Nearly 40 percent of Calverton’s male upper school enrollment shifted into position for a picture near the visitor’s bench at Landon’s Triplett Field on Thursday evening. The boys — all lacrosse players itching to continue an unlikely celebration— smiled, squirmed and laughed as several cameras clicked.
But the group never protested the impromptu photo shoot. After Calverton held on for an 11-10 win over Landon in Bethesda, they all wanted to remember the day the tiny Huntingtown private school (just 83 boys in the upper school) took down a national lacrosse power. Seniors Dylan Dooley and David Goodwin and junior Nick Mazza scored three goals apiece, and the Cougars withstood a late surge to upset the Bears.
“A lot of people say a small school like us, we have no possibility of even playing with them,” Dooley said, “but this is history for us.”
Landon (1-2) finished last season ranked No. 2 in The Post’s Top 10 behind Georgetown Prep and came into the year ranked No. 4 in the nation by ESPN. But Calverton — which has won three straight Maryland Independent Lacrosse League titles — took charge midway through the first quarter and never trailed again.
Senior Teddy Secor dominated on face-offs, giving the Cougars (3-1) ample opportunity to showcase an offense full of Division I recruits. Goodwin — a Maryland-bound attackman — routinely found his way inside the Landon defense, while Dooley (Ohio State), Mazza (Penn State) and junior Cole Rainier (Penn State) fired shots from the perimeter.
The Cougars took an 11-6 lead with 6 minutes, 53 seconds remaining behind a quick three-goal burst capped by Secor’s transition tally off a face-off win.
“As we started racking up the points, it became real,” Dooley said. “We realized we were in this game, and we had a good possibility of winning.”
But Landon — which plays Haverford (Pa.), the consensus No. 1 team in the nation at the end of last season, on Friday night at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium — finally found an offensive rhythm late, scoring four unanswered goals down the stretch. The Bears had the last possession of the game but had two shot attempts blocked before they reached goal in the final seconds.
In recent years, Calverton has put together a tough nonconference schedule and competed with some of the area’s top programs. The Cougars fell 10-6 at Landon last season, hanging tough after a forgettable start. Earlier this season, they beat Good Counsel, which played in last year’s Washington Catholic Athletic Conference final.
But Thursday the veteran group produced the signature victory the program has long craved, prompting Coach Greg Zecca to call it “no question the biggest win in the history of our program.”
“You’ve always got to expect to win, but this time I think there was something extra in the feeling,” Goodwin said. “We’ve got nine seniors and we all put out 100 percent, and I think that’s what made the difference.”