With the exception of the fourth quarter, when St. Mary's yielded two goals and didn't score, Saints coach Jim Moorhead was "pretty pleased" with the Saints' 9-4 victory over visiting Mount St. Joseph on Friday.
Junior Kevin Reichardt (two goals, one assist) combined withTodd Vizcorrondo to win 10 of 16 faceoffs. The Gattie brothers, senior J. D. (two goals, one assist) and sophomore Kevin (two goals) stepped up the offensive pressure, and senior Bart Jaegger (two goals) played well enough to be awarded the game ball.
Not a bad season-opening victory for a team with just eight seniors on a 28-man roster going against a Maryland Scholastic AssociationA Conference Division II rival.
Mount St. Joseph entered the gamewith a 2-1 record, including a victory over Class 2A state champion Mount Hebron. The Gaels' only previous loss came by 7-5 against Boys'Latin, an MSA tournament semifinalist last year.
The Saints had graduated All-County attackman Rob Chomo (now at the University of Maryland) and All-County midfielder David Jones (Virginia).
"Except for a couple of players, we have all new starters. But we hadn't had ascrimmage in two weeks, so we had some time to work on a few things," said Moorhead, whose Saints were MSA A Conference tournament runners-up last year. "I thought we handled the ball well and played excellently the first three quarters."
The only breakdowns occurred in the fourth quarter, where Moorhead said his Saints' midfield "got beatdown the field in some of the unsettled situations."
Although St.Mary's was outshot, 6-3, and went scoreless in the final period, itsdefense of seniors J. D. Gattie and Todd Harrison, and juniors SteveSchummer, Dominick Souza and Pete Rowan, survived three one-minute, man-down penalty situations.
"We wanted to come out and show that we could pull together. And we had to in the fourth quarter," said J.D. Gattie, whose squad took a 9-2 lead into the final period. "This was a very good start for everyone."
Keeper Jim Brown made four of his seven saves in the fourth period, resembling his older brother, Chris, who played for the Saints last year. Chris Brown is now a freshman at the University of North Carolina.
"We were all fired up andthe intensity was very high today," said Reichardt. "But I think we still have a long way to go."
In the first half, the Saints limited the Gaels to just three shots, surviving two man-down situations.
Offensively, the Saints rained 14 shots on Mount St. Joseph goalkeeper Sean Gaiser (15 saves for the game) to take a 6-1 lead by halftime.
Sophomore Matt Klune scored an unassisted goal just 33 seconds into the game as did Reichardt a minute later to give the Saints a quick 2-0 lead.
After Brown blocked a point blank shot by Mount St. Joseph, Vince Geppi's shovel shot appeared to be the Gaels' first goal. But it was disallowed when a crease violation was called on Geppi.
Moments later, however, Kevin Gattie tallied his first goal on a similar situation but from 10 yards out to the right of Gaiser. Gattie, with his back to the goal, scooped a loose ball, spun and fired itover Gaiser's stick.
Mount St. Joseph's Matt Hipzer tallied one of his two goals on the day to make it 3-1 just under four minutes into the second quarter. But the Saints answered with three consecutive goals over the next three minutes.
Reichardt assisted on the firstby Jaegger, and J.D. Gattie scored 32 seconds later. Gattie then found his younger brother to the right of Gaiser and Kevin Gattie scoredhis second goal of the day.
"This was my first varsity game and Iwanted to come out here and give it my best," said Kevin Gattie. "Mybrother and the rest of the seniors showed great leadership. They made us younger guys feel like a part of the team."