By Mike Loveday
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 7/13/14
COLUMBIA, Md. — McDonogh (Md.) used a second half run to pull away and defeat Ward Melville (N.Y.), 10-6, in the championship game of the National High School Lacrosse Showcase today at Blandair Park.
The Eagles got four goals from rising senior Connor Young and two goals from rising junior Barrett Sutley to take home the title.
“Our motto all year was that we wanted to push the ball, but we also wanted to be smart,” Young said. “In the first half we were all kind of anxious and everyone wanted to score the goals, but in the second half we slowed it down and came together as a team.”
Young scored two of McDonogh’s five goals in the second half, a half in which the Eagles broke open a 6-6 tie by scoring the final four goals of the game.
The win gives McDonogh its first championship at the NHSLS, an event in which its coach, Andy Hilgartner, co-founded with Boys’ Latin’s Bob Shriver. The Eagles went 7-0 at the tournament and posted wins over two New York state champions (Massapequa and Bronxville), the No. 2 team in the Warrior/TopLaxRecruits.com North America Boys’ Rankings, Culver Academy (IN) and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association runner-up, St. Paul’s.
“We’re really fortunate to be involved with this – there were so many great teams that came down,” Hilgartner said. “We get to see our first glimpse of next year’s team. It’s a really great growing experience. It gives us an idea of what we have to look forward to.”
Ward Melville jumped out early on a goal from Michael Cusmano just three minutes into the game, but McDonogh scored the next three goals to take a 3-1 lead with 16 minutes remaining.
Jake McCulloch broke the streak for Ward Melville, but Young scored just two minutes later to give McDonogh a 4-2 lead. Young scored his second goal of the game with 6:09 left in the half to extend the lead to 5-3.
Ward Melville came back as Connor Grippe scored with 45 seconds left in the first half to cap the scoring, cutting the lead to 5-4. The Patriots scored to open the second half and knot the game at 5-5 on a goal by Billy McGinley.
Young scored his third goal of the game to give McDonogh a 6-5 lead, but McCulloch scored his second goal to tie the game at 6-6 with 16:55 left.
After that it was all McDonogh.
Rising junior Jay Jiranek scored to give McDonogh a 7-6 lead. Sutley scored his second goal of the game two minutes later on a dodge around his defender to get an open look head-on in front of the net to extend the lead to 8-6. Goals by rising senior Jack Kemp and Young’s fourth goal of the game finished off the scoring.
“Even though it’s just summer ball it’s good to get the win,” Sutley said. “There’s a big rivalry between Baltimore and Long Island and it’s good to bring it home and take the championship here.
“It brings us a lot of confidence, especially on the defensive side of the ball. We lost all three of our starting defensemen so there were a lot of questions with a few key new guys.”
McDonogh received standout performances in goal by two rising seniors: Jacob Stover, who made six saves and Oliver Schmickel, who recorded five saves in the first half.
The Eagles played with a roster that featured 10 players who will be juniors, eight rising seniors and five rising sophomores. The Patriots featured a roster of 13 future seniors, 10 rising juniors and two rising sophomores.
Halftime 5-4 McDonogh
Final: 10-6 McDonogh
Goals: McDonogh: Connor Young (4); Barret Sutley (2), Robert Austin, Robert Clark, Jay Jiranek, Jack Kemp.
Ward Melville: Jake McCulloch (2); Michael Cusmano; Connor Grippe; Billy McGinley; Gregory Williamson.
Assists: McDonogh: Sutley; Clark. Ward Melville: Gregory Petraco, McCulloch
McDonogh: Oliver Schmickel 5; Jacob Stover 6
Melville: Dennis Kellerman 3; Zachary Flynn 3