It’s a Wrap for Rogers, DeMatha
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.