The Gonzaga students had not yet finished exiting the playing field at Georgetown Prep following a long-awaited victory celebration Friday night, but senior Connor Reed already had the words to sum up the Eagles’ first lacrosse win in 25 tries against the top-ranked Little Hoyas.
“Coming into this, it was the biggest game I’ve ever played in,” said Reed, an All-Met midfielder, still breathing heavily after the down-to-the-wire 4-3 victory. “We just wanted to make history, and I think we did.”
Junior Patrick Myers scored a pair of man-up goals in the fourth quarter and junior goalie Timmy Farrell made 13 saves to spark No. 2 Gonzaga’s breakthrough on a night when scoring proved difficult for both sides.
When senior Eric Baumgardner won the final faceoff with nine seconds left and ran out the clock, the Eagles and their fans reacted almost as they did when they won the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title the past two seasons.
“It’s pretty much this and the [WCAC] championship, number one,” Myers said of the team’s top priorities this season. “They’re both right up there.”
Gonzaga (7-1) had yearned for another shot at Georgetown Prep (6-2) since letting a three-goal fourth-quarter lead turn into an overtime loss last season. Reed said this group decided weeks ago it had waited long enough to beat the Little Hoyas.
Reed recalled the team’s first practice of the season. When an assistant coach asked the players to call out their goals for the year, someone blurted out, “Beat Prep,” before anything else made the list.
After Farrell and Georgetown Prep sophomore goalie Will Railey (eight saves) ruled the first three quarters with help from defenses that rarely ceded scoring opportunities, the Eagles found separation this time in a tight game with their man-up unit.
After the teams traded goals in the final minute of the third quarter, Myers scored twice in the first three minutes of the final period — first off a feed from junior Alex Corboy (two goals) and again from junior Joe Fitzpatrick.
Georgetown Prep pressed for a late rally but couldn’t beat Farrell again until senior Jack Cleary’s tally with nine seconds left.
“We have a bull’s-eye on our backs — that’s every game for us,” said Georgetown Prep Coach Kevin Giblin, whose team has lost consecutive one-goal games. “It’s fine, we’ll rebound and we’ll get better.”