Lions put away Cougars late in sea­son opener

Record Observer - - Sports -

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

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

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.

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