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La Salle takes on Gilman in No. 1 vs. struggling No. 2 matchup of boys’ powerhouses

Wednesday, 25th March 2009

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School  
 

By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, posted 3/25/09

The game may have lost some luster, but today all eyes of the boys’ lacrosse world will be focused on Gilman School in Baltimore where the top-ranked team in the nation hosts La Salle College High at 4 p.m.

Until Saturday, the game was billed as the ultimate No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup, since the Explorers have been ranked second in the Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse National Rankings.

But on Saturday the Explorers were upset in their opener, 6-3, by a game Conestoga, and even La Salle coach Bill Leahy admitted that his team is still finding itself after Monday’s 9-7 victory over Colorado power Arapahoe.

On Thursday the new rankings will be released. But that means little to Leahy and his Explorers, who are searching for their mojo in the early-going.

“Obviously it was hard to lose (to Conestoga),” Leahy said. “They played great and they deserved all the credit.

“For us, it was hard to eat humble pie. We have gotten away from who we are, and hopefully we’ll return to our roots.”

Leahy said his team made too many unforced errors against Conestoga. The Explorers did play better, he said, in Monday’s victory, but they are still not where he wants them to be heading into a game of this importance.

‘We played better … ugly, Philly lacrosse,” he said. “We’re still making too many errors for a veteran team.

“Somehow, with all prestige and honors, we got into our heads that it matters how we should look or that we’re entitled to win. We need to return to who we are.

“We need to be that Philly team standing in the middle of the ring, playing four quarters, and not making too many errors.”

La Salle is now ranked No. 2 in the PA Media Rankings, the Phillylacrosse.com Rankings and the Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association poll. Gilman is 2-0 with wins over strong Maryland teams Landon (12-5) and Georgetown Prep (9-6).

One key to the game is Gilman’s vaunted offense against La Salle’s stingy defense, led by Tucker Durkin (Johns Hopkins signee), Mike Noone (Lehigh), long-stick midfielder Tyler Knarr (Georgetown) and goalie Niko Amato (Maryland). The greyhounds feature attackmen Dave Emala (Georgetown) and Marcus Holman (North Carolina) and middies Greg McBride (North Carolina), Jack Doyle (Harvard), Duncan Hutchins and Cooper Brown.

La Salle’s attack is led by middie Peter Schwartz (Harvard) and attackmen Randy Forster (Penn State), Westy Hopkins and Randy Forster. Gilman’s defense is led by Harry Prevas.

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