IAC Championship: Landon @ Bullis, Saturday 7PM
This isn't the IAC your older brother grew up watching, and it's definitely not the IAC your father remembers.
When the decision was made to eliminate the points system in IAC lacrosse and implement a winner-take-all tournament, most lacrosse enthusiasts assumed it would guarantee that Georgetown Prep and Landon would meet twice a year. Once during the regular season, and once in the tournament championship.
But in recent years, IAC lacrosse has gone from a two-horse race to a cutthroat league where it actually makes sense to play the game on the field instead of writing teams off on paper. Years of unbalanced play has become, well, balanced.
So for the cluster of Georgetown Prep and Landon alum who showed up Wednesday thinking they were watching the IAC championship, it was another stark reminder that the days of Giblin vs. Bordley are over -- at least as we have remembered them.
Names like Pollicino, Conklin and Taibl may become associated with the future of the IAC. Two of those names fought tooth-and-nail Wednesday to play for the title, and Pollicino and his Bullis Bulldogs walked out on top.
Bullis entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed after sweeping through the regular season. In just his third year at Bullis, Bobby Pollicino has taken a program from mediocrity to an elite status. The Bulldogs have won 42 games over the past three years, but getting win No. 43 will be the most important victory yet.
Bullis fought off a surging Episcopal team Wednesday that forgot to roll over and play dead. After knocking off St. Stephen's in the quarterfinals in three overtimes (just one week after losing 12-1 to the same team), Episcopal fought Bullis to a 4-4 halftime score.
But just like Bullis has done for the majority of the year, the Bulldogs stepped up when it counted most and outscored Episcopal 4-2 in the second half. Kylor Bellistri, Mitchell Goldberg and Landon transfer Matt Opsahl combined for six goals while Nick Fisher and Kyle Nemeroff scored one apiece.
Now Bullis will turn their attention to Landon and win No. 43 for Pollicino. The Bulldogs defeated Landon 7-6 back on April 5, but the Bears have won nine out of their past ten games since, with their only loss coming to the area's consensus No. 1 team in Gonzaga (18-1).
On Wednesday, Landon jumped on the back of their seniors and rode them all the way to the IAC title game. Goaltender Alex Joyce recorded 10 saves while fellow seniors Hank Brown, Matt Potolicchio and Charlie Schnider combined for five of Landon's six goals.
Saturday afternoon at Bullis, Landon will get another shot at the best the IAC has to offer. And this time it's not Georgetown Prep.
Although DCSportsFan will be in attendance for those who can't be, we suggest that those still saddled with the old school IAC mentality make a trip to Bullis to see what the new school has to offer.
|St. Stephen's & St. Agnes||12-6||155||108||2-3||49||32|