There’s a certain honor to being invited to participate in the Under Armour All-America Senior Boys Lacrosse Game.
There’s also a spread of cheese, crackers, peaches, watermelon and strawberries that awaited both the North and South teams at halftime inside the locker rooms of the Cordish Lacrosse Center at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field.
Asked if that was typical for a high school lacrosse game, Matt Minicus, an incoming Loyola Maryland attackman, replied, “Definitely not. But that’s what makes this game so good.”
It appeared the North took advantage of the sustenance as the team used a 6-2 third quarter to break a 12-12 deadlock at halftime and close out a 22-16 victory over the South on Saturday night.
Minicus and midfielder Matt Collison, a Johns Hopkins commit from Toronto, Canada, scored two goals each to help the North win for the third time in the last five meetings.
The North was paced by four goals and two assists from Joey Spallina, an incoming Syracuse attackman who is the son of Stony Brook women’s coach Joe Spallina, and three goals and one assist from Charles Balsamo, a future Duke attackman.
An announced crowd of 4,143 attended the boys and girls games.
After a 12-12 tie at halftime, the North gained the first two goals of the third quarter on tallies from Thomson and Spallina. The South answered with goals from Max Sloat, a future Duke midfielder, and Jordan Wray, a Calvert Hall graduate and incoming Georgetown midfielder.
But the North ran off four unanswered goals to close out the quarter. Scores by Balsamo, Spallina, Griffin Scane, a future Penn midfielder, and Joey Terenzi, an incoming Virginia midfielder, essentially put the game out of reach.
Minicus said the team did not feel the need to significantly alter its game plan from the first half.
“We just kept going,” Minicus said. “We limited the turnovers, we slowed the game down, and we got them tired. That’s what we needed.”
Collison said he and his North teammates said they didn’t panic at halftime.
“We kind of went into the locker room, and said ‘keep plugging away,’” he said. “We kept capitalizing and felt pretty good. We felt good that we could squeeze them out.”
The South threatened to run away with the game from the outset with three goals in a 76-second span in the first quarter and then another three-goal run over another 76-second stretch in the period.
Goals by Max Sloat, an incoming Duke midfielder, off a pass from Baltimore Sun All-Metro Player of the Year Dominic Pietramala, a Boys’ Latin graduate and future Syracuse attackman; Wray; and James Matan, a future North Carolina attackman, off a feed from Truitt Sunderland, a Calvert Hall grad and incoming Virginia attackman, gave the South a 3-0 lead with 10:21 remaining.
Then goals from Max Busenkell, a future Notre Dame midfielder; Matan off a pass from Andrew McMeekin, an incoming Princeton faceoff specialist; and Matan again off a feed from Sunderland again inflated the South’s advantage to 7-3 with 5:36 left.
But the North embarked on a five-goal burst in a 10:12 span over the first and second quarters. Thomson kick-started the spurt with a pair of goals within a 1:36 stretch.
A goal by Sean Jordan, a future Harvard long-stick midfielder, ended a 10:54 drought for the South and tied the score at 8 with 9:42 remaining in the second quarter. The sides traded goals until Pietramala gave the South a 12-10 lead with 3:17 left by assisting on a goal by Luke Rhoa, an incoming Syracuse midfielder, and then scoring his own.
But the North tied the score at 12-12 thanks to goals from Matt Lazzaro, a future Penn State attackman, and Jack Cascadden, an incoming Cornell faceoff specialist, within 13 seconds of each other.
Sloat paced the South with four goals, and Sunderland added one goal and three assists.
For Collison who will play at Homewood Field for presumably several years with North teammate and fellow Canadian midfielder Brooks English, the opportunity was embraced.
“This is awesome,” he said. “Seeing the history and championship banners hanging here, I’m nothing but optimistic. For me and Harris, we couldn’t be happier.”