“He was incredible,” Coach Bob Waters said of Aunon, who had three goals and an assist. “The fact that he even played was incredible.”
The night proved memorable for the first-year coach well before his shorthanded team wiped out a three-goal second-half deficit to celebrate the victory.
As part of its military appreciation night, the team raffled off donated lacrosse equipment and raised more than $2,000 for its Operation Warrior Outreach program.
Begun in 2010 at the Fairfax school, the program has allowed Paul VI players to collect and send more than 500 care packages to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Thanks to a donation from Reebok, the next delivery will include 100 lacrosse sticks for the soldiers.
On Tuesday, the flag that flew above the field was carried by Army Sgt. First Class Justin Laubach, older brother of senior defenseman Bennet Lloyd, in Afghanistan and sent to the team as a token of appreciation for the packages. Assistant Coach Patrick Zannelotti is an alumnus of the school and former U.S. Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan.
The plan is for military appreciation night to become an annual event when Paul VI and DeMatha meet. The Stags have been active in supporting military charities in recent years in memory of former player Brendan Looney, a Navy SEAL who was killed in action in a helicoptor crash in Afghanistan in 2010.
Afterward, the teams presented the inaugural Fallen Hero Award to the game’s most valuable player on each team, which went to Aunon and DeMatha senior Sean Doyle (two goals). Both schools will keep a plaque with the names of the honorees going forward.
“It really put things in perspective,” Waters said. “We had this knockdown, drag out, battle of a game, but at the end, we all said a prayer for the troops and veterans and our fallen heroes that allow us to play the game of lacrosse and have great days like [Tuesday].”
Failor, Stone Bridge net milestone victory
11-9 win over Langley Monday night was the Saxons’ first AAA Liberty District loss in nearly four years. It was a victory earned largely on the back of a record-breaking performance from Stone Bridge goalie Brian Failor.
Failor made a team-record 23 saves Monday night against the four-time defending state champions, and senior Dylan Maltz paced the offense with seven goals.
The loss was Langley’s first district defeat since April 2009 at Madison and the first ever victory for Stone Bridge over the Saxons. The significance of the victory was not lost on Failor.
“I was definitely real nervous before it, but then as soon as it started I knew it was going to be a good game,” Failor said. “It meant so much to so many people, that I wanted to do it for them and the people that helped me along the way.”
Failor’s 23 saves eclipsed the previous Stone Bridge record of 21, set last season by then-senior Jesse Southward in a 16-15 season-opening loss to Briar Woods. Failor said he had no idea during the game that he was approaching Southward’s record and that it wasn’t until after the final horn that a Stone Bridge assistant informed him of the new record.
After the game, the team opted to give the game ball to Stone Bridge coach Scott Mitchell, but Mitchell made sure to hand the ball to Failor as he was getting ready to leave the locker room. The congratulations didn’t stop there.
“I’ve heard from so many kids who have been through the program, even before I was here,” Failor said, listing off previous Stone Bridge players such as Ricky Reyes, Matt Vincent and Southward who have contacted him since Monday night. “It’s just been wonderful.”
The Post Top 10
Junior Townsend Brown scored in overtime on Saturday to help Georgetown Prep snap a two-game losing streak against rival Landon, 8-7. . . . South River hosts Arundel on Friday with the top spot in the Anne Arundel County race at stake.
1. Gonzaga (13-2) LW: 1
2. Georgetown Prep (13-4) LW: 2
3. Paul VI (13-2) LW: 3
4. Landon (8-6) LW: 2
5. St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (10-4) LW: 5
6. St. Mary’s-Annapolis (5-6) LW: 6
7. South River (9-2) LW: 7
8. Arundel (11-0) LW: 8
9. DeMatha (9-5) LW: 9
10. Chantilly (11-1) LW: NR
Dropped out: Spalding (10-7)
Bubble: Glenelg (8-2), Churchill (9-0), Chesapeake (10-1)