George Washington's Joey Majestro (left) defends against Capital's Landon Palmer.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When George Washington and Capital get together in lacrosse, you can throw the record book ...
Oh, never mind.
But suffice it to say, GW and Capital play each other with as much vigor as they do in football (and sometimes with as much contact). If you doubt that, you should have seen the Cougars mob each other after hanging on for a 9-8 victory over the Patriots Wednesday night at Schoenbaum Stadium.
"It's a rivalry. It's right up there with Army-Navy," said Capital coach Phil Wright, with a chuckle.
The 75 or so hardy fans witnessed that, sitting in cold, windy, rainy conditions only fit for British links golf. The teams swapped leads three times, the final instance coming on Capital's three straight goals in the fourth quarter.
Mason Jack scored four goals to lead the Cougars (5-6), who are fighting for their playoff lives in the West Virginia Scholastic Lacrosse Association. His first two goals, just before the end of the first quarter, cut into GW's early 3-0 lead. Early in the second, the Cougars tied it on Alex Azevedo's "quick-stick" goal off a Cody Edwards pass.
(For hockey fans, that's akin to the "one-timer," taking a pass and firing it on goal in one motion.)
Watts Shumate put GW (6-3) back ahead 4-3, but Capital scored three goals before halftime - Christian Huffman on the Cougars' second "man-up" goal (think power play), Jack off a long run and Azevedo off a Joe Wright pass.
GW's Shannon Runyon scored the only goal of the third period. The Patriots' Cameron Stroebel and Jack Bunn scored quick back-to-back goals to take a 7-6 lead early in the fourth, but GW was flagged (yes, football-type penalty flags are used) for another foul and went shorthanded for the eighth time. Nathan Shin cashed in for Capital's third "man-up" goal, tying the game. Jack then scored his fourth goal to give Capital the lead and Wright scored from right in front of the GW goal for a 9-7 lead.
Jordan Brack, the WVSLA's top scorer, brought GW to within 9-8, but the Patriots didn't get a good shot thereafter.
"I'm very, very proud of the way our defense played," Wright said. "GW is a tough team, and holding them to eight goals was an outstanding effort."
GW coach Brad White liked the effort of his team, playing without captains Cole Salmons and Bryar Skinner.
"We spent a little too much time in the penalty box," White said. "We had 9 minutes, 40 seconds and they had 4 minutes in penalties. It's very hard to win, but our guys fought hard.
"We play Capital once a year now. This is rough, this is real rough."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.