PressBox's weekly high school lacrosse e-mail, written by Tom Peace, brings you all the best in local lacrosse -- boys and girls, private and public schools, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Check it out, pass it on and tell us what you think.
Undefeated Boys' Latin Wins MIAA Title
The Boys' Latin lacrosse team made sure not to let history repeat itself May 16 as the Lakers defeated St. Paul's, 17-11, during the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium.
BL finished the season with an 18-0 record and as the top team in the country in multiple national polls.
A year ago, Loyola Blakefield upset the Lakers, 10-9, during the MIAA title game.
"This is an unexplainable feeling, especially after last year, when we came up short and fell in the last minute," said Lakers faceoff specialist Hunter Moreland (Johns Hopkins), who was named the game's MVP by winning 23 of 29 faceoffs and scoring three goals. "This group was fired up from last year, and we kept fighting. I think this team had a lot of returners, and we stayed humble and stayed hungry."
Senior attackman Shack Stanwick (Johns Hopkins), who had two goals and two assists, said this season had been important for the Lakers.
"Every game, every point, we knew we could be beaten," Stanwick said. "We knew we had to hustle for every ground ball. One of our philosophies was win every single play. I couldn't imagine anything better than going out on top and undefeated."
St. Paul's never had the lead during the game, but the Crusaders made things interesting at times. Mikey Wynne had four goals and three assists for St. Paul's, but the Crusaders' defense had trouble containing Boys' Latin's attack.
"We were battling against the odds, but we fought a good fight," St. Paul's coach Rick Brocato said. "The effort was outstanding. We had to play a perfect game. We played a strong game, but we didn't catch any break."
The Lakers outshot the Crusaders (43-36) and won the ground-ball battle (43-20). Including Stanwick, nine Boys' Latin players scored at least one goal. Devin Shewell led the way with four goals and two assists.
Boys' Latin has now won nine MSA/MIAA A titles, and the Lakers have three of the last six undefeated seasons in the MIAA A/MSA A league during the last 45 years. McDonogh, the IAAM A Conference champion, also went undefeated in 2014, which may be the first time ever that the IAAM A and MIAA A champions have gone undefeated during the same year.
"I'm getting a little long in the tooth," Boys' Latin head coach Bob Shriver said. "How many more opportunities do you get in these situations? You never know. They're all special. We're very fortunate to have a lot of good kids that play some good lacrosse."
Kent Island Dethrones Hereford For Boys' Class 3A/2A Title
With an 8-6 win, the Kent Island boys' lacrosse team snapped Hereford's run of six straight Class 3A/2A title wins in front of an energetic crowd at the University Maryland, Baltimore County campus May 21.
It was the first state championship for the Buccaneers (19-1). Hereford (17-4) has never lost a state championship game, with its run of six consecutive titles pushing its total number of state championships to nine, both of which are state records.
"What's happened in the past has happened in the past," Bulls head coach Brian King said. "Right now, it's just pain for these guys for this season. Hopefully, everybody will be able to look at the big picture, and I think we accomplished some great stuff. But for right now, it's just too close for this team to think about anything else."
Buccaneers goalie Dylan Abplanalp made 11 saves. Kent Island was leading, 7-6, toward the end of the fourth quarter. The Bulls were trying to tie it up, but the Buccaneers got the ball off a Hereford turnover, and Patrick Garvey found Johnny Guiffreda, who had a two-goal game, for the score with 18 seconds left to seal the state title victory.
This season, Kent Island beat teams such as Arundel, Centennial and Severn.
Boys' Results From Last Week
May 16: MIAA A Conference championship: Boys' Latin (Md.) 17, St. Paul's (Md.) 11 -- Devin Shewell led Boys' Latin with four goals and two assists
May 16: MIAA B Conference championship: Saints Peter and Paul (Md.) 14, Archbishop Curley (Md.) 12 -- Casey Grieves scored four goals for Saints Peter and Paul
May 17: IAC championship: Georgetown Prep (D.C.) 10, Landon (D.C.) 7 -- Brendan Collins had three goals and Tanner Holifield collected two scores for Georgetown Prep
May 20: Maryland Class 2A/1A championship: Fallston (Md.) 17, North Carroll (Md.) 7 -- Wesley Rumpel led Fallston with four goals, and the Cougars have now won three straight state titles
May 20: Maryland Class 4A/3A championship: South River (Md.) 9, Howard (Md.) 6 -- Dylan Mansur had two goals and an assist for South River, and the Seahawks have now won three state championships
May 21: Maryland Class 3A/2A championship: Kent Island (Md.) 8, Hereford (Md.) 6 -- Kent Island snapped Hereford's run of six straight Class 3A/2A titles
Girls' Results From Last Week
May 17: Bishop Ireton (D.C.) 9, St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (Va.) 7
May 20: Maryland Class 2A/1A championship: Manchester Valley (Md.) 13, Fallston (Md.) 10 -- Lizzie Colson scored four goals for Manchester Valley as the Mavericks won the first lacrosse state championship in program history
May 21: Maryland Class 3A/2A championship: Marriotts Ridge (Md.) 18, Oakdale (Md.) 5 -- Marissa Davey and Taylor Hensh scored five goals apiece to lead the Mustangs to their third title out of the past four years
May 21: Maryland Class 4A/3A championship: Severna Park (Md.) 15, Catonsville (Md.) 5 -- The Falcons won their 11th state title since 1990
Q&A: Bishop Ireton Girls' Head Coach Rick Sofield
Head coach Rick Sofield led the Bishop Ireton girls' lacrosse team to a WCAC title win against Good Counsel, 17-7, May 12. The Cardinals then beat Collegiate, 9-8, for the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association championship May 16. PressBox caught up with Sofield, who is finishing his fourth season with the Cardinals.
PressBox: What has impressed you about this year's team?
Rick Sofield: What has impressed me most about this year's team is their commitment to a common goal. We set the goal in June last year that we wanted to play our best lacrosse for six games in May (three WCAC tournament games and three VISAA tournament games). The girls have been in the weight room and on the field working out, running hard, lifting weights and improving their stick skills for 11 months, all working towards that goal. The fact that all of these teenagers willingly invested all that time and energy into being their best is truly impressive. Our successes didn't happen by accident. They were earned.
PB: Beating Good Counsel for the WCAC title had to be a great feeling, especially after losing to them early during the season.
RS: We came out flat in our first game against Good Counsel last month. It was the day after a physical and emotional game against [Georgetown] Visitation. We had some key injuries, and the girls were just exhausted mentally and physically. When you're playing as good a team as Good Counsel, you have to show up and play your best, or you're going to come out on the losing end. We didn't play our best against them last month.
PB: It seems the whole team has contributed during each game this season. How does that make you feel as the head coach?
RS: These girls make me proud every single day. They're willing to work hard, they're willing to make selfless plays and they're willing to do whatever it takes to be successful. It doesn't get any better as a coach.
PB: How important is it to have a strong defense in the Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia region?
RS: Girls' lacrosse is a lot like basketball in that good offense beats good defense. That's why our defensive philosophy is to be disruptive. Just like you need to get a pass rush on Tom Brady to disrupt his rhythm or he'll pick you apart, we want to put pressure on the other team's offense and dictate the tempo when we are on defense.
PB: What are you impressions of the game's growth in D.C. and northern Virginia?
RS: There are more and more quality teams in the D.C./NoVa region each year. One example is the emergence of Madison High School, which has been the top public school program in Virginia for the past few years. The youth leagues have exploded over the past decade, and all that talent and experience is starting to show up in high schools all over the region, not just a handful of schools. Everyone is getting better every year.
PB: You have players going on to play at Division I programs. It has to feel great to produce great athletes.
RS: While I'm very proud of our future Division I athletes, and they work very hard year-round to earn the opportunity to play at the next level, some of the best athletes and players I've coached at Ireton have either opted to not play in college, to play club, or have chosen D-II or D-III schools. I think our girls do a good job of being honest with themselves about their goals regarding lacrosse and college. A big part of my job as their coach is to help guide them through the recruiting process so they can make informed decisions consistent with their individual goals.
Crabs / PressBox Boys' Top 20
- Boys' Latin (18-0)
- Georgetown Prep (18-1)
- DeMatha (16-4)
- St. Paul's (13-7)
- Gonzaga (16-5)
- Landon (18-4)
- Gilman (11-7)
- McDonogh (15-5)
- St. Mary's Annapolis (11-6)
- Kent Island (19-1)
- Loyola Blakefield (8-8)
- Bullis (13-6)
- St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (14-8)
- South River (17-2)
- Fallston (14-4)
- Howard (18-1)
- Hereford (17-4)
- Westminster (15-1)
- Wootton (17-1)
- Bishop O'Connell (13-6)
Crabs / PressBox Girls' Top 20
- McDonogh (21-0)
- Bishop Ireton (20-4)
- St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (27-2)
- Marriotts Ridge (16-2)
- Roland Park (16-5)
- Severn (14-5)
- Mt. Hebron (13-2)
- Manchester Valley (18-1)
- Notre Dame Prep (10-5)
- Archbishop Spalding (15-6)
- Severna Park (14-2)
- Georgetown Visitation (15-8)
- Good Counsel (14-6)
- Broadneck (13-3)
- Fallston (13-4)
- Oakdale (9-2)
- Sherwood (13-2)
- Century (11-5)
- Bryn Mawr (8-8)
- Friends (17-1)
The Crabs/PressBox polls are sponsored by Crabs Lacrosse and compiled by Tom Peace.
Featured College Commitments
North Carroll attackman Kyle Fiedler -- McDaniel College
Fallston attackman Brenden Nolan -- Essex Community College
Howard faceoff specialist John Travisano -- University of Notre Dame
Mt. Hebron defender Tianna Wallpher -- University of Maryland, Baltimore County
South River midfielder Kacie Longo -- University of Maryland