DeMatha Lacrosse breaks ten year losing streak against LaSalle Prep High School


Photo credit to Jaclyn Borowski

Michael Driscoll, Staff

The DeMatha varsity lacrosse season didn’t start off as they would have liked, losing their first three games. However, the Stags put up great fights against two top 15 teams in the country, Georgetown Prep and IMG Academy, and the 54th best team in the country, Bullis. The Stags’ first game against Georgetwon Prep was a little rough and they ended up losing 14-5. Next they faced off against the renowned IMG Academy in a thrilling battle but lost 10-8. Finally they came back to Maryland to face off against the Bullis Bulldogs, losing in another close game 11-8.

This slow start didn’t stop Stags as they then won three straight games and improved to 3-3. In the next three games, however, they ended up taking two more losses and only getting one win as they moved to 4-5. Even though these losses were disappointing for the Stags they were about to face an opponent they hadn’t beat in ten years and they knew that they needed to be well prepared if they were going to upset LaSalle Prep. In the game leading up to this the Stags suffered a narrow defeat against the St. John’s Cadets, who are the 33rd best team in the country, which made them hungry for a win against the highly skilled LaSalle team from Pennsylvania.

The Stags were able to fulfill their hunger and displayed a combination of great skill and determination in order to break the streak and beating LaSalle 8-4 on their own field. Sophomore varsity lacrosse player Landon Mckelvy said, “We knew we hadn’t beaten them in ten years” and mentioned the importance of this game given their slow start when asked about the key factors of upsetting LaSalle. Also, when asked about the preparation leading up to the game sophomore varsity lacrosse player Jackson Ross said, “good practices leading up to the game and having a great scout on the other team” were very helpful and mentioned the fact that everyone was playing for something bigger than themselves. This game held great significance for Stags because it could set the tone for the rest of the season.

This game also honors fallen heroes from both schools, being LT (SEAL) Brendan Looney ’99 from DeMatha and Marine 1st LT Travis Manion from LaSalle. The two formed an unbreakable bond at the Naval Academy and both were accomplished athletes. Now both of them are resting side by side in the Arlington National Cemetery. Senior varsity lacrosse player Graham Parker is the cousin of Brendan Looney and even wears the same number that Brendan wore at Navy, which is number 40. When asked about how he felt after the big win Graham said, “It felt really good to get that win for DeMatha and for my family.” The Stags weren’t prepared to let Parker go his whole DeMatha lacrosse career without beating LaSalle and they certainly showed it during this battle that will undoubtedly be remembered.

The Stags have been able to gain momentum from this huge upset as following the LaSalle game, they have won two in a row, which includes beating a very skilled Paul VI team by a score of 14-10. The Stags will be able to truly show the effect this game has on them as the regular season goes by and as playoffs come around.