Morris’ 4 Goals Lift McLean Boys’ Lax Over Madison

Morris’ 4 Goals Lift McLean Boys’ Lax Over Madison

Highlanders snap two-­game losing skid, Warhawks fall to 5-­2.

McLean senior Alex Morris scored four goals during a victory against Madison on April 23.

McLean senior Alex Morris scored four goals during a victory against Madison on April 23. Photo by Craig Sterbutzel.


Members of the McLean boys’ lacrosse team celebrate during their 9­-5 victory over Madison on April 23.

The McLean and Madison boys’ lacrosse teams entered Thursday’s contest having each recently suffered the first loss in their respective seasons.

Thanks to a stellar effort from senior Alex Morris, it was McLean that made a return visit to the win column.

Morris scored a game-­high four goals and the Highlanders beat the Warhawks 9-­5 on April 23 at Madison High School. McLean improved to 9­-2 while Madison fell to 5-­2.

Morris, who will play collegiately at Ohio State, scored a pair of goals in the second quarter to help McLean build a 6-­1 halftime advantage. He added a goal in the third quarter and one in the fourth, giving him 38 in 11 games this season.

“He’s a dynamic player,” third­year McLean head coach Nick Worek said.

McLean won its first eight games of the season before losing to South County 9­-6 on April 18. The Highlanders lost again four days later, falling to Chantilly 11-­8.

“Those two teams we lost to were fantastic,” Worek said. “South County and Chantilly, we’re talking top five or six teams in the region ...”

AGAINST MADISON, McLean held a five­-goal lead at halftime, but the Warhawks turned up the heat, scoring twice in the first 32 seconds of the second half. Madison possessed the ball for much of the third quarter, but the Highlanders escaped with a 7-­4 lead.

“Coming out of [back­-to-­back losses], I think our guys were a little bit bummed out ­­­ we were riding pretty high,” Worek said. “They were bummed like any high school kid would be. Tonight, I thought they really showed a lot of composure, especially in the first half. We really shared the ball well.

“... We had a really nice meeting after the last loss and the seniors really stood up and said, ‘Hey, we’re still OK, here. We have a good team.’”

Morris said the Highlanders didn’t lose confidence after tasting defeat for the first time in 2015.

“Practice became more intense,” Morris said. “We really focused, we’re really ready to get back out there and start improving on what we didn’t do as well the games before.”

Junior midfielder Jack Benson scored two goals for McLean. Owen Pilewski, Zane Mason and Justin Gibbons each scored one.Gibbons, who will play collegiately at the University of Michigan, has 32 goals for the season.

Worek also praised some of McLean’s defensive players, including senior goalie Michael Dolan, who finished with 11 saves.


McLean junior Jack Benson scored two goals against Madison on April 23.

“Michael Dolan is tremendous,” Worek said. “[He was a] first-­team all-conference player last year [and he’s a] captain. [Senior defenseman] Jordan Cole back there is going to Army. You can’t ask for a better leader than a kid going to West Point.”

Worek led McLean to a 10-­4 record last season, which ended with a double-­overtime loss to Lake Braddock in the 6A North regional tournament.

At 9-­2, McLean is positioned for an even better result this season. The Highlanders opened the campaign with a 9-­4 victory over rival Langley on March 17 ­­­ the first time in program history McLean defeated the four­-time state champion.

“Beating Langley was a big deal at the start of the year,” Worek said. “That’s a huge rivalry. Just to do that and get that monkey off our backs, that was huge.”

The Highlanders have also shown they can win close games, going 4­-0 in one-­goal contests.

While McLean snapped its two-­game skid, Madison suffered its second straight loss after a 5­0 start. The Warhawks suffered their first defeat of the season on April 16, losing to Langley, 11-­6.

While Madison fell short against McLean, head coach Alex Gorman said the Warhawks showed improvement from their previous game.

“I think last week, we did not look good. Tonight, we played better,” Gorman said. “We responded better. I think we can build off this. I think sometimes when you start off winning, you get complacent and you make mistakes. Last week, our mistakes hurt us a lot. This week, it wasn’t so bad.”

Madison junior attackman Cheech McLallen scored a pair of goals against McLean. Palmer Lloyd, Robbie McLallen and Jacob Stein each scored one.

“Madison played so hard,” Worek said. “They are tremendous.”

Madison reached the state final in 2013 but failed to qualify for the region tournament in 2014.

NEXT UP for McLean is a home game against South Lakes at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, May 1. Madison will travel to face Fairfax at 7 p.m. on Friday.

“[McLean has] two of the best players in the region,” Gorman said about Morris and Gibbons. “When we don’t possess the ball well enough, they can do some damage when they head the other way.”