Borden produces 10 points as AACS foils rival Indian Creek for MIAA C Conference lacrosse championship (VIDEO HERE!)
by Gary Adornato
Having tied atop the MIAA C Conference standings with 11-2 league records and splitting their regular season meetings, something had to give Friday afternoon at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium as two sets of Eagles made a northern flight from the Annapolis area to tangle in the MIAA C Conference lacrosse championship game.
Annapolis Area Christian (15-2 overall), the second seed by virtue of falling short in the tie-breakers, got an early lead and a huge game from senior Dylin Borden to top Indian Creek, 17-11, and to win its third C Conference title and first since 2003, while preventing Indian Creek from winning its second straight and fourth overall. AACS also won a B Conference championship in 2009.
Borden had three goals in the opening quarter, as AACS built an early lead, and had two goals and an assist in the third quarter as his team took control, to finish with six goals and four assists.
“Our goal coming in was to push it at the beginning and do it the whole game,” said Borden, who will play college basketball at California University of Pennsylvania. “At halftime we knew we needed to come out and push again, so that’s what we did and we got the Ship.”
First year AACS head coach Luther Flemming agreed with his star.
“Going into this game we just knew we had to come out fast and hard, and not let up at all,” said Flemming. “They got within a couple before halftime, but we were able to pull away and keep it.”
Leading 9-6 at the half, AACS got two goals in the first minute of the third quarter from junior Anthony Coppola, the first assisted by Borden and the second by John Gage Collier, to stretch its lead to five for the first time, at 11-6.
Indian Creek (13-4) got two back a couple of minutes later, but Borden struck for his final two tallies, in the final seven minutes of the third quarter and AACS was on its way.
The lead was 15-10 with 4:34 to play in the contest, but Annapolis Area went up by seven when sophomore Brian Husley, assisted by Collier, and Lucas Williams, assisted by Borden, gave AACS its biggest lead, at 17-10.
Senior Kyle Coogan put Annapolis Area Christian on the board first, in the opening quarter, when he scooped a loose ball in front of the crease and placed a leaping shot over the left shoulder of Indian Creek keeper Shaun Gerety.
Coppola started the play as he stepped into a shot, from about 12 yards, but he was hit just as he was in the process of shooting and the ball dislodged from his stick, finding Coogan after a couple of hops off of the turf.
Collier followed with the second AACS goal on an extra-man situation and sophomore Jack Rife made it 3-0 with 7:04 to play in the quarter.
Indian Creek got on the scoreboard for the first time, with 2:29 left in the opening stanza when junior middle Tyler Sheppard scored an unassisted tally, but AACS responded with a two goal flurry in the final minute of the period to take a 5-1 lead. First, Williams netted an unassisted goal with 47.6 left in the quarter and then, 16 seconds later, senior Joey Dixon converted a feed from Borden. The Eagles also hit the pipe with 17 seconds to play.
Indian Creek started fast in the second quarter, getting three goals in the first three minutes to cut the AACS lead to 5-4.
Junior Sammy Carter started the surge with an unassisted goal at the 11:21 mark. Freshman Nick Stroble then scored two straight, the first assisted by senior Ryan Davis and the second by Sheppard.
Borden got one back for AACS, with 8:56 to play in the half, as he converted an entry pass from Rife, stretching the lead back to two at 6-4.
Will Mercer made it a one goal game, with an extra-man score for Indian Creek with 6:36 left. The penalty was unreleasable, but Collier negated the ICS advantage when he won the ensuing face-off and raced to the cage for an unassisted fast-break tally for AACS.
The first half scoring concluded with a three goal flurry in an 81-second span.
AACS started it, at 4:14, as Borden deposited a feed from Williams, but Indian Creek’s Carter split the dense from up top for an unassisted tally, 12 seconds later, as the ICS pulled back within two, at 8-6. That was short-lived as AACS got another score from Borden, assisted by Williams, with 2:53 left until intermission and went to the break with a 9-6 lead.
“It was a great feeling. I’m super excited,” added Borden. “It was great to have all the students, parents, fans out here. The team was super hyped. It was our first since 2009. Leaving a legacy in the school was really big for us.”
In addition to Borden, AACS got huge production from Lucas, who finished with three goals and two assists, and Coppola, who also had a hat-trick. Collier added two goals and two assists, while Rife had a goal and an assist. Brian Husley and Joey Dixon rounded out the Annapolis Area scoring with one goal each.
Fleming pointed out that his team has been building to this point since before he arrived this spring.
“We had a good foundation and we built off of it,” said Flemming. “I surrounded myself with a good staff. They are quality coaches and we all believe in the same thing. We all have the same coaching philosophy and we compliment each other.”
Carter and Sheppard both had three goals and one assist to lead Indian Creek. Stroble scored twice, while Will Mercer, Jonah Amin and Roddy House scored once each.
Indian Creek head coach Jason Werner said the early deficit created an uphill battle for his team.
“We had the jitters in the first half,” said Werner. “They jumped out 5-1 and that made the difference. We couldn’t get back. Every time we thought we had some momentum, they beat us on a ground ball and went down and scored.”
Werner, however, said his program should be proud of what it has accomplished.
“We had a great season with a lot of guys back from last year’s roster, but quite a few key pieces who are not,” added Werner. “To get back, it’s hard to do it once. Most schools would just love to go to one. We’ve had the opportunity to play in the last three and win one.”
MIAA C CONFERENCE LACROSSE CHAMPIONSHIP
at Towson University
ANNAPOLIS AREA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 17, INDIAN CREEK SCHOOL 11
AACS: 5 4 4 4 — 17
ICS: 1 5 2 3 — 11
GOALS: AACS—Dylin Borden 6, Lucas Williams 3, Anthony Coppola 3, John Gage Collier 2, Jack Rife, Brian Husley, Joey Dixon; ICS—Sammy Carter 3, Tyler Sheppard 3, Nick Stroble 2, Will Mercer, Jonah Amin, Roddy House.
ASSISTS: AACS-Borden 4, Collier 2, Williams 2, Rife; ICS-Bryce Akers, Carter, Ryan Davis, Sheppard.
SAVES: AACS-Matt Arnold 4; ICS-Shaun Gerety 6.
FACE-OFFS: Annapolis Area Christian, 19-12.
SHOTS: Indian Creek, 32-29.
GROUND BALLS: Annapolis Area Christian, 43-32.