WCAC boys’ lacrosse: Gonzaga cruises past DeMatha for third straight title

May 16, 2012

On a Gonzaga offense brimming with talented players, Alex Corboy can get lost in the shuffle. The junior attackman — instantly recognizable by his sturdy 6-foot-3 frame — prefers it that way.

But with the top-ranked Eagles struggling for offense early in Wednesday’s Washington Catholic Athletic Conference final against DeMatha, Corboy time and again provided the remedy.

The Hobart recruit finished with a game-high four goals and added an assist in a convincing 10-3 win before an overflow crowd at Ludwig Field. Junior Max Planning added a pair of goals as the Eagles clinched three straight conference titles for the first time in school history.

“We knew coming in we could score and beat their defense,” Corboy said. “I found what I could do, and I just kept doing it.”

Corboy put Gonzaga (20-1) on its way to the title with by contributing to all four of his team’s first-half goals. On Corboy’s third goal, he collided with a defender in front of the net, reset his body and bounced in a shot for a 4-0 lead with 2 minutes 27 seconds left in the first half.

“Alex was due because he had a couple of games with fewer goals than he’d like, and tonight was his night,” Coach Casey O’Neill said. “That’s the great thing about the balance with these kids — you never know.”

Meantime, junior goalie Timmy Farrell (eight saves) and the smothering Gonzaga defense — juniors Jack Slater and Matt Borda and senior Luke Miller — kept DeMatha (11-10) off the board for more than 32 minutes to start the night. Senior Matthew Justice scored all three of DeMatha’s goals; one late in the third quarter and the other two in the final four minutes.

Gonzaga left little doubt that it was the area’s team to beat this season. It went unbeaten against local competition and its only loss was to McDonogh (Balt.), 6-5, on March 26.

The Eagles put together a resume that included their first win against No. 5 Georgetown Prep and a 4-0 record against Interstate Athletic Conference teams, including champion Landon and runner-up Bullis.

They haven’t lost to a WCAC opponent since falling to the Stags in the 2009 tournament final but never took the final hurdle lightly.

After finishing the season in comfortable fashion, the players eagerly began a now-familiar celebration routine, singing and posing for photos on the field with the championship trophy. This time, they triumphantly flashed three fingers for the camera.

“I think we did what we wanted to do tonight,” said senior Connor Reed, the WCAC player of the year who closed his decorated career with a goal and an assist. “We wanted to come out strong and send the message one more time that we’re the number one team in the area.”

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