There has never been a championship showdown between Boys’ Latin and St. Paul’s, according to Lakers’ Assistant Coach Butch Maisel.  Ever.

But that footnote in the schools’ history is about to be forever changed, with Boys’ Latin beating Friends, 2-0, Friday afternoon to earn a spot opposite St. Paul’s in the MIAA B Conference boys’ soccer championship.

“It is always awesome making it back to the championship, and it is the goal in the beginning of the season,” said Lakers’ Head Coach Don Rickels, whose last appearance in the title game saw an overtime comeback victory over Friends two years ago.  “We always want to qualify for the playoffs, then compete for the bye and make it to the championship game.”

Ending the midfield battle between the two teams early in the first half, Laker sophomore Maxx Lowenstein put his team on the board with a pinpoint shot amongst traffic for a 1-0 lead, and 51 seconds later congratulated junior teammate Jimmy Peacock on his own goal, putting Boys’ Latin ahead, 2-0.

“We just had good ball control in the beginning of the game,” Lowenstein explained.  “We passed it through, and whenever we could shoot the ball, we ripped the shot and we made it.”

“The ball just kind of came in and I didn’t see it,” Peacock said about his score.  “I was able to touch it passed the defender and hit it on the right foot.”

The two goals did more than provide a cushion for the Lakers, it accomplished something Rickels has been preaching to the team for quite some time; score in running-play.

“Our biggest problem all year, our Achilles’ heel, was our inability to score in the run of play,” Rickels explained.  “We play great defense, we have a terrific goalie, but we would just breakdown in our offensive-third of the field.  We just could not finish, and today we finished.”

The defense was as good as ever, Friday, holding the Quaker offense to six shots in the first half, and further shutting them down to only three shots the rest of the game.

But on the scoring opportunities the Quakers did conjure, including three corners, it was senior keeper Zach Davis who came out of the goal to disrupt the shooting angles and hold the shutout.

“Our defense, all year, has been strong, and we have been a really tight pack,” Davis said.  “All we can do is kick the ball away like we have to, and if I had to, I made a big save.  

“A couple of those through balls I just made sure I was aggressive, came out, made sure I got set on those couple saves and it all worked out for the best.”

Davis saveDavis, known for his terrific punting ability and overall goalie skill, came out of the goal a few times, Friday, to break up possible scoring plays for th Quakers, including a one-on-one save just after the Lakers’ second goal, and another two back-to-back diving saves just before the end of the half.

The Lakers have a lot to play up to in the MIAA B Conference championship, Sunday, facing a title-hungry team in St. Paul’s.

St. Paul’s School has not won a MIAA soccer championship since 2000, and with a bitter taste remaining from 2009’s penalty-kick loss to Annapolis Area Christian avenged, Thursday, in a 2-0 semifinal win, the Crusaders will be looking to settle for nothing less than a 2010 crown.

“All we need to do is be able to finish in the run of play,” Rickels said.  “Not on a long throw or set pieces, we need to score goals out of the run of play.

“Every year our goal is to make it back to the dance, because, once you are in the dance, anything can happen.”

Boys’ Latin has split with the Crusaders in the 2010 regular season, taking a 3-0 win in early October but dropping to St. Paul’s later in the month, 2-0.

The MIAA B Conference Championship will take place on Sunday at 2 p.m., playing on the artificial turf at Archbishop Spalding.

Boys’ Latin 2, Friends 0
Boys’ Latin
BL-Lowebstein, Peacock.
BL-Davis 6; FS-Frost 5.
BL-12; FS-9.