- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Unlucky hop dismisses H-town boys from playoffs
By MICHAEL REID Staff writer
Bounces. Sometimes they go a team’s way and sometimes they don’t.
The latter was the case for the Huntingtown boys lacrosse team, which fell 8-7 in overtime to Chesapeake of Anne Arundel County in a Class 4A-3A East Region first-round matchup on Wednesday.
The third-seeded Hurricanes (13-2 overall) came into the game on a six-game winning streak and their only loss of the year was a two-goal defeat at the hands of rival and SMAC champion Northern.
But Huntingtown was unable to get past Chesapeake in a game that featured six ties and four lead changes in a driving rainstorm.
“We played a good Anne Arundel County team tonight and losing 8-7 in overtime is nothing to hang your head on,” Huntingtown head coach Pete Kerwin said. “It’s the first round and an early exit but it doesn’t mean our season wasn’t a success.”
Junior midfielder Colton Rowe, who scored a team-high two goals including a highlight reel tally in the second quarter, was at a loss for words.
“I’m shocked,” said Rowe, his hair matted down and eye black running down his cheeks. “I thought we played a great game altogether and I thought we played four full quarters of lacrosse today and we were hoping for the best, but they played a tough game. It was one of those games where you have to keep grinding it out. You have to keep going. They kept going and we slowed down somehow.”
And it was a bounce that slowed the Hurricanes down. Seconds after killing off a penalty, Chesapeake’s Pat Brennan scooped up a fortuitous bounce at the side of the goal and whipped a shot past goalie Erik Hyland with 10.6 seconds remaining in the first extra period.
“Oh my gosh, I’m still so excited,” said Brennan, a freshman who has more than 20 goals on the season. “I tried to get it to our guy on the crease he was wide open but one of their defenders tipped it and it went to our high guy and he shot it. The goalie made a great save but he couldn’t get the clamp, so I just scooped it up inside the crease and just dove and put it in. We have this guy, he’s a first-year player and a huge guy and he was the first to dogpile me [in the celebration].”
“Erik made an awesome save and the ball bounced their way,” Kerwin said. “It was a bad bounce.”
Chesapeake will travel to 11th-seeded Chopticon for a quarterfinal matchup today. The Braves advanced following an 8-7 win over sixth-seeded Old Mill.
“It was a very competitive game, back and forth all day and Huntingtown is a hell of a team,” Chesapeake head coach Rodney Berres said. “They play the game the right way with intensity and it was a good game by both teams and I’m glad we came out on the winning end.”
Chesapeake led 2-1 late in the half when Rowe scooped up a groundball next to his net and raced all the way down the field and scored with 41 seconds left in the second quarter.
“When I’m on the field,” Rowe said, “I just feel invincible.”
It appeared the Hurricanes had tied the game when Chris Hinds scored midway through the third quarter, but the goal was waved off because Chesapeake goalie Rushton Souder was not set. Following an out-of-bounds play, a goalie is given five seconds to reset himself.
“You celebrate [the goal] and then lineup for the face-off [and realize it doesn’t count],” Kerwin said. “It’s tough, but that’s part of the game. Lacrosse is an emotional game and part of being successful is dealing with your emotions.”
Huntingtown led 5-3 late in the third quarter, but Chesapeake rallied with three unanswered goals to grab a 6-5 edge.
“In past years we’d get down by one or two and things would get lopsided and we would give up,” Berres said, “but I’m very proud of my team’s effort to keep fighting.”
After trading goals, Huntingtown’s Vinny Mascaro scored with 3 minutes 55 seconds left to tie it. The Hurricanes had their chances in the waning minutes but committed three turnovers on three straight possessions. Turnovers plagued the hosts all night.
“I’m sure in the first 12 minutes it’s nerves in a playoff game, but after the first quarter we had to shake the nerves off,” Kerwin said. “You can’t let the rain be an excuse because they’re playing with wet lacrosse sticks, too. If there was one aspect of the game we would have changed tonight, it would have definitely been turnovers.”
Hyland came up huge when he stopped a last-gasp diving attempt by Brendan Duerr with 3.7 seconds left in regulation. Hyland came up big again when he stymied Duerr again just 12 seconds into the extra period.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the guys for how they fought tonight and I’m going to keep saying it: I love this team and I’m happy to be a part of it,” Kerwin said.
“We had a great year,” Rowe said. “I wouldn’t have asked for a different team; I love each and every one of them.”