ANNAPOLIS -- A dominant zone defense and timely scoring helped St. Mary's stop top-ranked Boys' Latin, 5-3, in a Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference lacrosse game yesterday at Weems Whalen Field.
The Saints broke on top, 2-0, as Greg Geiger and Ryan Kelly
each scored his first of two goals, then used the zone and 13 saves by goalie Chris Brown to keep the Lakers at bay.
With Loyola's 13-11 loss at St. Paul's yesterday, No. 3 St. Mary's (11-2, 7-2) took sole possession of first place in the MSA's Division I. It can win the division outright and a top seed in the playoffs by winning the league finale at No. 2 Loyola (6-3, 6-3) Tuesday.
A St. Mary's loss would leave each at 7-3. But Loyola, which beat St. Mary's, 11-10, in overtime on April 13, would claim the division on the head-to-head result.
"So, except for the top seed, Tuesday makes no difference. But I wish Loyola had won yesterday," said Saints coach Jim Moorhead.
"They played great zone defense after they got the lead. That's ** what makes a zone so effective," said Lakers coach Bob Shriver. "The reason ours is so effective is that we've been behind in so few games this year."
Boys' Latin (12-2, 7-2), which had already clinched Division II, cut its deficit to 2-1 when Mike Ford scored on Mark Laverghetta's first-quarter feed. But Brown teamed with Mike Murray -- who held Kevin Lutz to one goal -- and fellow long-stick defenders Andrew Woerner, Brad Stevens and Pete Rowan to dominate from there.
Goals by Geiger and Kelly built a 4-1 edge with 19 minutes left. Boys' Latin twice drew within two, the last time on Lutz's score with 2 minutes, 50 seconds to go, but what Moorhead called "very good team 'D' and some nice, big saves from Chris [Brown]" prevailed.
"We checked well, and Chris made the saves when he had to. And, we made the most of our opportunities," said Moorhead, whose team held a 30-25 advantage in shots. The winners also had a game effort from reinjured attackman Rob Chomo (hamstring), who added two assists in a few minutes of action.
NOTES: While St. Mary's, Loyola and Boys' Latin have clinched playoff spots, the second slot from Division II is to be determined. No. 8 Calvert Hall (9-4, 4-4) stepped back into the picture by beating Loyola in overtime, 11-10, Tuesday. The Cardinals need wins at Gilman today (1 p.m.) and against St. Paul's (9-4, 5-4) Tuesday to clinch second place. Should Calvert Hall lose today and win Tuesday, the Cardinals and No. 4 St. Paul's would each be 5-5. However, the Crusaders would take the playoff berth by virtue of a better intra-divisional record. Unlike last year, there is no possibility of a divisional tie-breaker in the A Conference.