Wildcats take down Barons for first time since 2017

Junior midfielder Nick Zampardi cradles the ball up the field in the Wildcats’ 7-6 victory over the BCC Barons. This was the first time in six years that the boys’ lacrosse team beat BCC and the win snapped the Wildcats’ three-game losing streak.

The Wildcats entered Saturday, April 15 with one division game remaining. Going into the game with a three-game losing streak, the boys’ lacrosse team needed a victory to finish with multiple divisional wins. In their path was their archrival BCC whom they had not defeated in six years. After a tough roller coaster of a game, the Wildcats emerged victorious by a score of 7-6.

For the first half of the game, the Barons and Wildcats went goal for goal, but in the third quarter, the Wildcats began to pull away. Then came the rain, a bright flash and a distant crack. With 13 minutes and 30 seconds left in the game, fans vacated the stadium and players exited towards the locker room. For about forty-five minutes the game was at a standstill as the storm passed by the Bethesda area.

“We went over strategy, we changed up the defense a little bit, we applied the eye black and got ready,” junior midfielder Colin Neary said.

Finally, the call was given to resume the game. For the first eight minutes after the break, the Wildcats looked unphased and added a goal to their total, but then the Barons came roaring back with two goals in half a minute. The teams went back and forth with junior goaltender Alex Klein making a save and the Wildcats turning the ball over on a shot to give the Barons possession and the ability to call a timeout with 19.7 seconds remaining. With the ball in the stick of Montgomery County’s leading scorer (entering Saturday), the Barons’ Aaron Tiao, the Wildcats’ defense stayed strong and forced a turnover at the buzzer.

“It’s a real big win for this program. Anytime you play a rival, it’s going to be a close game. I’ve been here for four years, every single time we’ve [played BCC], it’s come down to an overtime game. Today was no different, we’re a really young team, so anytime that we get a chance to build on positives, we’re just looking to keep building and keep making this program better,” head coach Jacob Anderson said.

Defensively, this was the Wildcats’ best game of the season as entering the game, the least number of goals the team had allowed in a game was nine. The Wildcats’ defenders were able to force the Barons to take more difficult shots and Klein had one of his best games of the season, logging multiple saves in clutch moments.

One of the game’s highlights was when junior captain and midfielder J.R. DuBose went behind the back to score possibly the most exciting goal in the Wildcats’ first five games.

“I cut backdoor, [sophomore attacker] Ryan Gardner passed [the ball] and I saw a little angle. Our coach, he is not a big fan of behind the back, but I was like a shooter’s gotta shoot, so I went behind the back and it worked out,” DuBose said.

The Wildcats will travel to play the Gaithersburg Trojans (2-5) on Wednesday, April 19 at 7:15 p.m. and their next home game will be on Monday, April 24 against the Clarksburg Coyotes (2-4) at 7:15 p.m.

“I think [this win] going to keep us going for the future. It helped the season, probably turned it around because we were struggling, we got on a cold streak and now we’re back in it and should be good for the season,” Klein said.