Bob Shriver was the first to acknowledge that his sixth-ranked Boys' Latin boys lacrosse team was lucky to escape with a 9-8 upset yesterday over visiting and No. 3 Loyola.
"I feel very fortunate to have won this game," Shriver conceded, after watching his team improve to 5-2 in the Maryland Scholastic Association Armstrong A Conference, 8-2 overall. "We hustled, but the mistakes we made were atrocious and I take some of the responsibility for that and I think the kids should take some of the responsibility.
"We just made too many mistakes, and we were very fortunate."
The good fortune Shriver was referring to came late in the fourth quarter with the Lakers out front 8-6. On the play, Boys' Latin senior midfielder Andy Sharretts fired a shot at Loyola goalkeeper Greg Zorella who made the save initially. But in his effort to gain control of the loose ball, Zorella pulled it back too far, breaking the plane of the goal and giving the Lakers a 9-6 lead with 4:36 remaining.
Loyola (8-3, 4-3) made it interesting with two goals in the closing minutes, but the margin proved too much for the Dons to overcome.
"We just didn't have the poise, the discipline or the patience at times to control the game," said Loyola coach Joe McFadden. "Boys' Latin is a team that plays some good defense and you just can't get into a situation where you try to score right away."
Despite losing seven of eight faceoffs in the first half, the Lakers found themselves tied at the half, 3-3, thanks to some momentum-shifting saves by senior Pat Cairns. A 5-foot-11, 170-pound goalie, he finished with 14 saves, including three from point-blank range in the pivotal fourth quarter.
"[Cairns] had some saves that he shouldn't have had, and I mean that as a compliment," said McFadden. "He had some saves where I thought the ball was placed exactly where it should have been and he got there.
"I can't second-guess every one of our shots, but half of our shots were the kind we hope to take and the other half were the kind we shouldn't take because there are better shots to be had."
Boys' Latin opened the second-half scoring with an extra-man goal from Scott Hochstadt (two goals, one assist) but quickly found itself trailing 5-4 after a goal by Mike Keeney and a goal from Keith Euker on an assist from Paul Corto.
The Lakers finished out the third quarter strongly, however, as senior midfielder Matt Proutt scored three unanswered goals to give the hosts a 7-5 lead.
"Midway through the second quarter we started getting fired up the ground balls and we shut Evans off and made things happen by scrapping," said Proutt, who finished with a game-high three goals and one assist. "We knew we had to do well in this game because Loyola is one of the best teams in the other division and when it comes down to postseason play, it's good to have a win against them."