Patuxent boys' lacrosse coach Vic Goeller has not let junior attackman Paul Rudell forget what happened at the end of last season.
Despite leading the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference with 51 goals, Rudell was left off the all-SMAC first team selected by coaches.
"I told him, evidently the coaches don't think you're good enough," Goeller said. "So I think that was a little bit of motivation for him coming out here."
Tuesday night at Leonardtown, Rudell appeared more possessed than motivated. He scored four goals and assisted on five others, including the game winner, in the Panthers' 13-12 double overtime victory over the Raiders.
Thanks in large part to Rudell's transcendent play, Patuxent improved to 2-0 on the season.
"Hopefully, after hearing about his performance today, I don't think anybody should have any problem voting for him," Goeller said.
Patuxent had several chances to win late in regulation, but Leonardtown senior goalkeeper Bart Rogers (eight saves) made three outstanding stops at close range. Then in the first overtime, neither team could capitalize on opportunities, which included a man-up situation for the Raiders.
Leonardtown won the opening faceoff of the second overtime, but promptly turned over the ball. Patuxent then called a timeout and set up a play for Rudell.
"It was our plan to get the ball to Paul from behind," Goeller said. "We wanted him to go hard and draw a man to him to play him, then just feed it to whoever's man slid to him."
The play worked as planned, as Rudell drove from behind the goal and drew a crowd. He dished the ball to junior attackman Tim Sinclair, who was cutting from the left flank, and Sinclair stuffed home a bouncing shot.
"It was open all game," Sinclair said. "I had a couple scoring opportunities with it earlier in the game, but I finally got that one."
Each member of Patuxent's explosive attack line -- Rudell, Sinclair and senior Jake Truhlar -- scored four goals Tuesday night to lead the Panthers. "Our strength is our attack," Goeller said.
Tuesday night's game was Leonardtown's first under new head coach Mike Loughran, but the stinging loss was all too familiar to the Raiders. Last year, the Panthers defeated Leonardtown in overtime in the second-to-last regular season game.
"We played well, we played against a good team, but we came up short," Loughran said. "I'm proud of them."
Patuxent, which defeated Pallotti in its opener, looked like it would cruise Tuesday when it opened up a 4-0 lead just 6:39 into the game. The Panthers took advantage of an inexperienced Leonardtown defense and scored on four of their first six shots.
The Raiders' defense jelled quickly, however, and Leonardtown went on a 5-2 run to get back in the game. Sophomore Neal McKinney and senior Matt Rogers capped the run with a goal apiece in a 10-second span. McKinney (five goals, one assist) set up both goals with faceoff victories.
"He dominated faceoffs," Loughran said.
Leonardtown trailed 8-6 at the half. But the Raiders tied the game in the third quarter and took three separate one-goal leads in the third and fourth, the last when McKinney scored with 9:46 left in regulation.
Truhlar, however, scored on a feed from Sinclair to make it 12-12 with 6:35 to play.