The 100th game between Boys' Latin and St. Paul's lived up to its lofty expectations with another classic matchup between the two storied programs May 16.
Boys' Latin senior midfielder Koby Russell scored the go-ahead goal with 8:38 remaining in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers (13-5 overall, 7-2 Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association "A" conference) held off the Crusaders for a 10-9 victory. Boys' Latin, who now leads the all-time series 52-47-1, also secured a first-round bye in the conference playoffs as the second seed behind Calvert Hall (15-2, 9-0).
"We tell our guys it's a one-game season from here on out, so we have one more game to play right now, and we're focused on that," Boys' Latin head coach Brian Farrell said. "For right now, we're going to take some time off to rest a little bit and work on us. I think that's the best part of the bye is that these kids deserve some time off to rest their legs and get ready for the playoffs, because there's nothing better than the MIAA playoffs."
The Lakers once again got contributions throughout their roster, which should bode well for them in the playoffs. Russell and senior Greg Ey scored two goals apiece for Boys' Latin, and senior Luke Shilling finished with one goal and four assists.
"I just think we wanted it," Shilling said. "We wanted this game. I know from the start -- we went down 3-0 -- but we weren't worried about that really because we wanted this game more than anybody else could ever imagine.
St. Paul's (14-5, 5-4) ended the regular season in fourth place and hosts fifth-seeded Loyola Blakefield (7-8, 5-4) in the league quarterfinals May 19. Logan Posner paced St. Paul's with four goals against the Lakers, while Logan Zimnoch added two goals and an assist.
Despite the loss, St. Paul's head coach Rick Brocato likes the way his team is playing heading into the postseason, and the focus was solely on the Dons after the game.
"It was a great game, an epic battle -- it really was, and we had some chances there, but that's the way it goes," Brocato said. "The ball bounced their way and that's what we thought, in a game like this it's that ground ball, it's finishing shots. I don't think we finished shots very well -- we took some poor shots in there but these kids battled, and I'm really proud of them."