Saints' Clune answered coach's call Junior stepped up for St. Mary's 1993 ALL-ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY BOYS LACROSSE TEAMS Player and Coach of the Year

June 03, 1993|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

Like the team he played for, St. Mary's junior attackman Matt Clune came out of nowhere during the 1993 boys lacrosse season.

In the preseason, St. Mary's veteran coach Jim Moorhead said he needed someone from his unproven attack to rise up and take some of the scoring burden off the Saints' midfield, which had provided a bulk of the scoring the past two years.

"We don't have any true dodgers," Moorhead said in March when the ground was still covered with snow. "We need one of our attackmen to step up."

Clune must have been eavesdropping.

The 5-foot-8, 165-pounder stepped up and stood out, producing 32 goals and 24 assists for a team-high 56 points. His efforts helped St. Mary's to its first Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference championship and led to his selection as The Baltimore Sun's 1993 Anne Arundel County Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year.

"He just became an overall more intelligent player as the season progressed and that's exactly what we needed," said Moorhead, whose leadership and perseverance earned him Anne Arundel County Coach of the Year honors. "He's not a big kid but he's a tough kid and he's not afraid to get hit.

"I think his tenacity and his desire to be a good lacrosse player really showed this season. He knew we needed someone to take charge at the attack and he wanted the ball."

Said Clune: "I knew I could do some of the things that I did but I didn't think I would actually produce the way I did. Coming into the season I knew that we had to have two or three players that would really stick out and play real well, and I didn't realize that I would be one of them, but it just worked out well."

For Moorhead, his 13th season at the Saints' helm proved to be a lucky one. At times it appeared their luck was changing for the worst. After starting the season with six straight conference victories, St. Mary's lost four of its next five games.

After dropping an 8-6 decision to Boys' Latin just before the start of the playoffs, the Saints (12-5) regrouped and upended No. 2 St. Paul's, 8-7, in the semifinals and then defeated top-ranked Loyola, 5-1, for the conference title.

"There was so much talk about how St. Mary's was the only team in the playoffs that would create no problems for anyone and we sure proved that incorrect," said Moorhead. "The kids wanted to win and they talked about being the first St. Mary's team to win the conference championship. It wasn't enough just to be in the championship game.

"They wanted to win it and they played with great emotion and desire and they executed in every phase of the game."

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