BERLIN- As expected, Worcester Prep’s boys’ varsity lacrosse team ran into a buzz saw at home on Tuesday against Baltimore powerhouse Boys Latin, falling to the Lakers, 13-1, but the final outcome was less important then the discovery of just how far the Mallards have come and how far they still have to go to be competitive with the top teams on the tradition-rich western shore.
Boys Latin got out to a quick lead against the Mallards on Tuesday and led 5-0 after the first quarter. Worcester played the Lakers tough throughout the game, but Boys Latin was just a little bigger and a little faster for the Mallards, at least for one day. Boys Latin scored at the 9:23 mark in the second quarter to extend its lead to 6-0 and added another goal at 5:48 in the second to push the lead to 7-0.
Worcester got on the board just over a minute later when Max DiFilippo hit a wide-open Hank Fisher on the crease with a pass from behind. Fisher converted the opportunity to get the Mallards on the scoreboard and cut the lead to 7-1, which is how the first half would end, but that was as close as Worcester would get.
In the third quarter, Boys Latin picked up where it left off, scoring two quick goals to extend the lead to 9-1, but Worcester showed signs of life. After a first quarter during which the Mallards showed signs of jitters and trailed the Lakers 5-0, Worcester played Boys Latin fairly even for two quarters with a 2-1 second quarter and a 2-0 third quarter.
In the fourth, however, the wheels came off the cart for a minute-and-a-half stretch early in the period during which Boys Latin scored four quick goals to extend the lead to 13-1. Worcester settled down on both ends of the field for the rest of the contest and acquitted themselves well despite the final outcome. One of bright spots on the afternoon was the continued solid play of Harvard-bound goalie Christian Coates, who finished with 13 saves on a tough day during which he was almost always under siege.
There is no shame for Worcester in losing to Boys Latin, which is perennially among the top high school programs in the Baltimore area and the nation. Worcester coach Kevin Gates this year ramped up the Mallards schedule to include tougher teams from the western shore, some of the top teams in Delaware and a handful of the best teams on the Eastern Shore in order to expose his team to tougher competition and prepare his players for the next level. In a sense, the Mallards likely learned more by getting trounced by the likes of Boys Latin then trouncing its traditional rivals on the shore.