Landon Lacrosse 13 Winston Churchill 7

The team from Potomac clearly represented one of the virtues which their school’s namesake bespoke:


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal:

it is the courage to continue that counts.”

                          -Winston Churchill


The 13-0, WaPo #8ranked team with a roster which includes several big time recruits (Syracuse, Brown, PSU and others) had not only lost in the Maryland State Championship since its last contest against the Bears (5-18). The team has set high expectations for the 2016 season. The Bulldogs lost last year’s WaPo POY to be on the UMd Terp roster.

The annual recognition of the Landon Seniors and their parents took place before the game started. The 10 members of the Class of 2016 and their folks were cheered by the stands. The names are listed n numerical order:


Drennan Greene                    Karen, Jon

Griffin Brown                         Stevie, Darius

Tyler McTague                      Lynne, David

Chase Christiansen              Anne, Mike

Brian Menendez                    Lisa; Rich

Justin Conner                        Ximena, Joe

Nick Mayer                             Sherry, Steve

Andy Whicker                        Sue, Larry

Grant Hani                             Tiffany, George

Eriksen Johansen                 Jane, Mark

Kyle Grafmeyer                     Kim, Rick

The determination, for which the former Prime Minister of England was renown, drove the visitors to lead at the end of the 1st period. Their tenacious, quick zone defense shifted to take away good shots even though the home team was efficiently moving the ball. Finally John Geppert received a clever pass through the WC Maginot line by Nate Buller and the midfielder beat the Bulldogs’ goalie (who also mans the nets for the school during hockey).

That advantage was quickly erased and then reversed by goals at 2:38 and then 1:38.




Zach “the Bull” Johnson used his combination of speed and strength to create room for a shot and his missile almost ripped through the nets @11:30. After the clock had ticked off almost 60 seconds, Landon scored again. The Bulldogs were called for offsides, a delayed penalty and played with that extra player against the normal complement of 6 Bear offensive players. That did not deter Ryan Pride who made a pass across to Griffin Brown who scored @10:31. A broken Churchill clear turned into a short field Landon fast break. Zach got the ball, had his head up and saw a streaking Nate Buller cutting toward the goal. The pass was perfect and Nate buried it @6:38.

The visitors showed their courage to continue and responded with two quick goals at 4:29 and then 3:41.

The home team replied. Griffin B and Ryan showed their two man game with a brilliant pass from the senior captain to the Blond Bomber @2:51. [For those who give some credence in numerology, #5 scored goal #5! This coincidence repeated twice in the remainder of the game. Extra points to anyone who identifies repeats of this quirky happenstance].

Justin Shockey may have changed the traditional acronym for his position from FOGO to FOGS (goal scored) with a drive from the X to a goal @2:45 (0:06 from the previous score).

Those stubborn Blue and Green opponents took a time out and the set play found an opening in the Brown and White defense at 0:11.4




Intermission adjustments have made Landon highly efficient, on both O and D, in the third stanza.

The D was missing two starters and a Den of Bear Defenders amply filled in.  Long poles– Mark Amoroso, Alex Hagerup, Mo Sillah, Griffin Valentine, Grant Hani, Drew Wellington, Brendon Gallagher and Carter Johnson (in reverse numerical order) and a number of middies played exceptionally well against a team which averaged 16 goals a game. They held the opposition to 2 goals in the last 24 minutes

Period 3 saw the home team O take command. Early Ryan showed his shooting range with a goal from the periphery in a gap of the zone. Soon thereafter (@9:35) Nate tallied the 8th goal. The next creasing of the back of the Churchill nets occurred @7:01on a great pass from Zach to Griffin B.

The Bulldogs got their 6th goal at 5:50.

Drennan Greene, some of whose previous shots took paint off of the goal’s metal frame, earned the 10th notch in the scorebook when his shot hit a post, bounced out, hit a defender and bounced in. Under the current NCAA rules, his shot counted as HIS goal. Under the old scorer interpretation, the accounting method would have given the “own goal” to the offensive player nearest to the ball as it broke the plane of the 6’ x6’.




Aware of his speed, the Churchill defender assigned to cover Ryan anticipated an outside move, only to see the Blond Bomber roll back to the middle and score @11:05. Joey Epstein completed the scoring with two successive dodges and resulting goals @ 10:45 and then @6:23.

Consistent with past teaching principles (they are teachers/mentors/coaches), the sports educators got the Bears of the future out on the field against strong competition. The gerbils (a term of art and endearment) included Messrs. Sentimore, Concannon, Camalier, Kurtz and Williams plus the senior stalwarts (Tyler, Chase, Nick Eriksen and Andrew Whicker [5 of 6 at the X, 5GBs and 1shot]) played hard for much of the remaining time.

At 1:39 remaining, the Bulldogs scored.






Ryan Pride

Andy Whicker

Mark Amoroso







Published in: on May 10, 2016 at 7:10 am  Leave a Comment  

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