Bullis (Md.) completed an impressive run on Tuesday night in Washington, D.C. as they took down undefeated Salisbury (Conn.) to win the 2019 GEICO High School Nationals. The IAC champs came to play this week as they upset Hill Academy (Ont.) in the semifinals and then did it again against Salisbury in the championship.
The Bulldogs are the only American team to win the championship as Hill Academy won the first two (2017,2018). Robert Schain led the way for the Bulldogs as he was the catalyst on the offensive end. The senior Penn commit tallied 9 points (4G/5A) in the win, ending his high school career on a high note.
Connor Davis got the scoring started early, putting Bullis up 1-0. Salisbury answered as both teams went back-and-forth early on. After Jonathan Bender put Bullis up 2-1 Salisbury answered with a two-goal run from Scott Wilson and Connor Drake, giving the Knights their first lead of the game at 3-2.
After a Bullis goal from Kieran Anzelone things were tied up at 3 to end the first period of play. Gus Weiner and Bryson Shaw scored two straight, putting Bullis up 5-3 early in the second and pushing the Bulldogs run to three. Connor Drake finally stopped the bleeding, scoring Salisbury’s only second quarter goal with 5:30 left in the quarter.
The Bulldogs continued to dominate on both ends of the field for the rest of the half, taking an 8-4 halftime lead. Robert Schain, Bryson Shaw, and Connor Davis all scored for Bullis to end the half on a three-goal run.
Bullis continued their domination in the second half, winning on both ends of the field. After Jonathan Bender put Bullis up 9-4 early in the third Salisbury finally found the back of the net with 4:30 in the third. Robert Schain scored off a Jonathan Bender assist to put Bullis up 10-5 heading into the fourth.
It was back-and-forth early in the third as each team answered each other. Bullis used a two-goal run from Gus Weiner and Robert Schain to get up 13-6 late in the fourth. Salisbury was able to rattle off two in the final minutes of the game but could not complete the comeback, taking their only loss of the season.
The 2019 GEICO High School Nationals championship has been set as Bullis (Md.) took down Hill Academy (Ont.), and Salisbury (Conn.) beat St. Sebastian’s (Mass.) in the semifinals. Bullis and Salisbury will meet in the championship on Tuesday night at 7:00pm.
Bullis 11, Hill Academy 10
Bullis pulled off the upset and took down two-time defending champion Hill Academy. It was a very defensive heavy start for both squads Immanuel Brown scored the first goal of the game with 5:31 in the first, putting Bullis up 1-0. The Bulldogs found the back of the net less than a minute later, pushing their lead out to 2-0.
Hill Academy went on a three-goal run in the final minutes of the first, taking a 3-2 lead at the end of the first. Bullis quickly tied things up at 3 early in the second. After some more back-and-forth play through Dyson Williams netted his second of the day late in the quarter, giving Hill Academy a 5-4 lead heading into the half.
The second half saw much more offense earlier on as Hill Academy started off on a three-goal run, taking an 8-4 lead. Robert Schain seemingly gave Bullis the lift they needed with an insane long pole goal.
The Bulldogs rode that momentum into the fourth as they eventually got ahead, taking a 10-8 lead midway though the fourth. While Hill Academy was able to get something going late, they just couldn’t overcome the deficit as Bullis secured the one-goal 11-10 win to advance to the championship game.
Salisbury 7, St. Sebastian’s 5
It was a defensive battle as both goalies played fantastic throughout the game, making big save after big save. Michael Swirbalus got St. Sebastian’s on the board first midway though the first. After some more defensive heavy play Salisbury finally found the back of the net with a Will Ferrell goal, making it 1-1 at the end of the first.
More defensive play resumed in the second quarter as St. Sebastian’s took a 2-1 lead early. Salisbury finally got their offense going again, scoring midway though the second. Both defenses stood tall through the end of the first half to keep it tied at 2 all heading into halftime.
A big Logan McNaney save led to a Salisbury fast break that ended with a Will Ferrell goal, giving the Knights their first lead of the game at 3-2 early in the third. It was very back-and-forth through the third as St. Sebastian’s took back the 5-4 lead late in the third quarter.
Again, defense was the name of the game in the fourth, but Salisbury would find their offense. The Knights scored the only two goals of the quarter, securing the 7-5 win. While St. Sebastian’s had some opportunities late Logan McNaney stood on his head to help secure the win for Salisbury.
The high school lacrosse season is on the horizon and this season there are some very good teams across the country that will be very competitive not only in their state or region, but nationally as well. Of course some of the traditional powers will be on this list, but there are also some teams that the casual fan might not know all the much about.
*Note: List is in no particular order.*
Culver Military Academy (IN)
Culver has been one of the most dominant high school teams in the country for the better part of about a decade or so. They always have some of the best players from the US and Canada on their team and Coach Posner does a great job of coaching them up and getting all that talent to play as one unit. Being a Military boarding school helps with that as well I should say. This season the Eagles have 19 current division one commits and more to come on this 2019 squad. This team has future pro’s at every position and it will be very hard for any team to stop them. After watching Culver about four times last season and seeing what they have back, I honestly think this may be the best Culver team we have seen to date.
The Hill Academy (ON)
The Hill Academy out of Ontario has won the first two Geico High School Lacrosse Nationals. Each year Hill get’s more talent and keeps getting better. The Merrill’s have built something special with the Hill Academy and that just keeps on continuing. With 13 current Division one commits on their roster the Hill looks just as good as ever. Just like many other sports centric prep schools they have future college stars and pro’s all over the place and they are going to win and win a lot. No doubt about that. I honestly can’t wait to see how this Hill team has improved with some of their younger studs back from last year.
IMG Academy (FL)
Yeah, it was a shaky year for IMG in 2018 as they didn’t have near the amount of success they were looking for. Fortunately for the Ascenders they have a lot of talent back, as expected of a school like IMG, and they are looking to rebound. With 11 players currently committed to play Division One lacrosse IMG will be competitors on the national stage again this season, and hopefully improve a lot from last year.
The prep school out of Connecticut has pro and Division one talent all up and down the field. The Crimson Knights do lose a lot of great players from last season, but they return just as much talent as they lost with 20 players currently committed to play Division One lacrosse. Salisbury looks to be right up there again this season competing for a national championship along with the rest of the big boys as usual. They will be led by senior midfielder and Duke commit Connor Drake, amongst others.
Calvert Hall (MD)
Calvert Hall is a perennial power in the MIAA and always have a lot of talent, even though they graduated a slew of seniors in 2018. The Cardinals are coming off of two straight MIAA A conference championship’s and have a ton of talent back, as always. The Cardinals are led by 2019 Ohio State commits midfielder Grant Mitchell and defenseman Jacob Snyder.
Ponte Vedra (FL)
The Sharks look to be the favorites to win it all in Florida this year as they have one of the best teams in the country and play a pretty tough schedule as well with teams like Calvert Hall (MD), Episcopal Dallas (TX), and others on the schedule. The Sharks will be led by junior midfielders Dylan Hess who is committed to Georgetown and Carter Parlette who is a Notre Dame commit, as well as a whole host of other player heading to DI schools.
A power in the south McCallie is loaded with talent this season just as they have been in the past as well. Head Coach Troy Kemp and the Blue Tornado feature eight current DI commits this season. They are for sure the favorite in Division I in Tennessee this season. They are led by senior defenseman Cam Henry who is heading to Duke, senior midfielder and Ohio State commit Eli Ensor. as well as junior midfielder’s Carter Henry who is heading to Yale and Rutgers commit Ellison Burt-Murray.
Episcopal School of Dallas (TX)
The Eagles have a new coaching staff and a boat load of talent coming into this 2019 season. Many have already said that there is no doubt that Episcopal Dallas (TX) will be in the state championship this season. They will be led by one of the best defenses in the country with senior’s Scott Bower who is heading to Virginia and Ohio State commit Carson Raney.
Torrey Pines (CA)
Regional and national powerhouse Torrey Pines is back and looking to be great again this season with another very tough national schedule. The Falcons have a lot of talent as always and will be led by senior midfielder Michael Mines who is committed to Ohio State, as well as many other DI commits.
After winning the IAC championship in 2018 Bullis looks to repeat as they return some great talent on both sides of the ball. They will be led by junior midfielder and Jacksonville commit Immanuel Brown, as well as senior attackman Robert Schain who is headed to Penn.