For much of the first 12 minutes of overtime in Tuesday’s boys’ lacrosse game at No. 7 St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes, Episcopal’s Nick Weeden watched as his defense labored to keep the Saints off the scoreboard with goalie Matt Lopiano making save-after-save to extend the Interstate Athletic Conference game.
When the Maroon won possession to start the fourth overtime, Weeden was more than ready to capitalize on his offense’s opportunity to end the marathon game. The midfielder took a Connor Gallegos pass and scored 40 seconds into the fourth overtime to give No. 4 Episcopal a 6-5 win.
“It’s incredibly mentally tiring,” Weeden said of playing more than five full quarters. “We were playing defense forever, and when we had a chance on offense, we had to go for it. To finally drop one felt amazing.”
Episcopal (12-2, 1-1 IAC) sent the game to overtime with a late rally led by senior Tom Hurley . The Delaware-bound midfielder scored his team’s last three goals in regulation, erasing a two-goal Saints lead. Hurley’s man-up tally with 1 minute, 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter tied it at 5.
In overtime, St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (6-6, 0-3 IAC) controlled the tempo, forcing Lopiano to make six saves in the first three overtimes, including a point-blank stop in the final minute of the third extra period.
Coming off a loss to No. 5 Landon in which he surrendered 12 goals, Lopiano kept his team close early and was even better late. He finished with 14 saves, taking several hard shots off the chest. In the minutes after the game, a trainer examined the junior with his shirt off, bruises already providing evidence of his tough play.
“He played out of his mind, probably as good as any goalie I’ve ever played with,” Weeden said. “That whole game was really on him.”
Junior Brent Armstrong, a North Carolina commit, finished with two goals and an assist to lead the Saints. That included a highlight-reel score when he took on two defenders and flicked a shot over his shoulder near the crease late in the third quarter.
But St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes, which lost its third straight game, couldn’t capitalize on the momentum. Grant Hughes’s goal with 10:37 left in the fourth quarter proved to be the home team’s final goal.
More than 20 minutes of game time later, Weeden, who will play at Brown next year, scored to make sure the Maroon won the battle of Alexandria private schools.
“We missed some opportunities, so did they, but at the end, that goal goes in and you just say, ‘Finally,’” Episcopal Coach Scott Conklin said. “It’s a big relief.”