The Georgetown Prep lacrosse team began its season with a trip to Baltimore on March 3 to scrimmage Calvert Hall and Haverford (Pa.) — the top two teams in ESPN’s national preseason rankings. With a lineup full of first-time varsity contributors, the Little Hoyas took their lumps that day.
“We got absolutely crushed in all aspects of the field,” said senior Kyle Shanahan, one of two returning starters off last season’s Interstate Athletic Conference champion squad. “We definitely showed we were a young team. We weren’t running the offense, weren’t meshing right.”
Georgetown Prep graduated 21 seniors, including All-Met Player of the Year Bobby Gribbin, but as usual, the North Bethesda power had plenty of talent ready to step in. Nearly a month after their rough start, the group continues to round into form. Even with a 7-6 double overtime loss on Tuesday against defending MIAA A conference champ Gilman, the Little Hoyas (6-1) open up on top of The Post’s Top 10.
Shanahan (Bucknell) and senior Liam Giblin, a Johns Hopkins-bound attackman with a knack for distributing, lead the offense, while senior Chris Hampton (Denver) has already emerged as one of the area’s best faceoff specialists, taking over for Gribbin. The road ahead doesn’t get any easier for the Little Hoyas with games against No. 2 Gonzaga, No. 5 St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes and No. 3 Landon coming in the next two weeks.
“Now we’re at least running the offense and getting good looks,” Shanahan said. “A lot of the sophomores are starting stepping up and play really nice. We’re getting close.” . . .
Landon shook off its upset loss to Calverton last Thursday with a 5-4 win over Haverford (Pa.) the next night at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. Senior Hank Brown (Drexel) tallied a goal and an assist and senior goalie Alex Joyce (Georgetown) made 14 saves as the Bears (2-2) snapped the Fords’ 30-game winning streak.
Molly Fleming’s M&D Black 2012 club lacrosse team has won several high profile tournaments in recent seasons and consistently ranked among the nation’s best, so the University of Maryland-bound senior is used to being surrounded by talent.
But a year after Fleming helped Marriotts Ridge earn its first Maryland 3A/2A title, she believes her high school squad could at least push her club team, which is stocked with top recruits from across the region. With five players already signed to college scholarships and the other seven starters receiving at least some Division I interest, the third-ranked Mustangs return an unprecedented supply of firepower.
“That’d be a close game,” Fleming said of the hypothetical matchup. “They are both very skilled, fast and extremely talented teams. That would be fun to see.”
Howard County Player of the Year Zoe Stukenberg, a junior midfielder, headlines the group of nine returning starters that helped Marriotts Ridge (3-0) beat Century for the state title last May. The Mustangs, led by 2011 All-Met Coach of the Year Natalie Gaieski, enter their sixth year of varsity competition ranked No. 3 in The Post’s Top 10 behind private school powers St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes and Good Counsel.
The Mustangs will build their repeat bid behind a familiar formula for success. Fleming and senior Anne Zabel anchor a defense that gave up less than five goals per game last season, while junior Alex McKay, whom Gaieski calls “the fastest girl I’ve ever seen,” jumpstarts the unit’s transition game.
“We do the same things in practice, but it’s just different,” Fleming said. “We have that confidence now that we’ve done it before, and we want to defend our title.” . . .
Good Counsel, which must replace All-Met Player of the Year Brigid Smith, has finished atop the rankings the past two seasons. The Falcons open on top this season and are seeking their ninth straight Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title.