Facing a two-man disadvantage and nearing a collapse in momentum, DeMatha got a heroic performance from its defense to seal a 13-7 win over Gonzaga in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference boys' lacrosse championship last night at Blair High.
The Stags' defense shut down the Purple Eagles during a one-minute, two-man penalty early in the fourth quarter and kept them scoreless during the fourth quarter as DeMatha clinched its sixth consecutive league championship before a crowd of about 2,000 in Silver Spring.
"That was the biggest part of the game, that was it," DeMatha junior Matt Munoz said.
In the girls' championship game, Good Counsel overcame an early three-goal deficit to beat Holy Cross, 12-8.
In the boys' game, junior Danny Gallagher had five goals and All-Met senior Paul Rabil had two goals and four assists as No. 4 DeMatha (13-4) earned another title.
Rabil had two goals and an assist in the first quarter, when the Stags jumped to a 5-0 lead. Despite their best efforts, the Eagles (16-6) never got closer than two goals.
"I just feed off my teammates," Gallagher said. "Our coach kept telling us we were going to be ready for this game, and we were."
After a bad start in the girls' title game, Good Counsel (14-3) reasserted themselves to take the lead and eventually capture their first WCAC title since 2001. Good Counsel beat Holy Cross for the first time since the WCAC was formed.
After falling behind 3-0, Good Counsel called timeout to settle down. The Falcons responded by scoring six unanswered goals, including two by junior Caitlin Preas, and they led by at least two goals for the rest of the game.
In the first meeting between these schools, a 10-7 Holy Cross victory, the Tartans scored the first five goals of the game.
"I told the girls that they couldn't allow that start shatter their hopes," Coach Michael Haight said. "We had worked too hard to give up. . . . After that start, today was the best game we played all year."
Senior Christie Walker and junior Lee Ann Wurst had two goals apiece for the Tartans, who were hampered by six yellow cards and two red cards.