No. 20 Curley plays physical defense to shut down Glenelg Country in MIAA B Conference lax final; Rollins scores three goals, wins face-off battle for Friars (VIDEO HERE!)
by Nelson Coffin
Fans had barely settled into their seats before three goals were scored in the first 50 seconds of the MIAA B Conference championship game on Friday at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium.
That trend continued the rest of the game, at least for top-seeded Archbishop Curley, which continued to score early and often in a 12-3 verdict over Glenelg Country School to claim the program’s third B Conference crown and first since 2008.
Yet, it was Glenelg Country School’s senior long-stick Calder Vandenheuvel who raked a ground ball off the opening face-off and rifled a shot past Curley junior goalie Sean Roesener, just eight seconds into the first quarter, who ignited the early scoring barrage to give the Dragons their only lead of the game.
The Friars (14-3) would have plenty of answers, starting with back-to-back goals by sophomore midfielder Lee Rock and junior midfielder Nate Rollins in the ensuing 42 seconds.
After the Glenelg Country (14-5) netted the equalizer on an extra-man tally by freshman midfielder Rocco Buscher, with seven minutes remaining in the first quarter, Curley rattled off six of the game’s next seven goals to build an imposing 8-3 halftime advantage.
Knapp, junior attackman Gage Coolahan, junior midfielder Scott Giampa, Rock, senior midfielder Nick Ramage and Rollins all rippled the net for the Friars, while junior Matt Palmisano had the only retort for GCS.
The third quarter belonged to Curley as well with Rollins and Coolahan scoring while long-sticks Dominic Zingo, Michael Gardiner, Michael Settar and Shane Stone helped Roesener pitch a shutout the rest of the way in a dominating defensive performance.
“Those guys are really, really good,” Roesener said. “We wanted to be physical with them.”
Roesener said that he was ready for what the Dragons threw at him.
“I was seeing the ball well,” he said after making 10 saves before being relieved in the fourth quarter by Christian Thomas, who also recored a save, in the fourth quarter. “And I wanted to make myself big and fill up the goal.”
Rollins, Coolahan, senior Scott Kahl and senior midfielder Paul Lewis closed out the scoring for the Friars, who shut out the Dragons over the final 35 minutes, 21 seconds.
“We asked our guys to win their individual matchups,” Curley coach Chris Ogle said. “But when they got by us, Sean was there (to make the stops) for us.”
The much younger and smaller Dragons simply could not match Curley’s fast start and physicality.
“We got off to a good start, but that’s a good lacrosse team we played,” Glenelg Country coach Kevin Boland, Jr. said. “They’re very physical, and we shot the ball poorly — and part of that was because of Curley.”
The last time the teams met, the Dragons gutted out a 7-6 triumph by using fine face-off work by Tristan McKneely to keep the ball away from Curley’s dangerous offense.
This time, the Friars more than held their own in that department with Rollins winning seven of 13 attempts and Lewis going 3-for-5 against McKneely and Buschar, who took one draw.
Rollins scored once directly off the draw and finished with a game-high three goals and an assist.
“The last game, he (McKneely) would clamp, get up and go,” Rollins said. “But I learned a lot of counters in practice this week. I had confidence I could beat him.”
Rollins’ laser shot was another asset Curley used to great effect.
“We shoot an hour every day,” he said. “Coach puts football dummies in the goal (to make shooters find smaller openings ).
Rollins’ work on the defensive end was also part of the winning effort.
“We were just trying to keep pressure on their lower hands and to push them away from the goal,” Rollins added.
With nine freshmen and five sophomores dotting the Dragons’ roster, the future should be very intriguing for Boland and his troops.
“I think our youth played a role today,” he said. “But we have a lot to be excited about.”
MIAA B CONFERENCE LACROSSE CHAMPIONSHIP
AT UNITAS STADIUM, TOWSON UNIVERSITY
No. 20 ARCHBISHOP CURLEY 12, GLENELG COUNTRY SCHOOL 3
GCS 2 1 0 0 — 3
AC 5 3 2 2 — 12
Goals: GCS-Rocco Buscher, Calder Vandenheuvel, Matt Palmisano; AC-Nate Rollins 3, Lee Rock 2, Gage Coolahan 2, Paul Lewis, Nick Ramage, Scott Kahl, Josh Knapp, Scott Giampa.
Assists: GCS-None; AC-Josh Knapp 2, Andrew Jackson, Scott Kahl, Lee Rock, Nate Rollins.
Saves: GCS-Brayden Franey 12; AC-Sean Roesner 10, Christian Thomas.
Shots: GCS 31, AC 33.
Clears: GCS 16-17; AC 17-19.
Turnovers: GCS 12, AC 11.
Ground balls: GCS 18, AC 31.