Riding the momentum of a crucial win against Interstate Athletic Conference foe Landon, the Bullis School boys lacrosse team scored another victory Tuesday afternoon, 12-7, against DeMatha Catholic.
The Bulldogs amassed a 6-1 lead in the first half before and standout attacker Kylor Bellistri scored three goals in a span of 2 minutes, 47 seconds at the beginning of the third quarter to squelch DeMatha's comeback bid at Heurich Field.
“We knew DeMatha was going to get their chances, it's just a matter of whether we could limit theirs and hopefully get some of our own,” said Bullis coach Bobby Pollicino.
Bellistri, who plans to attend Brown next year, recorded five points on three goals and two assists. The 6-foot-1 senior upped his season points total to 41 in 11 games (26 goals, 15 assists). Senior attacker Matt Opsahl added a hat trick for the Bulldogs while midfielder Nick Fisher added a goal and two assists.
“Kylor has the ability to do that because he lets the game come to him,” Pollicino said. “He knows that if we need a goal, we're going to look to him. He doesn't have to go out there and look to get that goal. He's just doing what he can to make us successful.”
Bullis (8-3), which has won six of its last seven games, attempted 28 shots to the Stags' 29, but junior goalkeeper Brandon Burke saved 11 shots in an impressive outing for the Bulldogs. The Stags (5-6) have followed the same loss-win-loss-win pattern through their 11 games this season, having not won or lost two in a row.
“We haven't put two in a row together all year,” said DeMatha coach Scott Morrison. “We talk about it quite a bit, but we've also played a very tough schedule.”
Stags sophomore attacker Steve Partlow scored four goals and sophomore midfielder Greyson Torain had two assists. The Stags were impressive at times in the attacking zone, but couldn't sustain offensive pressure. Faceoff specialist Joe Sera was lifted in the third quarter in favor of junior Nathaniel Lequang, which provided a brief boost for DeMatha.
“It's kind of hard trying to get everybody going, getting the game to where we'd like it to be,” Partlow said. “I thought everybody did pretty well, we just couldn't capitalize as much as we should have.”
Bullis switched between a man-to-man defensive scheme and a zone effectively throughout the afternoon and relied on Burke to make key saves when necessary.
“We've played against a zone a few times this year,” Morrison said. “We're getting better at it, but we definitely struggled. Their goalie played well and he was seeing the ball well.”
Partlow, however, did have two pretty goals against Burke. In the third quarter he found space in the middle of the field and one-timed a pass from Torain to pull DeMatha within 9-6. The other was a remarkable individual effort where he spun toward the goal mouth from behind the net, got slashed in the helmet by Alex Robinson and still managed to sneak the ball past Burke. After Partlow's goal to make it 9-6, the Bulldogs scored the next three goals to all but seal the victory.
“It was definitely a game of runs,” Morrison said. “That's been our mantra all year. We continue to battle back. I love my kids to death, but there was a lack of lacrosse IQ between the lines. We did things we hadn't done all year.”
Bullis, meanwhile, appears to be peaking at an optimal time. Five games remain on the schedule, including key IAC matchups against St. Albans, Georgetown Prep and Episcopal.
“It's a fantastic conference. It's a tough conference to play in. It's like the SEC of lacrosse,” Pollicino said. “We've got to stay focused. Our biggest issue this year has been playing 48 minutes of focused lacrosse.”
Bullis 12, DeMatha 7
Bullis 2 4 4 2 — 12
DeMatha 1 2 3 1 — 7
DeMatha (5-6): Brady Thompson (6:34, 1st), Steve Partlow assisted by Greyson Torian (2:26, 2nd), Partlow (1:39, 2nd), Partlow (8:15, 3rd), Austin Petty assisted by Bobby Bigelow (6:02, 3rd), Partlow assisted by Torian (5:10, 3rd), Matthew Justice assisted by Michael Parker (4:23)
Bullis (8-3): Drew Petkevich assisted by Kylor Bellistri (7:58, 1st), Kyle Nemeroff assisted by Bellistri (5:05, 1st), Mitchell Goldberg (6:44, 2nd), Matt Osphal (4:33, 2nd), Osphall assisted by Jake Dickstein (3:26, 2nd), Kevin Gentzel (3:05, 2nd), Bellistri assisted by Nick Fisher (9:43, 3rd), Bellistri (8:06, 3rd), Bellistri assisted by Fisher (7:02, 3rd), Fisher (2:08, 3rd), Osphal (8:13, 4th), Goldberg (6:50, 4th)