Brother Rice reclaims state lacrosse title from Catholic Central on last-second goal

Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice defender Mason Everly attempts to advance the ball out of his own end, while being pursued by Catholic Central attackers Ryan Birney (9) and Ryan Sullivan (7). (Photos by Wright Wilson | Special to Detroit Catholic)

HOWELL — When pressed, Justin Glod will admit he didn’t have time to think about it.

Glod, a senior captain of the Birmingham Brother Rice lacrosse squad, took the ball in the waning seconds of the Division 1 state lacrosse final against Novi Detroit Catholic Central.

After running behind the goal, and then away from it, Glod suddenly wheeled around and fired the ball in over his right shoulder. Somehow it found the back of the twine from 10 yards away, and the scoreboard read Rice 14, CC 13, :01 remaining.

“I saw we had eight seconds left, I came in and I immediately went to a full sprint, I didn’t even look for anyone else on the field,” he said. “I just thought it was my job to finish this game, so it worked out well.”

“Worked out well” may be the biggest understatement of the season. Glod’s heroics enabled the Warriors to reclaim the state title after one long year without it.

The defending-champion Shamrocks led 10-7 after the first half, and it wasn’t until the final two minutes of the contest that Brother Rice put itself in a position to win, following Glod’s second goal of the game which knotted the contest at 13.

With Justin Glod (6) holding the prize, Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice lacrosse players dash toward their fans to show off their state championship trophy. The Warriors won 14-13 on Glod’s last-second goal.

The Warriors won the ensuing faceoff and ran the clock down, aiming for a game-winning goal with one final dash to the net.

“We set up a play to go through with 20 seconds left, we ran through the play, we got a shot off — a good, quality shot — we missed the shot,” Brother Rice coach Ajay Chawla said. “Eight seconds left, and now there’s no play — it’s get it into the hands of your best guy offensively, a senior leader like Justin who has a lot of poise.”

“I honestly didn’t (think we had enough time), but I just went out there and sprinted my hardest and wanted to get it off quickly enough, and it worked out perfectly,” said Glod, who was immediately mobbed by teammates after the ball went in.

“He’s had big goals for us all year, so this wasn’t his first, and it won’t be his last when he goes to Harvard to play next year,” Chawla said. “You put it in the hands of a guy like that, and you hope that everything works out. With the kind of player he is, you know it’s going to work out.”

“They timed it well, I think the ball just went in,” Catholic Central coach Dave Wilson said. “It was close, it was close all the way through, but if you give Rice extra opportunities they’re going to capitalize.”

Brother Rice (23-0) hadn’t led since Dylan Braddock scored to make it 7-6 with 5:17 to play in the second quarter. But Catholic Central (20-4) closed the half strong, getting two goals from Ryan Birney, and single tallies from Connor Beals and Joey Kamish to take a three-goal lead into the break.

Kamish scored six times throughout the afternoon, tying an MHSAA championship-game record. His sixth gave the Shamrocks a 13-12 lead with 2:29 to play.

Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice seniors Trevor Fix, Michael Cosgrove and Justin Glod are all smiles after their last-second 14-13 win over arch-rival Novi Detroit Catholic Central in the Division 1 lacrosse state championship.

But Brother Rice closed the gap throughout the second half and made the most of their opportunities down the stretch. As a result, the Warriors claimed their 14th state title — after Catholic Central interrupted their string of dominance last year after 13 in a row.

Glod said that was all the motivation the Warriors needed this spring. Despite all those titles, it’s just the fourth time Rice has completed a season without a loss.

“We’re one of four teams in the program to ever go undefeated, and it’s a huge honor,” he said. “Actually, that was our only goal this season — we wanted to go undefeated, and we knew that we could do it, and we did it.”

“That’s very rare — it’s hard to do, I don’t care how good you are,” Chawla said. “Everybody has a down day. We came out at the beginning of the year with one goal and that was to go undefeated, and we knew we had the guys on this team to do it. They showed up when they needed to show up. Sometimes it was a little late, but today, what a game, and hats off to the boys. Their work ethic and their leadership really got them this victory.”

Glod, a 5-foot-8, 140-pound attack, committed to Harvard last October, and Chawla said that’s no accident.

“This team is great on the field, but academically it’s been the top team in the state for multiple years and probably this year as well,” the coach said. “It’s worth it for people to understand that our program is more than just about what goes on on the field, and it gets lost because we win all the time. We have a GPA of 4.1, and that’s pretty impressive. They work as hard off the field as they do on the field.”