- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Ryken comeback falls short versus DeMatha in WCAC boys lax semis
By JAMES A. McCRAY III
Staff writerHYATTSVILLE Hold a team to one goal in the second half and score four goals yourself in the same half and odds are that the winning chances would be high.
But for the St. Mary’s Ryken Knights boys lacrosse team, it was a tale of two halves Thursday afternoon in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference semifinals against the hosting DeMatha Stags.
The Ryken defense held the Stags to one second-half score while scoring four goals, but the first half is what ultimately proved to be too much.
After being tied at 2 with just more than five minutes remaining in the half, DeMatha scored the next six-straight goals to take an 8-2 halftime lead. The six-goal cushion proved to be all the Stags would need en route to their 9-6 victory.
“Today, we played two different games. In the first half, we came out firing and hitting on all cylinders,” DeMatha head coach Scott Morrison said. “In the second half, like a typical St. Mary’s Ryken head-coached team does, they made some adjustments defensively and offensively and certainly got a lot closer.”
Steve Partlow was the only DeMatha player to score in the second half but led the team with a game-high three goals scored.
“We were more patient offensively in the first half and we won a few more faceoffs in the first half than we did in the second half,” Morrison said. “I’m just proud of the guys and they have come a long way.”
Ryken was led by senior Connor Summers, who scored two goals, including a fourth-quarter goal that put Ryken to within 8-5 with 11 minutes remaining in the game.
However, despite Ryken’s near-heroics team in the second half, the deficit was just too large for the Knights and head coach John Sothoron.
“We played so bad the first half and we have done this all year where we dig ourselves a hole,” Sothoron said. “We couldn’t have played any worse than we did in that first half, offensively and defensively. When you make that many mistakes in the semifinals, something is seriously wrong.”
Romar Dennis scored again for the Knights to make it 9-6 with just a minute left and the Knights missed two scoring opportunities with 50 seconds remaining.
“We make a little hustle comeback there in the second half, but the hole was too deep,” Sothoron explained. “I am very, very discouraged that we couldn’t have played better than we did because we’re capable of playing better.”
The Knights will lose nine seniors and finish the season 14-5 overall. They were 6-2 in WCAC play during the regular season.
Matthew Yates, Daniel Long and senior Joe Joe Joseph added goals for the Knights.
“They are a bunch of great kids and you couldn’t find a nicer bunch, actually,” Sothoron said of the seniors. “They worked their butts off and I’ll miss them. I feel bad for those guys because they are done. Now, we need juniors to put forth the effort the seniors did this year.”
DeMatha 9, St. Mary’s Ryken 6
Ryken 2 0 2 2
DeMatha 4 4 0 1 Goals: Ryken (Summers 2, Dennis, Yates, Long, Joseph); DeMatha (Partlow 3, Bigelow, Thompson, Petty, Rogers, Torain, Justice)
Saves: Ryken (Egnaczyk 6); DeMatha (Ramsey 10)