Andrews converts a tricky rebound for sudden-death goal in OT as No. 4 Gilman tops Loyola Blakefield and snaps a two-game skid; Jack Koras, Llewellyn combine for 12 points for Dons
by Nelson Coffin
Gilman coach Brooks Matthews said that “you can’t teach fight,” although his No. 4 Greyhounds seemed to understand instinctively how to scratch and claw their way past sixth-ranked Loyola Blakefield on Tuesday afternoon in Roland Park.
With four games left on its schedule, including a chance to knock off No. 1 Calvert Hall on Saturday afternoon, Gilman put itself in a very good position to earn a playoff berth in the MIAA A Conference for the first time since 2014 after beating the Dons, 14-13, on junior midfielder Andy Andrews’ first goal of the game with just 23 seconds left in the first overtime period.
Besides “fight,” Matthews also lauded his team’s resilience for overcoming a pair of three-goal deficits to snare a pivotal victory.
Many heroes emerged for the Greyhounds (8-4, 4-2 MIAA A Conference), including junior attackmen Billy Spilman and Dutch Furlong, senior defenseman Xander Martin and junior FOGO Nick Tussing.
Spillman and Furlong scored three goals each and Martin did what Brooks called a “fantastic job” of covering star Loyola junior attackman Jack Koras, who still riddled Gilman’s defense for five goals and an assist.
Tussing was center stage while taking on four different Dons at the face-off “X” and prevailing 20 times in 32 attempts.
Junior longstick Dave Lamarca had the most success of the Loyola quartet by disrupting Tussing’s ability to scoop up the draw cleanly a couple of times and winning three face-offs of his own.
In the end, though, as time was winding down in the overtime, Andrews made the play that mattered most.
He said that “the ball hit off the goalie (junior Kevin Ellington, 15 saves) and took a funny bounce,” before he picked it up with “a defender on my hip.”
When he didn’t see a slide coming, Andrews knew exactly what to do.
“I was definitely taking that to the rack,” he said, even though he “took a hit” from converging defenders.
“For us to bounce back like that after two losses is really big for us,” Andrews concluded.
Loyola never trailed, taking 3-1 and 6-4 leads, respectively, at the end of the first quarter and at halftime.
The advantage widened to 7-4 when Jack Koras struck for the fourth time early in the third period and before that Gilman “fight” showed up.
The Greyhounds responded immediately with a 3-0 run on a pair of goals by Spilman and one by senior midfielder Will Godine to forge a 7-7 deadlock with just over nine minutes remaining in the third quarter.
From that point forward, there were five ties and two lead changes as the teams stayed within a goal of each other until the Koras brothers, first Jack and then sophomore sibling Charlie, gave the Dons (7-5, 4-3) a 13-11 cushion with just under eight minutes left in regulation.
Gilman senior defenseman James Schloeder’s takeaway led to Furlong cutting the deficit in half before Spilman stuck a lefty liner with just under four minutes to go in the fourth quarter to force overtime.
Andrews did the rest.
“Both teams had chances in overtime,” Loyola coach Gene Ubriaco said. “We did get a stop there at the end, but then they got a re-do on a pushing call.”
While Ubriaco praised Lamarca’s contributions on face-offs and defense, he said that his team did a “decent job individually, but collectively did not do very well.”
The Dons will attempt to make amends when they host No. 9 Archbishop Spalding on Saturday afternoon at Hargaden Field in Towson.
Pictured above: Loyola defenders double team Gilman junior attackman Sam King in the Greyhounds’ 14-13 OT win on Tuesday.
NO. 4 Gilman 14, NO. 6 Loyola Blakefield 13 OT
LOY 3 3 3 4 0 — 13
GIL 1 3 6 3 1 — 14
Goals: LOY-Jack Koras 5, Chase Llewellyn 3, Charlie Koras 2, Ryan Lancaster, Alex Breschi, Dave Lamarca; GIL-Dutch Furlong 3, Billy Spilman 3, Logan Paff 2, Will Godine 2, Max Carneal, Sam King, Wallace Halpert, Andy Andrews.
Assists: LOY-Llewellyn 3, Breschi 3, Kevin Tucker, Michael Haus, C. Koras, J. C. Koras, Lancaster; GIL-Casey Doyle 2, King 2, Spilman.
Saves: LOY-Kevin Ellington 15; Gil-Noah Klein 10.