He's just 5-foot-8 and about 150 pounds, so perhaps the element of surprise is Billy Coyle's best friend on the lacrosse field. When all else fails, however, a lefthanded laser also does the trick.
The Malvern Prep junior employed both Saturday as the Friars led early, came from behind late, and eventually survived visiting Garnet Valley, 11-10, on Coyle's game-winning goal with 2.9 seconds left.
What earned Coyle room to fire was a bit of trickery.
After calling a timeout with 16.4 seconds remaining, Malvern coach John McEvoy sent his Friars (5-1) onto the field with something in mind.
"We set up one of our plays," Coyle said, "but we actually didn't get the look we were looking for."
Smiling, he added: "We went through the second progression, I can't tell you the whole thing because then people will read about it, but I knew we didn't have much time left on the clock and I was pretty far out, so I just wound up and heated it. It was a big, big shot."
Senior captain Adam Goldner initiated the sneakiness by cutting across the middle, ball in stick, about 25 yards from the goal.
Goldner, who finished with two goals and two assists, flipped the ball in the air as Quinn McCahon ran behind him and pretended to take possession.
Both Jaguars involved in the action appeared hip to the ruse, pointing to the actual ballcarrier, Goldner.
On the backside, however, a help defender hesitated just enough, which gave Coyle room to fire from about 10 yards away after receiving the ball from Goldner.
"Well, we were looking for something different," McEvoy said. "Honestly, I think the goalie wasn't expecting the shot because he had made a lot of saves. It was a good shot, too."
Garnet Valley goaltender Michael Bonaddio was excellent, making 12 saves and keeping the Jaguars in the game early.
Malvern led, 4-1, in the second and 5-3 at intermission.
The Jags (1-2), however, scored four unanswered goals in the third to take a 7-5 advantage into the fourth.
Malvern tied the game in the fourth but fell behind again, 10-7, with 4 minutes, 25 seconds left to play.
Before Coyle's heroics, the Friars responded with two Kyle Anderson tallies and a Mike Fay goal sandwiched between them.
Anderson finished with four goals and three assists. Fay finished with a pair of goals. Denny Nealon led the Jaguars with four goals. Jacob Buttermore added three.
"We haven't been playing well the last two or three games," Coyle said. "I still don't think we played our best today at all, but it's great to get the win and hopefully carry some momentum into Inter-Ac play."
Malvern Prep 2 3 0 6 - 11
Garnet Valley 1 2 4 3 - 10
MP: Kyle Anderson 4, Mike Fay 2, Adam Goldner 2, Zach White, Billy Coyle, Quinn McCahon.
GV: Denny Nealon 4, Jacob Buttermore 3, Ty Moschella, Matt Moore, Danny Ferreri.
Saves: MP-Sam Stroud 6, James Rodgers 3; GV - Michael Bonaddio 12.