By Nelson Coffin
LILacrosseNews.com, Posted 3/21/15
BROOKLANDVILLE, Md. – Boys’ Latin has not had to rely on its defense that much in the past couple of years, given the prowess of its prolific offense.
This season, though, the Lakers, who are 41-2 in their last 43 games, are finding out that they can still prevail while scoring in the single digits.
Saturday’s 8-6 conquest of Manhasset at the Springfest Tournament at St. Paul’s School was a case in point.
While Boys’ Latin (4-1) could not pull away from the Indians (0-2), the Lakers were still able to stay ahead for good after breaking a 3-3 tie on a goal by sophomore attackman Luke Shilling with 7:02 remaining in the second quarter.
It wasn’t easy, mainly because Manhasset’s all-around middie Tyler Dunn always seemed to have enough juice to score even though he was blanked on the day.
“I think we had been spread out too much (on defense),” said Boys’ Latin coach Bob Shriver, the dean of coaches in the all-private school Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference who is retiring after his 36th season at the helm of the Lakers. “We have packed it in a little bit, and I think it’s working. They got off a lot of shots, but not many phenomenal shots.”
The Lakers’ margin of victory could have been wider had it not been for the Indians’ senior goalie Henry Mulholland (Holy Cross), who stopped at least four point-blank attempts and 13 overall. The ever-present Dunn even scrambled back to cover the goal — and make a save when a shot caromed off him — to prevent an open-net goal in the final minute.
“Henry was one of our backups last year,” Manhasset coach Bill Cherry said. “We didn’t play him in our opener (a 9-7 setback to Cold Spring Harbor), but we gave him a shot today.”
Despite only scoring eight goals, Shriver and senior attackman Devin Shewell can see some light at the end of a tunnel.
“We’re starting to come around,” Shriver said. “We were on the doorstep a couple of times and their goalie was just outstanding.”
Shewell, who is heading to play for John Desko at Syracuse in the fall, backed up his coach.
“We don’t have the same power we had last year,” he said. “But I think some of that is because we’re pretty young. It’s more a matter of winning together and playing as a team.”
Senior Patrick Spencer (Loyola University Maryland) gave the Lakers a 5-3 on a pretty 8-yard turnaround less than a minute after Shilling snapped the deadlock.
Junior attackman Matt Gavin then one-timed a nice feed from sophomore Jack Keough 10 seconds after Spencer’s tally to shave the lead back to a single goal.
In the second half, the Lakers restored a two-goal buffer on a goal by sophomore midfielder Grey Ey on a Spencer assist for the lone goal of a defensive-oriented third period.
When junior attackman Logan Wisnauskas (Syracuse) pushed the lead to 7-4 after Spencer dug out a tough ground ball in the corner and found senior Kyle Weatherford, who fed Wisnauskas, Boys’ Latin had its biggest advantage with 9:33 left.
Manhasset had one more scare to throw the Lakers’ way when Gavin rifled in a low-angle shot inches off the crease and senior middie Connor Toes converted a nice look from Keough with 5:07 to go.
Wisnauskas (goal) and Spencer (assist) allowed the Laker faithful on hand at Mitch Tullai Field to breathe easier when they combined for the game’s final score.
The Springfest’s six-game event was organized by the St. Paul’s Schools to raise funds for the One Love Foundation, which honors the memory of slain former University of Virginia player Yeardley Love by educating people about relationship abuse.
Love was fatally beaten by her boyfriend, George Huguely while both were lacrosse players at Virginia in 2010.
Cherry said that he and his players are mindful of that tragedy and dedicated to stopping any other similar tragedy from arising.
“When (St. Paul’s coach) Rick Brocato asked us to participate, I didn’t hesitate to say ‘yes,'” Cherry said. “Yeardley is the reason we’re down here. We talk about bullying and abuse of spouse and parents, too. We want our kids to be good men.”
Boys’ Latin 8, Manhasset 6
Jack Miller 1g; James Thomas 1g; Kyle Cherry 1g; Matt Gavin 2g; Connor Toes 1g; Logan Dunn 1a; Jack Keough 2a
Luke Shilling 1g; Anthony Wyler 1g; Devin Shewell 1g, 1a; Grey Ey 1g; Logan Wisnauskas 3g; Patrick Spencer 1g, 3a; Kyle Weatherford 1a
M: Henry Mulholland 13
SP: Jack Pezzulla 5