2017 GEICO High School Lacrosse Nationals, Day 1, Game 2

By Christopher Lawlor

WASHINGTON – Georgetown Prep (North Bethesda, Md.) had the shortest distance to travel this week and will stick around at least one more round.

The fifth-seeded Little Hoyas reclaimed the lead for the final time late in the third quarter and then beat a zone defense twice in the fourth during an 11-9 opening-round victory over fourth-seeded The Woodlands (Texas) Sunday afternoon at the inaugural GEICO High School Lacrosse Nationals at Catholic University’s Cardinal Stadium.

“Whether we like it or not we were involved in a lot of close games this season. All I wanted for our team to do was settle the ball and get our offense going,” Georgetown Prep head coach Scott Urick said.

For the Highlanders, who traveled over 1,200 miles for the national tournament, the season ends at 23-2 and a second straight loss after dropping a game in the Texas state tournament earlier this month.

The Little Hoyas (13-5) will make the short trip of 13 miles to face top-seeded IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) in the semifinals on Monday at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN3.

Thanks to the scoring efforts of John “T” Ridgeway’s four goals, Prep advanced. The Little Hoyas clung to a one-goal edge through three quarters, 8-7, but Virginia-recruit midfielder Connor Humiston pumped in a goal at 9:17 and Ridgeway followed three minutes later to make it 10-7.

Brandon Baty of Woodlands kept thing close at 10-8 when he netted a goal with five minutes to go. Prep’s Gavin Lindsay pushed the lead back to three with 2:18. Ryan Farquhar deposited the final goal of the game with 99 seconds remaining.

Ridgeway’s quartet was key but so was Donnal Mullane’s hat trick and assist, Clay Lanham had a game-high 12 groundballs and the goalie tandem of Jack Van Slyke (six saves) and Justin Clark (two) combined to reject eight shots.

Six different players scored for the Highlanders as Quinn Binney and Jacob Moore each had two. Gunnar Luckoski had 10 saves in the crease.

The Little Hoyas charged out of halftime with two strikes in the opening six minutes. Mullane and Ridgeway provided the offense but Highlanders responded with two of their won, including the equalizer from Binney at 4:13.

Ridgeway helped Prep regain the lead at 8-7 after three periods when he fired in a shot from three right side with 12 seconds left. The goal completed Ridgeway’s hat trick and was the second of the quarter.

It looked like Prep wanted to end this one early after taking a 4-2 lead after one quarter. With the score knotted at 2, Ridgeway and Andrew Cave netted goals to close out the quarter. The Woodlands opened the scoring after 21 seconds as Quinn Binney found the back of the net. In a 32-second span, the Little Hoyas were up 2-1 on strikes from Mullane and Kaleb Fernandez. The Woodlands’ Ramsey McCreary tossed in an unassisted goal at 8:55.

The game was even at 5 by the break as the Highlanders rattled off three straight goals in the final eight minutes. When Mullane tallied second his second goal of the half at 8:59 it was 5-2.

The Texans awoke as Jack Barron, Jacob Moore and Farquhar beat Van Slyke in succession. The faceoffs won were nearly even but the Little Hoyas forced eight turnovers and held a 17-14 edge in groundballs.

For the game, the major statistics were nearly identical but the Little Hoyas forced 17 turnovers, including four in the second and fourth quarters, and only lost the ball 12 times.