, but also picking up the ground balls in traffic and being able to convert the possession down to our attack.”
As grinding as the work was in the middle of the field for the Eagles, their play on attack was fluid in the second half to pull away.
Horrigan found Luke Miller at the near post to tie the game at 6 with 6:19 left in the third quarter, and freshman midfielder Ben Firlie provided the lead for good with a goal two minutes later. When Horrigan scored his second straight goal in transition with 1.7 seconds left in the quarter, the Eagles were in complete control with a 10-6 advantage that was never threatened the rest of the way.
“We were able to find the back of the net a lot early in the second half and just built off that energy throughout,” Horrigan said. “We won a bunch of faceoffs, which was huge. Zach Hayashi did a great job and then just working it and finding the best shot was perfect for us.”
The Lakers, now 1-1 overall and 0-1 in league play, played just their second game this season and first since opening with a win against Pennsylvania power Haverford on March 13. Their first two league games were postponed because of COVID-19 protocols, but coach Brian Farrell wasn’t making any excuses for their second-half performance Tuesday.
After falling behind 3-1 after one quarter, Boys’ Latin went on a four-goal splurge behind two goals from senior Garrett Glatz to lead 5-3. Dom Pietramala (four goals) made it 6-4 right before the half.
The Lakers quickly lost the momentum in the third quarter and never got it back.
“They’re super athletic and it’s a game of runs and you have to give them a lot of credit — they did what they needed to do at halftime to adjust and obviously had a much better second half than us,” Farrell said.
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“No excuses. At the end of the day, you just got to play your game and do what you do best and I think you got to give them a lot of credit for adjusting and doing what they did in the second half. Obviously — [they outscored us] 11-2 in the second half — so they did something pretty good over there and there’s no excuse for the way we played in the second half.”