Indian Creek Boys Dominate Way To First MIAA Championship
The Indian Creek School boys lacrosse team capped an undefeated season by topping Beth Tfiloh 20-10 in the MIAA C Conference championship game at Towson University on May 16.
Photo by Walt Wayman
TOWSON, Md. – The Indian Creek boys’ lacrosse team entered Friday afternoon’s Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference championship game against Beth Tfiloh aspiring to accomplish two firsts: take home Indian Creek’s first title and polish off the its first undefeated season.
The Eagles (15-0) were able to accomplish both feats in a 20-10 victory at Johnny Unitas Stadium on the campus of Towson University. Indian Creek charged ahead of the Warriors with a quick start, dominated possession throughout and received multi-goal performances from five players en route to the title.
“Coming into this season, I knew that we were going to have a shot at it,” Indian Creek head coach Mike Fretwell said. “We had a lot of returning, really good seniors – talented seniors – and I knew if things clicked the way that we wanted them to, that we’d really have a go at it.”
Nicholas Harbachewski scored five goals, while Brandon Blonder notched four scores, Robert McGurrin had a hat trick, Jerrell Harrison scored two goals and Blake Wishard added a goal as Indian Creek took firm control of the game from the outset.
But the star of the day was the Eagles’ Ryan Baukhages, who scored five goals and registered five assists for a whopping ten total points and involvement in exactly half of Indian Creek’s total.
Two of Baukhages’ goals and four of his assists came in the first half, helping Indian Creek to a 9-4 halftime lead. The Eagles jumped out to a 7-2 lead with 9:04 left in the second quarter, giving them some margin for error later in the game. The closest Beth Tfiloh came to tying Indian Creek after that was with 4:05 left in the second quarter, when the Warriors made the score 7-4. The Eagles pulled away in the second half, scoring 11 of the half’s 17 goals.
“I think it was an all-around great team win,” Baukhages said. “In the beginning of the game, coach said we’ve got to come out strong – come out fast and strong – and just take it to them, and we did that. We stuck together as a team, especially defensively.”
Anchoring that defense was goalie Sean Kerns, who made 13 saves, including six in the second quarter. It wasn’t the performance defensively that Indian Creek has come to expect – the most goals it allowed before Friday was seven. But the Eagles didn’t need their best defensive performance during a game in which possession was heavily tilted in their favor.
“It just felt right that we can just end the season letting our offense just take it over and let us relax,” Kerns said.
Indian Creek’s advantage in possession was stark; the Eagles out-shot the Warriors 65-31, picked up 35 more ground balls and, courtesy of Wishard, won 14 more face-offs.
“Blake was sharp, played a great game at face-off X,” Fretwell said. “And we ride hard. We preach that every day, all the time – ‘ride, ride, ride.’ It doesn’t matter if you turn it over. Forget that you turned it over, let’s get that ball back. And I think between our face-offs and our riding, we were able to get some good possessions.”
Matt Kasner led the way for Beth Tfiloh, scoring five goals, while Josh Schwartz and Matt Lebowitz each added a pair of goals.
The undefeated season and title is a huge step for a program that as recently as 2012 finished with a losing record. Indian Creek overwhelmed opponents all year, and ended the season appropriately, with a 10-goal win.
“It means a lot,” Fretwell said of his team’s campaign. “This is the first team I’ve been a part of that’s had an undefeated season. This is the first championship I’ve been a part of, so it means a lot to me. I’m just excited for where the program’s been recently and where it’s going.”
Said Kerns: “Outstanding. Awesome. First time ever going 15-0, first time ever winning the championship. It just feels great.”