Despite not having a true offensive possession in the fourth quarter — which Georgetown Prep coach Kevin Giblin's team heard about in no uncertain terms during the post-game chat — the Hoyas boys lacrosse team improved to 4-0 with a 9-4 victory against Good Counsel on Saturday.
The game was fairly even until the midway point of the second quarter, when Georgetown Prep, ranked seventh nationally in ESPNU's Fab 50, went on four-goal run that ended up providing enough cushion for the victory.
“People don't give us their B-games. We only get everybody's A-game,” Giblin said. “We've got a lot to work on. We're young. I think we're going to be solid, but we're not there yet.”
While his team won by five goals, the fourth quarter wore on Giblin's nerves as the Hoyas' situation spiraled downward. Georgetown Prep was called for nine penalties, essentially allowing Good Counsel (0-2) to play the entire fourth quarter with a man-advantage. Because Prep's defense was unable to sub off the field with ease, the defenders tired quickly and committed more penalties.
“It was because the offense did not possess the ball. The defense was getting real tired and making dumb plays,” said senior captain Kyle Shanahan. “Blame that one on the offense. We were throwing it away a lot. Our defense was getting frustrated.”
While they spent a large amount of time in the attacking zone, the Falcons scored just once in the fourth quarter — a rocket off the stick of senior midfielder Graham Dabbs, who recorded two of Good Counsel's four goals.
“I think definitely in the second half, we had a few opportunities that we failed to capitalize on,” said Falcons coach Matt Durkin. “Every time we coughed the ball up, we had a penalty going our way or we had a ground ball and were able to bring it back to our side.”
While Good Counsel generated 15 shots in the fourth quarter, only six were on net and five were stopped by Prep's goalkeeper Will Railey. The sophomore registered nine saves, though a number of the shots came right toward his chest.
“We had our opportunities in the second half, but if you're playing catch with the goalie, you can't expect to get the ball back that way,” Durkin said. “Our problem is I think we sometimes get stars in our eyes. We're looking for the big shot and we pull it wide or high and sometimes miss the cage. We don't change our angle enough.”
Georgetown Prep sophomore Brendan Collins and Good Counsel senior Luke Poulos each made memorable plays in the game.
In the second quarter, Collins caught the ball roughly 15 yards from the goal before faking a shot high and ducking under two defenders. He pivoted as he ran toward the crease before going low and side-arming a quick shot past Good Counsel goalkeeper Dylan Szot to put the Hoyas ahead 5-2.
In the third quarter, Poulos matched the beauty of Collins' strike with a remarkable individual effort. Poulos gained control of the ball on the defensive side of midfield where two Prep players attempted to cause a ground ball. He made both miss, dodging one to his right and another to his left, and ran through the offensive zone. When Poulos arrived roughly 10 yards away from Prep's goal he sliced through the defense toward the left side of the crease and beat Railey low to the stick side. The strike pulled the Falcons within five goals at 8-3, but that's as close as they'd come.
“A lot of the offenses we run, we work to get our shooters time and space,” Durkin said. “It's just a matter of them taking that extra half second to understand where the open spots are. I think it will continue to get better.”
Georgetown Prep 9, Good Counsel 4
Georgetown Prep 3 4 2 0 — 9
Good Counsel 1 1 1 1 — 4
Georgetown Prep (4-0): Chad Strittmatter (2:08, 1st), Jack Cleary (1:20, 1st), Brendan Collins (0:13, 1st), Riley Peters (3:06, 2nd), Collins (2:12, 2nd), Cleary (1:05, 2nd), Townsend Brown (0:10, 2nd), Kyle Shanahan (8:12, 3rd), Charlie Horning (2:26, 3rd)
Good Counsel (0-2): Graham Dabbs (7:47, 1st), Patrick Poulos (5:08, 2nd), Luke Poulos (6:10, 3rd), Dabbs (11:12, 4th)