Greyhounds fall to Bullis, 8-7, in the final minute of the PNC Lacrosse Invitational
by Gary Adornato
For those who follow the regional high school lacrosse scene in this area, the Gilman-Bullis match-up in Saturday’s PNC Lacrosse Invitational, the first ever meeting of the two schools, had the potential to be a good one.
They were right.
In what might be considered an instant classic, the Greyhounds and Bulldogs battled toe-to-toe from start to finish and, with a goal in the final minute of play, Bullis escaped the Ridley Athletic Complex at Loyola University in Maryland with a thrilling 8-7 victory over Gilman.
Senior Robert Schain, who had three earlier assists, rolled from behind the goal, turned to his right and riffled a shot into the right side of the cage, with just 48-seconds to play, for what proved to be the winning goal.
Gilman won the ensuing face-off and squeezed off one final shot, but it was easily turned away by Bullis keeper Jack Fracyon, who had a brilliant 14 save performance. In fact, Fracyon did his best work in the pressure packed moments, just prior to Bullis’ final score.
With four minutes to play, Gilman had possession in the Bullis end and ran its offense flawlessly, getting senior Will Godine an open look from about 15 yards. Godine put a strike on goal, but Fracyon made the difficult deflection. The ball caromed high into the air and Godine came down with the rebound and triggered another hard shot at the heart of the cage and again Fracyon made the save. Bullis finally regained possession, as the clock ticked towards the final minute of regulation.
The Bulldogs quickly cleared and went right on the attack. They approached from the left, but found no openings. The ball was then spun behind the cage to Schain, who raced around the other side and produced the winning shot.
“Our D did a heck of a job, holding it down the last four or five minutes,” said Schain. “We drew up a play for me. There was a pick there, coming across, but it wasn’t there. On the switch I got a short stick. I got the ball and sort of dummy-dodged for a bit and kept coming to my left. They didn’t slide so I took the shot.”
The first half was a back-and-forth battle.
Bullis broke out to a 2-0 lead as Matt Kelly netted an unassisted goal and Bryson Shaw converted a feed from Schain. Andy Andrews, from Sam King, got Gilman on the board, with 5:31 to play in the opening quarter, and the Greyhounds drew even on a Godine goal, assisted by Casey Doyle.
The teams traded scores for the rest of the half, with the Bulldogs getting the final tally of the second quarter to take a 5-4 lead to the intermission. Gilman, however, came out strong in the third quarter, scoring three consecutive goals, to claim a 7-5 lead.
All three goals were unassisted with King scoring the first and third, while Billy Spilman got the one in the middle. King’s second goal came with 8:57 to play in the third quarter, but unfortunately for the Greyhounds, it would be their final score of the night.
“Credit them,” said Schain of Gilman’s surge. “They came out fiery in the second half. They are a really good team. We’re both good teams, so it was back and forth. It was a great game.”
With 4:16 left in the quarter, Shaw scored his second goal of the night for Bullis and the teams went to the fourth quarter with Gilman holding onto an 8-7 advantage. An unassisted score by Spencer Hughes, with 8:13 to play in the fourth quarter, tied the game for the Bulldogs.
For Gilman coach Brooks Matthews, who has announced that this will be his final season as the Greyhounds’ head coach, the loss was bitter, but he learned something positive about his team.
“The proverbial instant classic,” said Matthews. “I wish we were on the other end of it, but we had our opportunities and that’s all you can ask for. We had opportunities because our guys did some great things tonight. I’m really proud of them.
“We put ourselves in position to win a game against a great opponent. We didn’t quite do it, so now we figure out what it’s going to take. I’m really excited for what comes next for us.”
2019 PNC LACROSSE INVITATIONAL
(at Loyola University in Maryland – Ridley Athletic Complex)
BULLIS 8, GILMAN 7
BULL 2 3 1 2 — 8
GIL 2 2 3 0 — 7
GOALS: BULL-Bryson Shaw 2, Gus Weiner 2, Robert Schain 1, Matt Kelly 1, Jonathan Bender 1, Spencer Hughes 1; GIL-Sam King 2, Andy Andrews 2, Billy Spillman 1, Williams Godine 1, Logan Paff 1.
ASSISTS: BULL-Robert Schain 3, Bryson Shaw 1, Gus Weiner 1; GIL-Billy Spilman 2, Casey Doyle 1, Sam King 1.
SAVES: BULL-Jack Fracyon 14; GIL-Noah Klein 7.