NOVI — Payback is not fun.
Detroit Catholic Central had its way with Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice last year in fierce lacrosse wars.
In April, the Shamrocks won a 10-9 overtime battle to snap a 13-year, 28-game losing streak to the Warriors, part of a 101-0 record against all CHSL opponents at the time.
In May, CC prevailed again, 11-8 in the CHSL championship, which Rice had won for 20 years.
In June, the coup de grace: CC stunned the Warriors by overcoming a three-goal deficit in the final eight minutes to win the state Division 1 championship, 11-10, a feat Brother Rice had accomplished for 13 years, ever since the MHSAA sanctioned lacrosse.
That all ended last Tuesday (March 26) in a most unceremonious way for the Shamrocks on their own turf. The Warriors dominated all aspects of the game for a 16-5 triumph.
“They’ve been thinking of this since June 9,” said coach Ajay Chawla about his squad whooping it up in the background. “They worked hard all summer.”
Senior Justin Glod was responsible for a major share of the scoring with a game-high six goals, half of them in a pivotal second quarter when the Warriors shot out to a commanding 10-2 lead.
Rice scored four quick goals after the intermission to remove all doubt about winning.
“It just came down to experience last year,” Chawla said. “We were young. We started a lot of juniors and sophomores. They are a year older and a year stronger.”
Junior Jordan Hyde had five goals, junior Pat O’Hara four, and senior Dylan Braddock one to round out Rice’s scoring.
“Our offense looks great this year,” Chawla said. The Warriors had little difficulty penetrating CC’s defense. Goalie Johnny Shea was blitzed with nearly three dozen shots. He was helpless on most of the balls that found the net behind him.
The defense looked good, too. Warriors senior goalie Dom Dadabbo faced half as many shots, permitting just five past him: two apiece by junior Ryan Sullivan and senior Jake Petro, and one by senior Joe Kamish.
Before the game, Shamrocks coach Dave Wilson said he expected Rice “to come out loaded for bear. It’s too bad this game is so early in the season, but it is what it is.”
To his and his team’s credit, 24 hours later CC rebounded with a 12-3 victory over East Grand Rapids, who came into the contest undefeated in three games.
Odds are good that Rice and CC will meet at least one more time, in the CHSL championship May 11, and probably, too, in the state tournament playoffs that start May 16.
“We never left the top,” Chawla said in his opening post-game remarks.
For you trivia fans, here are some stats that distinguish Rice as a perennial powerhouse:
Since 2005, Rice’s overall record is 280-40. (Coaches: Ajay Chawla (2014-present; 95-21), Rob Ambrose (2005-2013; 185-19)).
Against teams from Michigan, 201-4; versus out-state schools, 79-36. (The other loss to an in-state school was dealt by Detroit Country Day in April 2014.)
Against CHSL opponents, Rice is 104-3: 29-3 vs. CC; 31-0 vs. Detroit U-D Jesuit; 19-0 vs. Warren De La Salle; 17-0 vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s; and 8-0 vs. Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood.