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La Salle gives up late lead in 8-7 loss to Gilman in battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2

Wednesday, 25th March 2009

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School, Posted 3/25/09

The good news for La Salle was that it returned to form and played like a team capable of beating anyone in the nation.

The bad news was that the Explorers made several key errors and giveaways in the final minutes and fell, 8-7, in overtime to host Gilman School in a battle between the two top-ranked boys’ in the nation by Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse.

La Salle (1-2) seized a 5-1 halftime lead, led 7-3 after three periods and held a 7-5 advantage until the Greyhounds (3-0) scored to make it 7-6 with just over two minutes in the game.

Gilman then sent it onto overtime with 13 seconds left in regulation on a goal by Dave Emala. La Salle had a man-up chance early in OT, but a pass was stolen and the Gilman player took it downfield and beat Niko Amato (nine saves) for the win.

“”You couldn’t ask for anything more, we played great lacrosse until the end,” said a dejected but proud La Salle coach Bill Leahy. “We made five or six dumb decisions, which gave a powerful team too many touches.”

La Salle had been struggling through its first two games to find the form it flashed last year when it won the state championship. Leahy admitted the team may have been affected by a tremendous amount of early-season hype after the Explorers fell to Conestoga, 6-3, in their opener and slogged past Arapahoe (Col.), 9-7.

“We played great defense and finished our shots in the first half,” Leahy said.  “We got strong face-off work by Tyler Knarr and a lot of things went right.

“I think in the fourth period we were playing not to lose and it caught up with us at the end.

“It’s just nice to have my team back. You can’t ask for a better effort than that.”

Peter Schwartz led the Explorers with three goals and Randy Forster added two. Westy Hopkins and Derek Bogorowski also scored once. Tucker Durkin and Mike Noone were credited with standout defense.



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