ANNAPOLIS -- Why does Loyola dominate the Marylan Scholastic Association in lacrosse? A cold, wet crowd at Weems Whalen Field watched the top-ranked Dons show exactly why yesterday.
Trailing fired-up St. Mary's by three goals with 9 minutes left, Loyola stormed back to catch the Saints in regulation and then win, 11-10, on midfielder Mike Vaughan's goal 58 seconds into overtime.
Vaughan, whose faceoffs keyed the rally from 9-6 down, dodged Todd Harrison and David Jones on the wing and skipped a low shot to the right of goalie Chris Brown.
Loyola celebrated. Jones epitomized the No. 4 Saints' frustration by kneeling and repeatedly pounding his stick into the mud.
Previously unbeaten St. Mary's (6-1, 2-1 league) seemed to have the game won and a playoff berth all-but clinched. That was until Div. I rival Loyola (3-0, 3-0) drew even, 9-9, when attackman Dave Evans netted his sixth goal with 3 minutes, 43 seconds left.
The Saints' Rob Chomo retaliated 21 seconds later, but Vaughan forced the extra session by assisting Brad Hoag with 2:41 to play. Vaughan's game-winner then came seconds after Loyola keeper Jason Johnson easily stopped Eamon McCormick's hurried shot from the overtime faceoff.
Loyola coach Joe McFadden appreciated the scenario. "I couldn't be happier with being in a position like that (the 9-6 deficit) and getting to see how the kids would play," he said. "They played hard. We made some young-player mistakes, but they played hard the whole game."
McFadden lauded Vaughan, who won five straight fourth-quarter faceoffs, and Evans, "who stays away from the ball and floats into [scoring] position." Another factor, he said, was that Loyola ran three midfields to the Saints' two.
It added up to the defending MSA A Conference champions' 89th win in 103 games under McFadden, who claimed league titles in five of his first seven seasons.
"But I guarantee they're breathing a sigh of relief," said St. Mary's coach Jim Moorhead, who got an excellent transition game and four goals from midfielder Jones. Chomo added three goals and one assist.