Even on a day when No. 1 St. Paul's didn't play one of its best games, the host Crusaders still had enough of everything to outlast an inspired Calvert Hall team, 10-8, in the MSA A Conference.
St. Paul's may have been a little flat just two days after knocking off longtime rival Boys' Latin and had to fight to the end to subdue the fifth-ranked Cardinals.
Calvert Hall (4-3, 4-3) threw a major scare into the Crusaders (8-0, 7-0) with 4:42 left, when Peter Hilgartner scored unassisted to draw the Cardinals within 8-7.
But St. Paul's senior midfielder Joe Gelbard won the ensuing faceoff and sprinted toward the goal, scoring within eight seconds for a 9-7 advantage.
Tim Whiteley made it 10-7 with 3:18 remaining to virtually secure the victory.
"We just couldn't shake them all day," said St. Paul's coach Mitch Whiteley. "It seems like we were a man down half the game [St. Paul's was penalized eight times; Calvert Hall twice]. We were just doing dumb little things against a team that I feel is the surprise team of the year."
Mitch Whiteley said he told people before the season that Calvert Hall coach Mike Thomas is "at his very best when nobody expects anything out of his team. He has blue-collar kids who are well-coached and disciplined."
Thomas faced a major rebuilding job this season and was satisfied with yesterday's performance.
"I'm proud of what we did against the No. 1 team in the state," said Thomas. "We just went out and tried to play lacrosse without any fancy defenses. We earned respect. They have so much talent throughout the lineup, and there's Tim Whiteley, who is a tremendous player."
Whiteley, last season's A Conference scoring champion and the coach's son, had two goals and three assists yesterday. Michael Watson had three goals and one assist for the Crusaders.
Calvert Hall midfielder Greg Stark, who shifted to the first midfield Wednesday, led all goal scorers with four. Peter Hilgartner had two goals and three assists in the loss.
* LOYOLA 11, ST. MARY'S 2: Bill Evans had four goals and one assist to lead No. 2 Loyola (6-1, 6-1) over No. 6 St. Mary's (3-4, 3-4) in the MSA A Conference.