Marr’s OT goal gives Holy Trinity first boys lacrosse district title in school history

Holy Trinity's Guillermo Marr (in white) celebrates and Cocoa Beach players react after Marr scored the game-winning goal with 2:11 left in overtime to give the Tigers a 9-8 victory in the Class 1A, District 7 championship game Friday night at Melbourne Central Catholic. It's Holy Trinity's first district championship in school history.

The look in Guillermo Marr’s eyes said it all.

His Holy Trinity boys lacrosse teammates knew it. His father, who also happens to be his coach, knew it, too.

Heck, he even told one of the officials what was about to happen next.

With the game – and the first district championship in school history – on his stick, Guillermo Marr was going for it.

“I told the ref, I’m calling game … watch this, and I went in,” Marr said. “Nothing went through my head except, ‘I’m scoring.’”

And score, he did.

Marr’s goal with 2:11 in overtime gave Holy Trinity a 9-8 win over Cocoa Beach in the Class 1A, District 7 championship game Friday night at Melbourne Central Catholic.

It also completed an incredible comeback that saw the Tigers trailing 8-4 and Cocoa Beach dominating with seven minutes to play.

What a way to win your first district title.

“It means a lot,” sophomore Dylan Gibson said. “I’m really proud, not only for our team, but for the past teams that have gone through, the past players that worked, helped me work for the team. It’s just good for the school, good for the team.”

Marr and Gibson, who led the Tigers with four goals, were just two of the heroes on the night for Holy Trinity.

Freshman goalie Justin Cole had 10 saves, including a crucial stop in overtime. Sophomore defender Jack Combs had 14 ground balls and helped turn the game around in the fourth quarter when he started taking faceoffs for Holy Trinity.

Simply put, you don’t make a comeback like that without everyone on the field playing their part in one way or the other.

“I’ve been in lacrosse over 20-some years and this is probably one of the most exciting games I’ve been in,” Holy Trinity coach Eric Marr said.

The score was tied 3-3 at the half in what had been a back-and-forth matchup. Cocoa Beach opened the second half scoring, only to have Holy Trinity’s Mick McCarthy answer to lock things up again at 4-4.

But that’s when the game appeared to turn. The Minutemen (13-4), who had possession 70 percent of the time through the first three quarters, began to pull away.

When Holy Trinity did get the ball, the Tigers were throwing long, errant passes, playing more one-on-one (often times, one-on-three) than moving the ball around and appearing in a rush to try to get it all back at once.

“I was actually trying to emphasize on the bench, we have to move the ball,” Eric Marr said. “On the other hand, we hardly even had the ball. So, what was happening was the main goal scorers – Guillermo, Dylan and Julien (Warden) – as soon as they got the ball, they were trying to do too much with it.

“When we went into that last quarter, I said, ‘You guys have got to settle down. We can score on these guys, but you’ve got to pass the ball.’ That’s all I was emphasizing to them.”

Holy Trinity entered the fourth quarter trailing 7-4, and it wasn’t too long until the Minutemen scored to make it a four-goal game.

However, that’s when the move to put Combs into the faceoff position started to pay off as the Tigers started to win more possessions.

“We started winning faceoff after faceoff after faceoff,” Guillermo Marr said. “When our offense gets the ball more times than they get the ball, our offense is the best in the county. We’re obviously going to score. It changed the game for us.”

The big momentum swing came with 6:52 remaining when Gibson scored to make it 8-5.

Forty-two seconds later, Marr was behind the net when found Gibson out front and the sophomore midfielder scored again to close the gap to two.

“We just needed to get a spark going,” Gibson said. “Luckily, I was able to put one or two in midway through the fourth. We got a spark from there. It got us going.”

A Marr wrap-around goal made it 8-7 and, with 1:23 remaining in regulation, Gibson tied things up at 8-8 and the game eventually headed to overtime.

The Minutemen got the ball and worked for a shot that could have ended it right there, but Cole dropped to his knees was able to catch it for a game-saving stop. The Tigers took possession and, eventually, the ball ended up on Marr’s stick behind the net.

“I knew (he was going to go for it). I saw it in his eyes,” Gibson said. “He was waiting for that the whole game.”

On the sidelines, Eric Marr knew what was about to happen, too.

“I know how Guillermo is,” Eric Marr said. “When I saw him taking that dodge, I said, ‘He’s going for it. He is not stopping. He tucked it and he said, I’m getting the goal no matter what.’”

It wasn’t like Guillermo Marr just walked through the Cocoa Beach defense, either.

The Minutemen had a swarm of defenders on him.

“I pushed up, I think I went around or I rolled (the defender) and another guy came,” Marr said. “I went over him. A second guy came and I went over him. I was going to shoot then, but he was on my stick and I went, ‘I’m not shooting. This is a terrible shot.’

“I came back around and got the perfect shot. It went far corner. It couldn’t have been any better placement.

“I saw it go in and all my emotions took over. I took off my helmet, I started sprinting and all this energy just came through me. Oh my God, yeah.”

Marr’s goal ignited a wild celebration as the Tigers screamed and hugged and rushed toward the sidelines in front of their section of fans.

What seemed improbable with seven minutes remaining in regulation, turned into a moment of pure euphoria.

“It was a group effort,” Gibson said. “We all kept our heads in the game. The bench, they kept us in it. They kept cheering for us. They didn’t give up. I think it was just an all-out great team victory.”

In addition to Gibson’s four goals, the Tigers got two goals and four assists from Marr. Mick McCarthy scored twice, Warden had one goal and Timmy Kelly had two assists.

Brock Shoultz and Hudson Sanger each had three ground balls. Andrew Turner had two.

Holy Trinity also got strong play on Friday, and throughout the season from players like Jackson Bean; Aaron Benhase; Layden Brunger; Chris Moore; Dex Phipps; Robert Varnes; Campbell McNabb; T.J. McCallum; Jackson Schopke; Davis Hathaway; Walker Johnson; Jack Sottile; Finn Werder; Griffin Brunger; Matt Buoyoucas and Gabe Symonides.

They all contributed to a season that will go down in Holy Trinity history and a game with an ending that won’t soon be forgotten.

“When Guillermo scored, you talk about a proud father, a proud coach a proud … I don’t know, everything in life,” Eric Marr said.

Holy Trinity is heading off to the regional playoffs for the first time in school history. The Tigers are scheduled to play at St. Edward’s (13-4) in Vero Beach next Friday at 7 p.m. in the regional semifinals.

Obviously, the Tigers want to go far in the playoffs. They believe they can go far in the playoffs.

But no matter what happens from here on out, they’ll always have this night to remember.

“It means everything, honestly,” Guillermo Marr said. “This is my whole career, building up to this. We’ve never won districts. We’ve been here (to the finals) four or five times.

“It’s just crazy. It really means a lot to me. It’s my senior year and my last chance. We were down by three and I was like, ‘It’s not over.’ I had faith in my team, I had faith in my players and I had faith in myself because I know I’m going to win this game. And we did it.”