Riding on the success of a near-perfect first half, the Friends boys lacrosse team advanced to the finals of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) B conference lacrosse tournament with a 9-1 win over Sts. Peter and Paul at Friends on Tuesday.
They will play the Annapolis Area Christian School, who were 13-10 winners over John Carroll in a game also played on Tuesday, for the B conference title at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium on May 20, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The Quakers jumped out to a 6-0 first-quarter advantage, widened it to 9-0 at the half and then played rather lackluster second half lacrosse that fell short of head coach Jon Garman’s expectations.
Yet it was a half where they did not need to be at their best.
Riding on the strength of three first-quarter goals by junior attackman Michael Sweet and two from the stick of David Magdeberger—another junior attackman—the Quakers were never seriously challenged by the team from the Eastern Shore, which lost twice during the regular season to the North Charles Street school.
“We weren’t in a situation where we were pressured to score, so we tried to slow it down a little bit,” senior defenseman Jon Schmidt said of second-half play. “We got a little bit excited at times and threw the ball away; we just weren’t hitting the net."
Garman pointed out that the team has little post-season experience.
“We haven’t quite developed that killer instinct yet, but boy, what a first half,” Garman said. “I was really proud of the way we came out and set the tone."
“And we did a lot of good things in the second half—we just couldn’t quite finish. If you finish two or three of those shots, then all of a sudden, everybody relaxes,” he said.
Magdeberger opened the scoring for Friends at the 10:19 mark of the first quarter, when he took a pass from senior defenseman Michael John, who had checked the ball out of a Sabres' stick and cleared it upfield.
Two minutes later, Sweet scored the first of his three goals, unassisted from the left side. He had received a pass from Dan Warren yet made one too many cuts to credit the midfielder with an assist.
Sweet scored his second goal 64 seconds later off a feed from midfielder Jack Gibb. He found the net with a low line drive from 15 yards while the Quakers were playing with a man advantage.
Less than a minute later, at the 6:38 mark, Sweet scored his third-straight goal with a left-side bounce shot from seven yards out after taking a feed from sophomore Will Davis.
Then Friends, playing down a man, scored its fifth goal when Davis fed Magdeberger, who scored from near the right crease at 5:31.
First-quarter scoring wrapped up when Warren found the net, unassisted from 20 yards, while cutting toward the goal from the far right side of the field. The score came with 3:15 left to play in the quarter.
It took the Quakers more than six minutes to light the scoreboard in second-quarter action. But scores by three different midfielders in the final 5:43 effectively decided the competition.
Connor Finn scored unassisted, followed by a goal off the stick of Paul Orrson, also unassisted. Gibb concluded the Quaker scoring with 2:03 left to play when his 12-yard bounce shot from left of center found the net.
Peter McLaughlin scored the lone Sabre goal with a 15-yard bounce shot just 31 seconds into second-half play.
Friends goalie J.D. Robinson was solid in the nets with 10 saves.
“He’s been playing the best ball of his life,” Garman said of the senior goalie. “Down at Annapolis Area Christian, I’m not sure he didn’t win the game for us—he was that good,” Garman said of Robinson’s play in the May 3 game the Quakers won, 9-6.
The win keeps Friends undefeated in B conference competition with a 15-0 record. The only blemish to their record was a season-opening 8-4 loss against the MIAA A conference Severn Admirals.
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