The Gonzaga boys’ lacrosse team had already gotten off to the fast start Coach Casey O’Neill wanted Friday when senior Nick McEvoy strode toward the middle of the field to complete a perfect first half in the faceoff circle. But as he glanced up at the scoreboard, the player teammates affectionately call “Box” (because of the shape of his head) saw an opportunity for more.
There may have only been 15 seconds left to score another goal, but McEvoy thought, “Why not?”
His ensuing draw control, and the laser of a shot that followed, happened in a flash and gave No. 2 Gonzaga yet another momentum boost en route to an emphatic 11-6 win over No. 4 Georgetown Prep in Northwest Washington.
The Eagles jumped out to a 9-2 halftime lead and were never challenged after that two-goal flurry in the closing moments of the second quarter. But coming off a loss to Boys’ Latin earlier this week and a defeat to the Little Hoyas last year when these two Washington-area lacrosse powerhouses met, Gonzaga (7-2) played ruthlessly from the opening whistle.
“We wanted to come out with that dominance and that force, and we wanted to dominate this game from the start,” said McEvoy, who won all but three of the draws he took Friday. “It was nice to finish that way, too.”
Gonzaga’s surge began in full once Georgetown Prep defenseman John Railey forced a turnover and cut the deficit to 4-2 with a nifty shot to start the second quarter. But he also picked up a penalty for an excessive celebration, and the Eagles responded by breaking the game open.
Senior Mikey Stanton ignited a two-minute barrage by netting his third goal of the day on a pass from senior Sam Offutt on the man advantage. Then Offutt (one goal, three assists) fed senior Luke McCaleb, who played through a leg injury, for another tally. Sophomore Jack Myers closed the run with a highlight-reel move, dodging from behind the net before faking a shot, pausing to freeze the goalie and firing low to send his Gonzaga teammates into a delirious celebration on the sideline.
The Eagles scored eight of the final nine goals in the first half, and superior ball movement meant eight different players finished with at least one point Friday.
Playing without star midfielder Terry Lindsay because of injury, Georgetown Prep (5-3) was on its heels for good by the time McEvoy applied the finishing touches. The Little Hoyas scored three goals in the final five minutes of regulation, but they otherwise struggled to generate quality chances against Gonzaga’s defense.
“After this game,” Offutt said, “we’re rolling at this point.”