It’s a Wrap for Rogers, DeMatha

The Washington Post Sunday - - Sports - By Ryan Mink

Ju­nior Mike Rogers had just scored to pull DeMatha even with Gon­zaga in a boys’ lacrosse game. As he sprinted off the field at Riverdale Park, as­sis­tant coach Andy Beal yelled: “The Saran wrap is off now! Let’s open the flood gates!”

That’s just what sixth-ranked DeMatha did. Af­ter be­ing shut out in the first half and trail­ing by two goals, the Stags struck back with five goals in the third quar­ter and an­other three in the fourth to beat the visit­ing Ea­gles, 8-3.

This re­newal of a peren­nial ri­valry got off to a sloppy start, but once the Stags (4-2) took the wrap­ping off, it seemed like old times. The Stags have won eight straight Wash­ing­ton Catholic Ath­letic Con­fer­ence ti­tles, in­clud­ing a one-goal win over the Ea­gles in last sea­son’s fi­nal.

“It was sup­posed to be Gon­zaga’s year last year, but we didn’t let them have it,” ju­nior Mike Smail said. “They had their chance.”

It seemed that Gon­zaga (1-2) had an­other shot to break the spell yes­ter­day as DeMatha had trou­ble clear­ing the ball and com­mit­ted costly penal­ties in the first half. DeMatha Coach Scott Pugh said his team came out too pumped up. Smail en­tered the sec­ond half ner­vous while ju­nior Danny Schanne be­came an­gry.

Schanne gave DeMatha its first nudge with a goal with just about eight min­utes left in the third quar­ter and Rogers changed the mo­men­tum for good with his score about two min­utes later.

“The first one broke the ice,” Rogers said. “Af­ter the sec­ond one, we felt like we had it.”

Ju­nior Shane Ryz­nar snapped the 2-2 tie with a wide-open goal in front of the net and Schanne (three goals) scored 18 sec­onds later. Smail notched a short-handed, div­ing goal with 1 minute 1 sec­ond left and when the third quar­ter horn sounded with the Stags ahead 5-2, the whole team charged onto the field, sens­ing vic­tory.

DeMatha has just five se­niors on its ros­ter and lost its top scorer from last year, Ryan Ko­towski, to an an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment tear in the first 30 sec­onds of its first scrim­mage. But if yes­ter­day showed one thing, it’s that once again the road to the WCAC ti­tle will likely go through DeMatha.

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