GMVS Boys Lacrosse Returns to State Final

June 6, 2012 ~ In one of the most exciting lacrosse games anyone can remember, the boys’ lacrosse team secured a spot in Saturday’s division 2 state final by defeating the Burr and Burton Bulldogs yesterday, 12-11. Before a packed house (at least by our standards…) Sam Jackson’s squad jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but needed every second before Christian Gallagher took a pass from Hans Halvorsen and converted a close-range shot to seal the team’s 14th win with under a minute left.

Amid alternating bright sun, downpours and overcast skies, the game featured two of the best teams in the state. GMVS was trying to avenge its only defeat of the season, a 19-12 loss at BBA 2 weeks ago. BBA was attempting to avoid a repeat of last season’s semifinal game at GMVS, which the hosts won, 10-7.

After giving up a goal in the opening minute, GMVS stormed back on goals by Sam Worley, Geoff Pyke and Trevor Harnsberger to reach the 3-1 mark. BBA got one back before Christian Gallagher got the first of his five goals on the day. The score was 4-3 at the end of quarter 1, and after goals by Gallagher and Worley (both assisted by Halvorsen) and 2 more BBA goals (one with 0.01 left in the half…) the scoreboard showed a one-goal lead for GMVS, and surely 6 goals would not hold up against the potent BBA attack.

Early in the third quarter, BBA knotted the score, but GMVS stormed back for two goals inside of a minute to regain the lead to start the final frame. Goalie Erik Silbernagel had been outstanding, stopping 10 shots by that time (out of his 14 on the day), but the GMVS attack kept the BBA keeper busy as well, as he had 19 saves by that point.

GMVS again got to a 2-goal lead on a goal by 8th-grader Patrick Gallagher, and it would have been 3 had GMVS not found the post. Then the wheels began to fall off the proverbial bus, as BBA notched 2 goals to draw even at 9-9. Hans Halvorsen converted with 7:29 left, but then 2 BBA goals inside of 20 seconds put the visitors up for the first time since the opening minute. A minute later, though, Christian Gallagher picked up a rebound and pushed the ball past the BBA goalie to knot the score.

The dramatic game entered its final 2 minutes when BBA was flagged for its 8th personal foul of the game (of a total of 10, to GMVS’ one), giving GMVS a man advantage. Just as the penalty ran out one minute later, Hans Halvorsen found Christian Gallagher in front of the cage, and the freshman finished the job with a low bouncing shot. GMVS held on the to the ball amid withering checking over the final 47 seconds, and when the horn sounded it was bedlam on the field.

It was a tremendous effort by all the players, and the spirit shown by all the fans made for an electric environment. With Gumby patrolling the sidelines, kids with face paint with ‘Go GMVS’ written around their smiles, and dozens of parents, students and local, supportive fans in attendance, it was a priceless scene.

The boys now face a tough challenge in 5th-seeded Colchester. The Lakers (14-5 on the year) fell to GMVS in GMVS’ opening game, also by a 12-11 score, and also on a goal in the final minute (again the Halvorsen/Gallagher connection, with Hans getting the goal). Colchester is riding an 8-game winning streak, having just dispatched #1 seed Lamoille (who had beaten them twice during the regular season). They have plenty of potent scorers and will be quite a matchup for GMVS.

Join us on Saturday at 11 am at Castleton State College for the big game, and good luck, boys!