As Calverton’s athletic director, Greg Zecca knew all the boys’ lacrosse players at the tiny Huntingtown private school well before he agreed to coach them this season. The former Haverford College lacrosse coach saw a group with talent and confidence to spare, and over the past few months, both only continued to grow.
The third-ranked Cougars maximized those gifts in an unprecedented run, closing a 17-win season by beating Middleburg, 17-9, in Friday’s Maryland Independent Lacrosse League final at Anne Arundel Community College. Junior Stephen Goff had six goals and an assist and junior Nick Mazza chipped in four goals as the team capped its historic season in style with its fourth straight conference tournament title.
“We definitely play with a lot of swagger,” Zecca said. “Our stars play like no one can play with them. We put them in a position to be successful [this year,] and they rose to the occasion.”
Calverton (17-2) showed it could stand up to the area’s best in its nonconference schedule, making the biggest splash with an 11-10 win at No. 4 Landon on March 22. By the time the team began MILL play, it had compiled a 3-0 record against teams from the perenially powerful Interstate Athletic Conference.
The Cougars also posted victories against Good Counsel of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and St. Paul’s of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association’s A Conference this season.
“We just wanted to keep it going as long as possible,” said senior David Goodwin, a Maryland recruit who tallied two goals and three assists on Friday. “The season goes quick and before you know it, your senior season is over. Now it’s like, ‘Dang, at least I made the most of it.’ ”
Calverton didn’t come out at its best on Friday, racking up 13 penalties in an undisciplined effort, but the tournament’s top seed made sure it didn’t matter, overwhelming Middleburg (10-10) with a diverse attack.
After the Dragons struck first on a goal by sophomore Harry Wruck, Calverton scored twice in the next minute and built its lead from there. Goff and Mazza each had four goals in the first half to put the Cougars on their way to a comfortable season-ending victory.
“A lot of us have been together for a while, and we’ve been priding ourselves on getting the top spot in the area,” said Mazza, a Penn State commit who led the team with 55 goals this season. “It’s hard work, but I think we finally set a name for Calverton after this season.”
Senior Ryan Quick paced Middleburg with three goals.
Earlier in the night, the Calverton girls’ team won its first Capital Area Lacrosse League title since 2006, beating Gunston Day, 12-11.
Sophomore Zoe Gertz scored the game-winning goal with 3 minutes 19 seconds left, capping a back-and-forth second half. Freshman Shelby Harrison had four goals and an assist and freshman Hannah Couto added three goals and two assists to pace the Cougars (11-3).