Winning the Anne Arundel boys’ lacrosse championship is a tall order. With five of the state’s top 25 teams and the familiarity bred of geographic proximity, surviving the regular season with the best record in the county takes talent, skill and good fortune.
But for the second straight season, the Arundel Wildcats (12-2) have powered through that schedule and emerged as county champions, this season with a 10-1 in-county record — the lone slip-up coming in the regular season finale against 10-4 Broadneck, a 9-7 loss.
Last season, the Wildcats followed a 11-1 in-county record and county championship with an early playoff exit, a second-round disappointment at the hands of Chesapeake, whom Arundel had beaten earlier that season.
“That game helped us the most out of everything,” Jones said. “Going into the playoffs with a loss, most people think it’s a bad thing, but I think it was a good thing. It pointed out our weaknesses. Instead of us getting a win there playing sloppy, going into the playoffs thinking we’re playing well, it shows us what we need to work on so we fix the small things and come out hot in playoffs.”
Arundel kicks off its postseason Wednesday night against one of Anne Arundel’s most talented teams, Severna Park, whose 6-8 record doesn’t showcase its athletic roster and may not divulge the Falcons’ upset potential. Because the 4A/3A East region is made entirely of Anne Arundel teams, the Wildcats will have to survive that tough league schedule yet again to emerge: they’d face the winner of Broadneck and Annapolis Friday with a win, then likely head on to play top squads Chesapeake (10-4, 8-3) or South River (12-2, 9-1) in the region semifinal.
“It’s an honor to be county champions, especially because Anne Arundel County is considered by many people to be one of the toughest leagues in the state,” Jones said. “But it’s definitely not the number one goal. We want to go further this year.”
After a relatively quiet, somewhat predictable regular season, the Interstate Athletic Conference seemed determined to provide some pre-playoff drama Tuesday night.
Episcopal (9-10, 0-5 IAC) pushed Landon (18-3, 4-1) to within three goals in a hard-fought 9-6 Bears win. Landon’s only in-conference loss had come to Georgetown Prep, which led the IAC standings throughout the season.
Then, Bullis knocked off defending IAC champion St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes. Bullis shut down the Saints in a 10-4 win that pushed the Bulldogs (12-5, 3-2 IAC) ahead of the Saints (11-7, 2-3 IAC) in the standings.
Though notable, those two results weren’t exactly stunners. St. Albans provided the biggest upset of all, upending previously unbeaten Georgetown Prep with a wild senior day overtime victory.
While the Little Hoyas controlled much of the possession and won 13 of 16 faceoffs, the Bulldogs not only hung in against the potent Prep attack, but rallied against it. Down four in the third quarter, St. Albans staged a second half comeback before Armin Mortavizi sealed the win in overtime, momentarily restoring the Bulldogs to their historical place atop the IAC standings with powers like Prep and Landon. St. Albans (10-5, 2-3) will play St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes in the first round of the IAC tournament Friday.
Churchill’s Louis Dubick finished the regular season with more than 100 points, tallying 63 goals and 43 assists, an average of more than seven points per game. . . . Wootton wrapped up an undefeated regular season with a 15-2 win over Springbrook in the regular season finale Monday. The Patriots, South River, Howard and Churchill all received No. 1 seeds in the 4A/3A tournament. . . . Bullis re-enters the rankings after knocking off then-No. 5 St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes on Tuesday.
1. Georgetown Prep (17-1) LW: 1
2. Gonzaga (14-5) LW: 2
3. Landon (18-3) LW: 3
4. DeMatha (16-3) LW: 4
5. St. Mary’s-Annapolis (11-5) LW: 6
6. Wootton (14-0) LW: 9
7. Howard (14-0) LW: 7
8. Arundel (12-2) LW: 8
9. Bullis (12-5) LW: NR
10. South County (12-0) LW: 10
Fell out: No. 5 St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (11-7)
On the bubble: Chantilly (13-1), South River (12-2)
Records through Tuesday. Rankings will be suspended during the playoffs. Final rankings will be published on allmetsports.com on June 18.