After letting a six-goal lead slip away and finding themselves behind by two in the fourth quarter, Northwest High School senior attackman Zack Notari said some doubt crept into the Jaguars’ minds. They didn’t let it take them out of the game, though.
The Jaguars rallied and Notari scored two goals in the final three minutes to give Northwest a 12-11 win in its first game of the season.
“We picked up the intensity and everyone got pumped up,” said Notari, who finished with four goals. “That’s when we turned it around and we knew for sure that we could win.”
Notari scored the game-winning goal with 56 seconds remaining. With top scorer Simon Michnick being blanketed by the Poolesville defense, Notari took advantage of an opening in the defense. Notari isolated his defender, faked a shot, rolled high past the defender and shot it as hard as he could to the bottom right of the goal for the score.
“I freaked out because I knew I just won the game,” Notari said.
Both he and coach Dave Hafer agree that they shouldn’t have been in that situation. Northwest led 6-0 in the first half and slowed its game down, allowing the comeback. While the team learned it can come back if necessary, Hafer would prefer not to put themselves in that situation.
“They’re still learning how to be a really good team,” Hafer said. “They’re still learning how to put things away. But give credit to Poolesville. They stormed back and took advantage of it.”
After a season-opening loss to Thomas S. Wootton, Sherwood picked up its first win of the season with a 9-5 victory against Walt Whitman on Saturday.
“We’re obviously happy to improve our performance relative to the first game against Wootton,” Sherwood coach Chip Steel said.
Chris Voorhees led the Warriors offensive attack, scoring five goals and adding an assist.
“He shot the ball unbelievably well and he had one very nice assist,” Steel said. “In the end, for him to make those shots he had to get some help from teammates like Michael Crooks, who set him up a few times.”
Crooks had three assists and two goals.
The Warriors started fast, taking an 8-2 lead in the first half, but were on the defensive for most of the second half. Steel said Whitman had an advantage in time of possession in the second half as well as shots. Whitman out-shot Sherwood for the game, 26-20.
But Sherwood’s defense was up to the task, led by goalie William Wykoff’s 14 saves.
“I was very pleased with our defense in general and I thought William Wykoff played an outstanding second half,” Steel said. “If it weren’t for some good defensive plays and Wykoff, I think it would have been a much closer game.”
HOW THEY RANK
1. Landon Bears (3-1)
2. Winston Churchill Bulldogs (2-0)
3. Thomas S. Wootton Patriots (1-1)
4. Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons (2-0)
5. Georgetown Prep Little Hoyas (2-3)
Game to watch
Paul VI at Landon
Paul VI (6-0) already has a win against Georgetown Prep and has 10 players committed to play in college next year.