Maroon stun Saints in overtime thriller

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Maroon stun Saints in overtime thriller
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Nearly midway through a fourth sudden death overtime period Episcopals Nick Weeden finally slipped by backyard rival St. Stephens and St. Agnes to seal a big conference win Tuesday night.
    
After about two and a half hours battling on the Saints home turf, Weeden celebrated with his teammates. Theyd come from behind SSSAS led 5-3 with 10 minutes left in the final quarter of regulation play despite an aggressive, physical and sometimes overpowering Saints offense.
    
Wed been playing defense and we finally settled it down a little on offense, Weeden said afterward, drenched in sweat. Its great to get away with a win against them.
    
Before Weeden found the net for the Maroons sixth goal with some 3:20 left in the fourth overtime period, the two Alexandria high school teams struggled through a grueling matchup. The Saints drew first blood, scoring with a little more than eight minutes left in the first quarter. Undeterred, the Maroon worked their way back to tie the game at 1-1 with just over a minute to play in the quarter. 
    
They would clash repeatedly the sound of pads and sticks echoing across the lacrosse field until nearly halftime, when Episcopal found a way to their first and only lead during regulation time. 
    
It didnt last long. 
    
Less than a minute into the third quarter, the Saints offense took advantage of a momentarily tripped up goaltender, junior Matt Lopiano, to equal things out. From there, SSSAS went on a hot streak. Senior attacker Peter Milley scored after cutting down an open lane in front of the net. Junior midfielder Brent Armstrong likewise slipped by Lopiano to give the Saints a 5-3 lead. 
    
Enter Episcopal senior Tom Hurley. Whittling down the Saints lead to one after scoring the Maroons third goal with six seconds left in the third quarter, Hurley found the net not once, but twice in the fourth quarter. 
    
He later struggled to describe what went through his mind as he flung the tying shot past sophomore Saints goaltender Sam Beazell to earn Episcopal a second chance at victory in overtime. 
    
We knew we needed to get one, Hurley said. Someone asked the coach how we were going to play the defense and he said, Were not going to play defense, were getting this now.
    
What followed was nearly a 12 minute 40 second defensive struggle for the Maroon, peppered by a cold rain and the occasional burst of sunshine. Weeden described it as mentally tiring.
    
We were playing defense forever, he said. Our defense played out of their minds. Finally, we got one. It felt amazing.
    
As quadruple overtime began, Episcopal coach Scott Conklin said the outcome was out of his control. There was nothing more he could do. 
    
At that point you realize its in the players hands. [Lopiano] had some incredible saves toward the end there, he said. I felt like we were playing defense for 12 of those minutes.
    
The 12-2 Maroon are now 1-1 in conference play. Conklin described it as a huge win for the boarding school squad. He heaped praise on Hurley for battling back after an early ankle injury nearly sidelined him. 
    
For his part, Hurley had one word for the moment: awesome.
    
Its an awesome feeling, he said. We just started clicking. No one was thinking we were going to lose this and the guys just stepped up.
    
The Maroon next face Paul VI Catholic on April 16 before taking on rival Woodberry Forest on April 19. The 6-6 Saints will head to Flint Hill April 15 before facing Collegiate on April 19. 

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