WCAC boys' lacrosse
Phil Poe's faceoff wins lift DeMatha Stags over St. Mary's Ryken in boys' lacrosse
In an 8-7 victory over St. Mary's Ryken on Friday at Allen Pond Park in Bowie, DeMatha senior midfielder Phil Poe was his defense's best friend.
Poe won 7 of 8 faceoffs in the second half and added a goal for the Stags (3-1, 2-0 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference). His efforts meant that the Knights (2-1, 1-1) took only eight shots in the second half.
"Not only were we winning faceoffs, but we were making good decisions once we got the ball," DeMatha Coach Scott Morrison said. "It's certainly a big plus for us. [Poe] helps us add another eight to 10 possessions a game."
Poe's biggest faceoff wins came late in the fourth quarter. The Knights had tied the score at 7 on a goal by senior Brian Frank with 2 minutes 53 seconds to play, but that turned out to be their final shot of the game.
Poe won the ensuing faceoff and senior Patrick Harbeson picked up a loose ball in front of the goal and scored to give DeMatha an 8-7 lead with 2:44 remaining. Poe won the next faceoff and the Stags killed all but the final eight seconds.
For St. Mary's Ryken, junior Matt Boutin had two goals and one assist and Frank added two goals.
"Those faceoffs hurt us," Knights Coach John Sothoron said. "And we made some mistakes. DeMatha is a good team and they took advantage."
Said Poe: "The biggest thing was that every time they scored, we were able to answer, no matter what. I like taking faceoffs because it's just me against the other guy, and I know I have to get possession for my team."
Harbeson, a starting midfielder who has signed to play for Virginia, had three goals and one assist to break out of an early-season slump.
Most teams had double-teamed him and he entered Friday's game with two goals. He had 28 goals and 26 assists last year.
Harbeson is not the only DeMatha player headed to play for a Division I program.
Poe has signed to play for UMBC next year. He also took official visits to Syracuse, Navy and Ohio State.
His decision made a few people in the DeMatha program happy: Morrison graduated from UMBC and former DeMatha assistant Andy Gallagher currently is an assistant at the school.
"We definitely have a DeMatha pipeline with UMBC," he said.
Play it again: Friday's game was a rematch of the WCAC championship game in 2007 and 2009; each team won once. Giving his John Hancock: St. Mary's Ryken senior Aaron Gofreed has signed with Wheeling Jesuit, a Division II program that is coached by Jay Sothoron, the son of the St Mary's Ryken coach.