By Will Birks
POOLESVILLE — Despite an epic seven-goal comeback, the Poolesville High School boys’ lacrosse team was able to hang on to win in overtime, 14-13 over Blair, on April 10.
Early in the second quarter, Poolesville netted their ninth goal of the game, increased their lead to 9-2 and looked to be cruising to an easy win. This massive lead was in large part due to the work done by junior long stick midfielder Colin Hemingway, who dominated in faceoffs and prevented Blair from gaining ball possessions.
“We started the game off how we wanted to,” said senior midfielder Clark Trone. “We just made mistakes to allow them back into it but I’m just glad we were able to fight back and pick up the win.”
The game was far from over at this point as Poolesville thought. The Falcons were sloppy on offense, missed easy passes to teammates upfield and did not hustle for ground balls. Meanwhile, Blair was giving full effort to come back into the contest.
“It all comes down to fundamentals,” said Poolesville Head Coach Stuart Orn. “Can’t give the ball away and put it in the back of the net when you have the chance to.”
For the rest of the second quarter and the majority of the third, the Blazers slowly clawed their way back into the game with senior midfielder Calvin Bruwelheide and junior attackman Aidan Rodgers leading the way on their man-up offense. The Blair players helped set up the offense to score the majority of goals.
Bruwelheide finished the game with seven total points, five goals and two assists. Rodgers contributed with four goals to go along with one assist.
“Being a man down really hurt us,” said Orn. “I give them all the credit in the world because their man-up offense was incredibly good.”
Late in the third quarter, Bruwelheide scored one of the biggest goals of the game as he found the space just under the restraining line and fired a bounce shot at the crease. The bouncing ball fired under the top pipe into the back of the net, tying the game at nine goals each, completing the Blazers comeback.
“We showed a lot of adversity fighting back,” said Blair Head Coach Joshua Blockstein. “We feel great about getting back into the game and getting so close to pulling this one out because we of the way we executed on offense.”
This goal from Bruwelheide woke up the sleeping Falcons; after a timeout, they went on a 3-1 scoring run to end the period with the lead again. At the start of the fourth, both teams split early goals to keep the game close at 12-11 with Poolesville leading.
The Falcons then sent in their man-up offense again after a costly penalty from the Blazers. Trone was able to bury a bounce shot and increase their advantage by two goals. However, the theme of this game was runs.
Blair was able to muster another two consecutive goals to tie the game. Rodgers netted the game-tying goal, beaming the ball under the top pipe of the cage with 1:30 remaining in regulation.
Despite the comeback, Poolesville players were confidant heading into their second overtime game of the season.
“We knew Poolesville was going to be a really tough team,” said Bruwelheide. “We just had to stay calm and composed the whole game and because of that we were able to have a couple of guys step up and get us back in it.”
In the sudden-death overtime period, the Falcons had one possession and that was all they needed to secure the win. Senior Ethan Baddis dodged from behind the cage, raced around the crease and bounced his shot past the Blazer goalie for the win.
“Takes a lot out of you,” said Orn. “It’s our second straight overtime win, but this was huge to pick it up on our homefield.”
With the win, Poolesvile picked up their third-straight win and improved to a 3-3 record on the season. Blair drops to 3-5 but will look to bounce back when taking on Clarksburg on April 12 and Gaithersburg on April 17.