Lions put away Cougars late in season opener
CENTREVILLE — “Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,” Lions head coach Brad Niesz said to his attackmen after Saturday’s first possession produced a 1-0 lead against Quince Orchard.
That goal and ever y other Queen Anne’s goal proved necessary in a well-fought game on a beautiful spring afternoon that wasn’t over until the final seconds.
The Cougars pulled within 13-12 with 32 seconds left in the game, when senior captain Drew Levine scored on a rebound. But Queen Anne’s Jack Rife won the ensuing faceoff and Chris Connor scored with 7 seconds remaining, as Queen Anne’s County High’s boys’ lacrosse team claimed a 14-12 victor y in its season-opener.
“That’s a huge win against a very good team,” Niesz said after the game. “Two years ago we played them in a tournament in Bel Air. I don’t know the score, but it was at least a 10-goal difference they beat us. So this is a very big victory for these boys to come back and do that.”
Connor split of pair of defenders and scored into an empty net to seal the victory. He played for Queen Anne’s his freshmen year, transferred to St. Mary’s for two years, and is back with the Lions. He finished the game with two goals, two assists, and four ground balls.
Senior attacker Paul Gill and senior midfielder Jacob Miller each scored three goals for the Lions. Rife, a senior middie, handled most of the faceoffs, which the Lions won 15 of 23, including 5 of 6 in the first quarter. Senior goalie Noah Lode recorded 17 saves.
Queen Anne’s scored on the game’s first two possessions. JP Quirion tallied off an assist from Brandon Hickman running up the right wing to make it 1-0. After the Lions almost lost the ball on their second possession, Garrett Bowen broke free on the left side and pumped in a bouncer to make it 2-0 with 9:40 left in the quarter.
The Cougars responded with 7:35 remaining when Johnny Hodges sizzled in a high shot for a 2-1 game.
Miller countered on the next possession with a right-hander to the left side of the net, past Cougars senior goalie Joe McGowen, to make it 3-1. Goals by Quince Orchard’s Alex Raines and Vic Grinberg (four goals) tied the game at 3-3 with 4:45 left in the opening quarter. The Lions gained a 4-3 advantage by the quarter’s end with Gill’s first goal, a bouncer at 1:42.
Facing away from the net, Grinberg scored with an underhanded shot from close range to tie the game, 4-4, 30 seconds into the second quarter.
The Cougars moved too early on the ensuing faceoff and Queen Anne’s capitalized on the awarded possession. Miller spun in front
Queen Anne’s senior midfielder Garrett Bowen gets away from Quince Orchard’s Wyatt McCabe during the Lions’ 14-12 victory Saturday afternoon in Centreville.