Cardinal Gibbons held on in the final minutes to beat Holly Springs 9-8 to advance to the boys’ lacrosse NCHSAA semi-finals Friday night.
Senior goalie Pete Shammas made a save on a low shot fired by Holly Springs’ Taylor Ferguson with less than 20 seconds remaining.
Holly Springs (11-8) trailed 9-6 entering the fourth quarter. The Golden Hawks were able to hold the potent Crusaders scoreless while mustering two power-play goals. The last one came from Mason Boone with 2:03 remaining to make it 9-8.
After a crucial defensive stop, Holly Springs set up for the game-tying chance with just more than 45 seconds left.
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“[Ferguson] is just trying to make the play he knows the team needs to have. It’s a captain who wants to take manners in to his own hands,” Holly Springs coach Doug Greenberg said of the final chance.
Shammas was able to corral the shot and advance it downfield, letting the crusaders run out the clock to remain undefeated and advance to semifinals for the first time under the relatively new NCHSAA format.
“(Shammas) makes a great save at the end. He works super hard… he’s a super kid to have,” Cardinal Gibbons coach Mike Curatolo said.
Cardinal Gibbons (19-0) started the scoring with a goal by Matt Skowron two minutes into the game. Four minutes later, sophomore Gannon Morrison added a second goal for a 2-0 lead. Both players assisted on each other’s goals.
The Crusaders led for the whole game.
Holly Springs answered on a goal by Sean Mayefskie to make it 2-1, but the Crusaders answered with two more goals to close out the first quarter 4-1.
Holly Springs answered to start the second on a goal by Ferguson. Then the teams traded the next three goals before the Crusaders’ Tyler Van Horn’s goal made it 7-3 at the half. It was the largest lead for Cardinal Gibbons.
Skowron led all scorers with four goals and an assist.
“I’m proud of the way our kids held on grinding out a win against a very good team. That’s a tough thing to do,” Curatolo said.