With his players showing little patience on offense early in yesterday's game at Severn, Loyola High lacrosse coach Joe McFadden yelled out, "We need the ball. We've only had it for five seconds."
After halftime, it seemed as though the Dons never lost possession.
No. 2 Loyola outscored No. 3 Severn 6-1 during the second half to break open a close game and prevail, 12-6, in a Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference Division I matchup.
"At the beginning, we were in just too big a hurry to make something happen," said McFadden, whose team is 3-0 overall, 2-0 in the conference going into Tuesday's showdown against top-ranked St. Paul's at Loyola. "No team is going to be effective playing offense that way because your other five guys don't even get a feel for it. Everybody's cold except for the guy with the ball."
The Dons heated up after intermission, just as they did against Gilman on Tuesday when they scored seven straight goals in the third quarter to win, 17-7. Yesterday, Loyola outshot Severn 9-3 in the third quarter to lead, 8-6, then shut out the Admirals the last 10 minutes.
Loyola scored three consecutive goals in 1:18 of the second quarter to move ahead, 6-3, but Severn's Todd Muendel and Jason Wade converted late in the half to reduce the lead to 6-5. Loyola's Greg Foti and Muendel then traded goals in the first five minutes of the third quarter before the Dons took command of the game.
Senior midfielder Pat McGuire bounced a shot past Severn goalkeeper Court Durling (12 saves) with 2:53 left in the third quarter for an 8-6 lead. And after both teams survived man-down situations early in the fourth quarter, Loyola's Mike Gately passed to senior attackman Mike Boyle for a goal with 6:45 remaining.
Junior attackman Jon Cusson took a pass from Mike Keeney and fired a shot through Durling's legs with 3:44 left that extended the lead to 10-6, and Severn's Jason Moran was called for slashing on the play. Gately scored quickly, and with both teams again at full strength, junior attackman Bill Evans followed with his third goal of the day.
Gately and Evans each had three goals and two assists. Wade, Muendel and senior midfielder Milford Marchant each scored twice for Severn, which was outshot 33-22.
"We were playing just as hard as they were, sometimes even harder," said Severn coach Rob White, whose team brings a 1-2 conference record (3-2 overall) into Tuesday's home game against Gilman. "We're just not playing together as a team and we're not making a lot of the right decisions."
Severn led once, 1-0, on a goal by Marchant from eight yards out at 1:14 of the first quarter, but Loyola scored three straight times to end the quarter.
"This was an important game," Gately said. "It gives us a lot of confidence going into the St. Paul's game."
Looking ahead to next week, McFadden said: "This isn't the season, this is just a game with St. Paul's. But I'd sure rather be in this shape [at 3-0] than the other way."