Falling behind early proved costly for the Gilman lacrosse team the past two games, and the trend continued Tuesday with visiting Loyola Blakefield starting fast and maintaining a lead for much of the game.
The No. 6 Greyhounds were determined to have a different outcome, and Andy Andrews helped make sure.
The senior midfielder collected a ground ball off a missed shot, saw space and no slide coming as he went to the cage in overtime. Just before getting hit, he got off a shot that proved the difference in a 14-13 win over the No. 5 Dons in a key Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game.
Gilman (8-4) ended its two-game slide to improve to 4-2 in the MIAA, taking over fourth place, while Loyola fell to 7-5 overall and 4-3 in the league.
Andrews, who missed on a couple shots earlier, read the defining play quickly to score his first goal of the game. The Greyhounds only had one other lead.
“I felt the defender on my back hip, and I felt him overcommit on my left side. I turned around looking for the slide on the crease, I saw no slide coming, no heads looking at me, so I was like ‘I’m taking this and I’m going to the cage.’ I took a hit, but I got enough. … the ball went in and it was good.”
Juniors Billy Spilman (three goals, one assist) and Dutch Furlong (three goals) led the Greyhounds’ attack. They also set up Andrews’ overtime heroics with key production in the fourth quarter.
After Charlie Koras gave the Dons a 13-11 lead with 7:49 to play, the Greyhounds worked to get closer.
James Schloedel won a tough ground ball at midfield and found Spilman, who fed Furlong to cut Loyola’s lead to 13-12 with 5:50 to play.
With faceoff specialist Nick Tussing dominating for most of the game, the Greyhounds got consistent possessions and were rewarded when Spilman tied the game with 3:41 to play in regulation.
Both teams had chances in the remaining minutes of the fourth quarter and early in the four-minute overtime before the Greyhounds were able to keep possession on a pushing call. Andrews’ goal came shortly after with 23 seconds left.
“I told the guys you can’t teach fight. You can help bring it out of people but you can’t teach it,” Gilman coach Brooks Matthews said. “Our guys have fight and I think you can do a lot with that. So that’s what we’re hoping to do, we’re hoping to keep improving and keep that resilience because we’re going to need it.”
Jack Koras (five goals, one assist), and Chase Llewellyn (three goals, three assists) and goalie Kevin Ellington (15 saves) helped keep the lead most of the way for the Dons, who only trailed for a little more than a minute at the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth until Andrews won the game for Gilman.
“The only thing I’m disappointed with is the outcome,” Loyola coach Gene Ubriaco said. “Come over here and play on the grass against a good quality team. As I was saying in the huddle the whole game, the team who had the ball last was going to win. We both had chances at it in overtime and both defenses held, and then they got one extra possession.”
Both teams play at home Saturday afternoon. Gilman hosts No. 1 Calvert Hall and Loyola Blakefield takes on Archbishop Spalding.
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Goals: LB – J. Koras 5, Lancaster, Llewellyn 3, C. Koras 2, Breschi, Lamarca; G – Furlong 3, Paff 2, Spilman 3, Godine 2, Carneal, King, Halpert, Andrews. Assists: LB – Llewellyn 3, Breschi 3, C. Karas, J. Koras, Lancaster, Tucker, Haus; G – King 2, Doyle 2, Spilman. Saves: LB – Ellington 15; G – Klein 9. Half: LB, 6-4