BETHESDA — The last time the Georgetown Prep varsity lacrosse team beat their longtime Interstate Athletic Conference rival, Landon, was 2014.
On April 18, the Little Hoyas remained tied after regulation, prolonging the four-year losing skid. They would only need an extra 21 seconds during the overtime period for a game-winning goal from junior attacker Kevin Christmas to give Georgetown Prep a 6-5 victory over the Bears.
The result improves the Little Hoyas’ winning streak to four games but defeating their rivals was different than beating any other opponent, Christmas said.
“It couldn’t feel any better,” said Christmas. “Means a ton. I remember coming here when I was a little kid. To beat these guys just means the world.”
Both teams battled for possession and supremacy in the early parts of the contest. The first goal of the game came from Landon junior attackman Joey Graham early in the first quarter.
However, Georgetown Prep (11-4) kept the game very competitive when senior attackman Connor Humiston scored his first of two goals to tie it up at 1-1.
The Little Hoyas took a 2-1 lead, thanks to a man-up goal by sophomore attackman Seve Cordero. Senior midfielder James Flannery then found the net to extend the lead to 3-1.
In the second quarter, a great save from senior goalie Chris Burns led to sophomore midfielder Hugh Mullane firing into the net off a counterattack play for the tally to give the Little Hoyas a 4-1 lead. Georgetown Prep looked poised to take a commanding lead to victory.
However, Evan Schwartz kept the Bears (6-5) alive as he came around the net score to cut the deficit to 4-2 at halftime. Early in the third, Landon sophomore attackman Graham Hertzberg and senior attackman Garrett Kurtz scored back-to-back goals within seconds of each other to tie the game at 4-4.
With five minutes left in the third, Humiston ran toward the net and fired away to score his second goal and give Georgetown Prep the 5-4 lead. Their advantage was cut short until Hertzberg scored his second tally to tie it up at 5-5 toward the end of the third quarter.
“I think we fought very well,” said Hertzberg. “We just didn’t finish towards the end, but I think the team showed a lot of fight, and we can make plays when we need to. Hopefully, we can see these kids again.”
As the clock was winding down, Christmas attempted a shot for the game-winning goal but it went high above the net as time expired.
He was able bounce back in overtime when he ran through the Bears defense and fired a shot into the net for the win as his teammates celebrated around him. Little Hoyas Head Coach Scott Urick said he could not have felt prouder of Christmas for his game-winner.
“It was a great play Kevin made,” said Urick. “He made a big play in a big moment, and I give him all the credit in the world for that. He’s a nice athlete, he’s a good player, and it’s always nice when you get an opportunity as an attack and to finish one in overtime and he certainly took advantage of it.”
While the win was a motivating one, Urick hopes to meet up with Landon again in the playoffs.
“It’s a great conference win,” said Urick. “I don’t want to overblow it. It’s a big win for our program, but we know we’ve still got plenty of big games left. We’ve got Bullis and St. Stephen’s left in conference, and then on to the playoffs for sure.”
Meanwhile, despite the heartbreaking loss, Landon Head Coach Ian Healy tipped his hat to Georgetown Prep.
“It obviously hurts,” said Healy. “But the first thing to do is, you’ve got to give credit to Prep. They’ve got some monsters in the middle of the field. Some great athletes, and made one more play than we were able to today.”