La Plata boys lax loses to Huntingtown
Hurricanes come back after two four-goal deficits
One day after hearing about the tragic loss of their former junior varsity teammate, Tyler Bland, the Huntingtown High School boys lacrosse team arrived at La Plata High School on Friday with heavy hearts and they appeared emotionally drained through the first quarter.
When the host Warriors raced to 4-0 and 5-1 leads in the Class 3A-2A East Region Section II semifinal contest, the Hurricanes’ chances of honoring their former teammate and schoolmate with a victory appeared to have vanished early.
Huntingtown had rallied to get within a goal at 7-6 at the intermission, but La Plata regained the momentum in the third quarter on goals from Jonathon Knode and Jordan Sinclair that gave the Warriors a 9-6 lead with just over five minutes remaining in the period.
At that point, Huntingtown head coach Pete Kerwin called a timeout sensing that the game and the Hurricanes’ season hinged on the latter portion of the third quarter and the early stages of the fourth and he did not want to see his team’s chances evaporate entirely.
With just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter, Huntingtown junior Johnny Nottage picked up a loose ball near midfield and headed upfield with his team’s season resting with the ball in the netting of his stick. Nottage bounced off two La Plata defenders and headed down the middle of the field, darted left briefly then shifted back to his right and fired a shot past Warriors goalie Sean St. Clair that trimmed the Hurricanes deficit to 9-7. But Nottage’s determined goal had a genuine ripple effect through the Huntingtown squad.
“When Johnny scored that goal late in the third period, it definitely picked up the entire team,” Kerwin said. “You could see the look on everyone’s face when they came over to the sideline. They knew that if they each played with that same intensity and determination then we could come back. I thought we had the deeper team. We just had to make some plays and let our depth do its part.”
With less than a minute remaining in the third quarter, Huntingtown senior Kevin Holmes also scored the trim the Hurricanes’ deficit to 9-8 heading into the final frame, where, contrary to the scoreboard, the visitors had the momentum.
Holmes scored the equalizer a minute into the fourth quarter and Nottage and junior Jake Brookman gave the Hurricanes their first two-goal lead of the game with consecutive scores and later Allen McKelton sealed the verdict with just over three minutes remaining to lift the Hurricanes to a 12-10 victory.
Third-seeded Huntingtown (13-4 overall) advanced to play at top-seeded Northern for the sectional championship and fell 7-1.
Brookman, who was one of the players closest to Bland, who did not return to the team this spring, scored the Hurricanes’ lone goal in the first quarter and then tallied another early in the second. He completed a 0hat trick before the end of the first half and then scored off an assist from McKellton with less than six minutes remaining to lift the Hurricanes to an 11-9 lead. After La Plata junior Ben LeBarron scored to trim the Huntingtown lead to 11-10 with five minutes left, McKelton gave the Hurricanes another twogoal cushion roughly two minutes later.
“We were definitely a little sluggish at first,” said Brookman, who plans to
attend the St. Mary’s College of Maryland and study marine biology in 2017. “Between the way La Plata came out with a lot more intensity and the other things that had happened off the field were still weighing on us. But Johnny had a great goal in the third quarter and then we scored the first three goals of the fourth quarter to take a two-goal lead and keep the momentum.”
Initially it looked as through the senior-laden Warriors were never going to relinquish the momentum and appeared poised to advance to the next round of the tournament. La Plata senior Zach Ward scored the game’s first goal 90 seconds into the contest, then
Sinclair scored his first goal a minute later and added another with three minutes left in the opener. Knode scored his first goal of the day with a minute left in the period to make it 4-0, but Brookman got the Warriors on the board with only 14.3 seconds left in the opener.
LeBarron scored his first goal of the game less than 90 seconds into the second quarter to extend the La Plata lead to 5-1, but Brookman, John Osborne and McKelton notched consecutive goals to trim the Hurricanes’ deficit to 5-4. Sinclair tallied another goal for La Plata, but McKelton answered to make it 6-5. Cody Getgen gave the Warriors a 7-5 lead with 24.8 seconds left in the half, but Brookman brought the visitors back to within 7-6 on a goal with only 6.5 seconds remaining.
“We definitely had all the momentum early, but that one goal [by Nottage] definitely started to turn things around,” La Plata coach Kris Bayer said. The Chesapeake Division champion Warriors finish the season at 10-5. “We stopped running our offense effectively and we did not play well on defense. They were also getting to more of the groundballs. We had 11 seniors on the team and it’s going to be tough to replace a lot of them, especially on defense where we had four guys play their last three years together.”
La Plata High School sophomore Cody Getgen looks to get past Huntingtown’s John Osborne on Friday. Getgen scored a goal in the first half, but the Hurricanes dominated the fourth quarter en route to a 12-10 victory in their 3A-2A South Region playoff game in La Plata.