Baltimore takes a late lead, but D.C. slips past for the All-America Highlight Division South Super Region crown
by Nelson Coffin
A gritty defensive effort by the Baltimore boys Highlight went unrewarded when Washington, D.C. scored on an unsettled situation with just under two minutes remaining in regulation to claim a 6-5 victory in the All-America Lacrosse South Super Region underclass tournament final Sunday afternoon at Meadowood Regional Park in Lutherville.
After a save by Loyola Blakefield rising senior Jack Webb kept a 5-5 tie intact, a loose ball squirted toward the sideline where D.C. rising senior attackman Connor Davis gobbled it up and had the presence of mind to find rising senior midfielder Kieran Anzelone — his Bullis School teammate — all alone in front of the goal for the go-ahead tally.
Davis also scored the tying goal for D.C. on a layup, so his heroics down the stretch were key for the Washingtonians’ sweep of all five games at the event.
“I just got the ball and passed it to Kieran,” the Bucknell commit said about the winning goal.
For Baltimore to allow just six goals after getting blistered in a 9-2 loss to D.C. on Saturday was a testament to rising junior long-stick middies Jonny Cool (McDonogh) and Will Schaller (Hill School), rising senior close defenders Colin Burlace (St. Mary’s) and Brian King (Calvert Hall) and rising junior close defenders AJ Larkin (Loyola) and James Azbill (Catonsville) playing in front of Webb and rising senior goalie Westin Schmitt (St. Mary’s).
And while D.C.’s defense deserves credit as well, it had a tough time controlling Baltimore attackman Truitt Sunderland, who scored Baltimore’s first three goals and later assisted rising senior midfielder Hayden Miller (Loyola) for a short-lived lead early in the fourth quarter.
Rising senior attackman Brett Jackson (Robinson, Fairfax, Va.) had B’more’s other goal to finish a fast-break opportunity ignited by Larkin, who swiped the ball in the defensive end, raced down the field and found Jackson with a perfect strike on the wing.
To be sure, though, it was Sunderland who took control of the offense for Baltimore.
The Calvert Hall rising junior was the leading scorer of the regional tournament with 10 goals and four assists.
He and Schaller were selected to the All-South Super Region team with Davis, D.C. rising senior goalie Jack Fracyon (Bullis), D.C. rising senior goalie Spencer Hughes (Bullis), D.C. rising senior face-off specialist Chase Mullins (St. Christopher’s, Va.) and South rising junior attackman William Overly (Lovett School, Ga.)
Sunderland (14 points) was the only player to reach double digits in points.
“Truitt’s a phenomenal quarterback,” Baltimore coach Ron Klausner said. “He has the ability to get a first step on his man, and that’s very important.”
Klausner said that Truitt’s speed is only one of his attributes.
“He’s fast and he’s tough,” Klausner added. “He’s not a soft kid. Some guys can’t take hard checks, but he can.”
Klausner also credited Schaller and Cool for helping rising senior Mackenzie Moreland (Boys’ Latin) and Tim Lucky (Sanford School, Del.) to neutralize Mullins at the face-off X.
Klausner said that some empty possessions stopped the defending champs from three-peating.
“Those unforced errors hurt us a little bit,” he said. “I think at times, we were just trying to do a little too much.”
Neither Sunderland nor Klausner said that having to compete in what essentially was a play-in game Sunday morning — a 10-5 victory over the South — was a deciding factor in the afternoon loss.
“We felt like it was just a good warmup,” Sunderland said. “And then we tried to save our legs (for the title game).”
“Playing the early game wasn’t too much,” Klausner added. “We came out and battled hard, but we might have been a little fatigued at the end.”
ALL-AMERICA UNDERCLASS TOURNAMENT
BOYS HIGHLIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
(at Meadowood Regional Park)
WASHINGTON, D.C. 6, BALTIMORE 5
BALTO 2 1 1 1 — 5
D.C. 1 2 1 2 — 6
GOALS: BALTO-Truitt Sunderland 3, Brett Jackson, Hayden Miller; D.C.-Kieran Anzelone, Connor Davis, Luke Raymond, Hugh Mullane, Dakota Eierman, Spencer Hughes.
ASSISTS: BALTO-Truitt Sunderland, AJ Larkin, Tim Lucky; D.C.-Connor Davis, Luke Rhoa.
Pictured above: McDonogh rising senior midfielder Jack Dudas attempts to make his way past Gonzaga rising senior defender Finn Scanlon at the All-America Lacrosse Highlight South Super Region underclass tournament final Sunday afternoon at Meadowood Regional Park in Lutherville. Scanlon’s D.C. squad rallied for a 6-5 victory over Dudas and the Baltimoreans.