Trailing by two goals after a sluggish first half in Tuesday's lacrosse game at St. Mary's, Boys' Latin made a point to just keep it simple, play tough and have fun the rest of the way.
Senior midfielder Jake Glatz dominated on faceoffs to get the No. 2 Lakers the ball and the their attack enjoyed sharing it. At the other end, junior goalie Chris Brandau did his part by making big stops.
The halftime plan led to a dominant second half, giving Boys' Latin a 13-9 win over the No. 4 Saints in steady light rain at Pascal Field in Annapolis.
Matt Brandau (four goals), Brendan Grimes (three goals, one assist), Koby Russell (three goals, one assist) and Luke Shilling (two goals) were pivotal on attack, while Chris Brandau shined with seven of his 11 saves in the second half.
The Lakers improved to 9-3 overall and remained perfect in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference with a 3-0 mark. St. Mary's, which got four goals from Taylor Bohanan, is 11-2 and 2-1 in league play.
Trailing 5-3 at the half, the Lakers came out and scored seven of the first eight goals in the second half. Shilling scored two goals a minute apart in the third quarter to give Boys' Latin its first lead and then insurance at 8-6.
"We'd been fighting some adversity a lot this season coming back in some close games, so we did a great job of just staying calm and playing loose, and it worked out for us," Matt Brandau said.
The Saints played a composed first half with good execution on attack with Bohanan scoring three of his goals to help provide the 5-3 halftime lead.
But the Lakers made sure to have the final say with the complete second-half showing.
Glatz, who won 16 of 23 faceoffs and finished with 11 ground balls, consistently got the ball to the attack and the Lakers made the most of their chances. Goals from Russell and Matt Brandau tied the game at 5 a little more than three minutes into the third quarter. After Bohanan gave the Saints the lead back less than 30 seconds later, the Lakers scored five straight goals to take control.
During the run, Chris Brandau made big saves on shots from Tristan Michie, John Marquez and Alex Wicks to maintain the momentum. In his first season as a starter replacing graduated All-Metro goalie Jack Pezzulla, he has already shown a penchant for making tough, timely saves.
"He's a player," Boys' Latin coach Brian Farrell said. "When you lose a guy like Jack and you have a guy like Chris come in and step up — he's a leader. Obviously being named a captain as a junior says a lot about who he is as a person as well, too. We're very fortunate to have him between the pipes."
Despite Tuesday's loss, the Saints are still vastly ahead of schedule after going 1-15 and 0-9 in league play last year with a young group. Ian Krampf had a strong game with two goals and two assists. St. Mary's coach Victor Lilly gave the Lakers their due with the strong second half.
"I think their tenacity going to the goal [was the difference in the second half] and we stepped back a little bit when we should have stepped it up," he said. "Overall on the season, St. Mary's lacrosse is where we want to be right now sitting at 2-1 in the MIAA — today's second half just didn't work out in our favor this time."
Both teams play Friday. The Lakers host defending league champ and No. 3 McDonogh in a rematch at 4:15 p.m., while the Saints try to rebound at No. 1 Calvert Hall at 7 p.m.
Goals: BL –M. Brandau 4, Grimes 3, Shilling 2, Russell 3, Ey; SM – Bohanan 4, Nilsen 2, Michie, Krampf 2. Assists: BL – Russell, Grimes 2, Shilling; SM – Krampf, Burnett. Saves: BL – C. Brandau 11; SM – Fyock 7 Half: SM, 5-3