Game 2 Summary

Christopher Lawlor

WASHINGTON – Culver (Ind.) Military Academy, considered the nation’s top-ranked program, punched its ticket to the semifinals of another tournament.

You might call it a “dream matchup” after the Eagles toppled eight-seeded Georgetown Prep (North Bethesda, Md.), 10-5, in the opening round of the GEICO High School Lacrosse Nationals Sunday afternoon at Catholic University’s Cardinal Stadium.

The Eagles, who saw their win streak halted at 40 games over two seasons the previous weekend at a national tournament in Philadelphia, will face fourth-seeded Hill Academy (Ontario, Canada) on Monday night in the semifinals on ESPNU (7 p.m. ET). Coincidentally Hill ended the long winning skein in a 10-9 triumph on May 20. Culver won the first meeting of the team, 8-7, three overtimes in April.

The championship game is slated for Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The Little Hoyas, who put together a magical run in the inaugural tournament, concluded their campaign at 9-9 after a long spring in the Interstate Athletic Conference (along with fellow GEICO participants St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes and Bullis School).

Harvard-bound Austin Madronic paced Culver’s attack with five points on a hat trick and two assists. Alex Simmons, a Denver recruit, added two goals and a helper while sophomore goalie Michael Gianforcaro tuned aside 12 shots. The Eagles also won 10 of 18 draws and held the edge in ground balls, 21-13.

Prep dug themselves in a 9-2 after three quarters but reached deep to pull back three goals in the fourth to keep Culver Military honest. Rory Bracken and Zach Whittier fired in goals to reduce the deficit to five goals with 4:47 left.

Junior middie James Flannery, who verballed to the Naval Academy, closed out Prep’s scoring off a shot in the crease with 2:39 left. Culver’s Madronic added his team’s 10th and capped his treble on 45 seconds from regulation.

After busy first half, Culver dominated possession in the third and methodically worked the ball around the perimeter looking for an opening in the Little Hoyas’ defense. The Eagles did tally just 16 seconds into the third from Alex Zimmer and waited patiently for the ninth to arrive eight minutes later.

On the EMO, Jake Stevens completed his hat trick collecting a feed from Alex Simmons to beat Prep goalie Justin Clark at the doorstep with 3:07 remaining.

If the second half started at slower pace, the game opened with Culver Military firing the early salvos. Try five straight goals in the opening quarter.

The Eagles’ shots landed often and early in the first frame as five different players pegged the back of the net without a response. All five goals were tallied in the final 7:07 starting with Madronic. Alex Simmons and William Clayton hit the target for a 3-0 lead on even strength.

The Little Hoyas conceded twice in the final minute complements of Stevens and Cameron Chauvette.

Georgetown Prep, which advanced to last year’s inaugural championship game, regained its composure in the second burying back-to-back goals from T Ridgway (Richmond signee) and Connor Humiston (headed to Georgetown University).

Culver’s Stevens and Madronic negated any thought of comeback in the second, both netting their second goals of the afternoon and it was 7-2 midway through the period.

As expected the Eagles (24-1) controlled possession in the opening 24 minutes, winning 7 of 11 faceoffs and 7 of 8 on clears. The Hoyas held a slight 14-11 advantage on shots and both teams scooped eight ground balls apiece.