DeMatha 9, St. Albans 8
DeMatha junior Colin Benko's career as an attackman may have come to an end after his team's game against No. 8 St. Albans yesterday. But Benko made the most of his one day on attack when he set up the winning goal in the final seconds of ninth-ranked DeMatha's 9-8 victory in Northwest Washington.
The game was tied at 8 when St. Albans attempted to clear the ball from its end with 23 seconds left. Benko checked the ball from a Bulldogs' player, then came within inches of stepping out of bounds before passing to junior attackman Nick Fatseas.
Fatseas had an open shot from about 10 yards because St. Albans goaltender Harry Alford (16 saves) was upfield helping with the attempted clear.
Fatseas took a couple steps, then buried the shot into the empty net for a 9-8 lead with 16 seconds left.
Benko normally plays midfield. He moved to attack yesterday because starter Mike Hinker missed the game with an illness.
"The ball popped right up, and I got it and saw Nick was open and their goalie was out of the cage," Benko said. "I think that I normally play midfield helped a lot, because I'm accustomed to playing defense. I don't know if I'll play attack again. It's sort of a day-by-day thing."
Fatseas finished with five goals, junior midfielder Paul Rabil added three goals and Benko had a goal and an assist for DeMatha (2-0). Senior midfielders Thomas Alford and Lucius Polk had three goals each for St. Albans (2-2).
Yesterday's game marked the fourth time in six years the game has been decided by two goals or less; the Stags have won four times in that span.
St. Albans led 7-4 at the start of the fourth quarter before Rabil scored three goals and Fatseas added two to lead DeMatha back.
"It was Colin's first game on attack ever at DeMatha," Stags Coach Dick Long said. "He and Fatseas are juniors and they've been watching for three years, and now they're out on the field doing it."
Said St. Albans Coach Malcolm Lester: "This one hurts. In the first quarter, I thought DeMatha wanted it more. That wasn't the case at the end. They just made more plays than we did."