By Steve Millar
Marist boys lacrosse coach Chaas Collins knew his team would fight until the final whistle of St. Laurence Sectional quarterfinal against St. Ignatius.
“The attitude of this team has been consistent all year,” Collins said. “Their resiliency is uncanny to any team I’ve ever coached. It doesn’t matter if they’re down one or down five, they’re going to battle through and through. “
Down 9-5 early in the third quarter, the host RedHawks fought back to tie the game, but came up just short as their season ended with an 11-10 loss to the Wolfpack.
Sophomore Jameel Mukarram scored five goals to lead fourth-seeded Marist (12-5), while junior Nick Rubino added two goals.
“We knew we wanted to give everything we’ve got,” Mukarram said. “We didn’t get the result we wanted, but we still got a ‘W’ in our minds because we worked hard and played so well as a team.”
Fifth-seeded St. Ignatius (5-13) outscored the RedHawks 4-1 in the second quarter to take an 8-5 lead to halftime and extended it to 9-5 early in the third.
Marist, though, rallied as Mukarram and Rubino scored to make it 9-7 going to the fourth.
After senior Spencer Henderson scored to cut the deficit to one, Mukarram found the net again to tie it 9-9 with to go.
Mukarram followed an Ignatius goal with yet another score to make it 10-10 with to go, but the Wolfpack’s Sam Madura scored the game-winner with to go.
Marist got a couple shots in the final minute but could not connect on the game-tying goal.
Senior Tristan Ach and sophomore Alex Menendez scored first-half goals for Marist, while Justin Marshall made six saves.
Despite falling short, Ach said the RedHawks had plenty to be proud of.
“All year, we believe we outworked everybody,” Ach said. “In this game, we started slow, but we battled back. We did everything we could to win that game. We left it all out on the field.
“I feel like we had a really successful season. We brought it all together and we peaked at the end of the year. We played our best lacrosse .”
Ach will continue his lacrosse career at Transylvania University in Kentucky.
“I’m pumped,” he said. “I’m excited to play at the next level. I’m ready to close this chapter and get to work on the next one.”
Ach feels he’s leaving Marist’s program in good hands. Ach, Henderson and Kevin O’Halloran were the only seniors on the RedHawks’ roster.
“These guys are really young and they’re really hard-working,” Ach said. “It’s limitless what they can do next year.”
Mukarram said the RedHawks expect to come back stronger in 2019.
“I think next year teams are going to watch out for Marist when they see us on their schedule,” he said. “They’re going to know we’re a hard-fighting team.
“We’re going to do a lot of work in the offseason, form something good for next year and surprise people.”