Combs goal lifts St. Paul's over Loyola in overtime 7-6 win clinches division for No. 2 Crusaders

April 24, 1996|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Senior attackman Buggs Combs didn't match the seven goals and one assist he produced when St. Paul's defeated Loyola in its B Division opener earlier this month.

The Calvert Hall transfer was limited to two goals yesterday at Loyola's wind-swept Hargaden Field, but it was the timing of his second goal that had No. 2 St. Paul's celebrating its Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference division title.

With just under two minutes remaining in the first overtime period, Combs spun past Loyola defender Pat Miller and fired a low shot past Loyola goalie Pat McGinnis, giving the visiting Crusaders a 7-6 victory and a first-round bye in the playoffs.

"Coach [Rick] Brocato has a saying that 'we work the hardest,' so we knew if we went out there and pulled together as a team, we could get it," said Combs, whose team beat McDonogh in overtime, 12-11, and Gilman in double-overtime, 11-10.

"We knew that they were fighting tooth and nail to stay in contention for a bye, but now they aren't."

Key injuries on both teams and some fine goaltending from McGinnis (14 saves) and St. Paul's senior Rich Yost (11 saves) made for a low-scoring first quarter.

Loyola scored the only goal in the first quarter, as Chris Purpura beat the buzzer on a feed from Pat Jackson.

Senior midfielder Harris Thompson scored back-to-back goals early in the second quarter to put the Crusaders ahead, 2-1, but Brian McLane tied it up 17 seconds later on an assist from Arthur Price.

Combs' quick-stick goal on a strong pass from Conor Gill (two assists) gave the visitors a 3-2 lead with 7: 56 left in the half.

"We're banged up, but we got guys stepping up all over the field," said St. Paul's Brocato. "David deVilliers played on a hurt .. ankle and Chris Berrier came in with a hurt foot and won us a couple faceoffs. Our defense played well and Richie Yost played well."

St. Paul's (9-1, 3-0 in its division and 3-0 in overtime) used Berrier on its faceoffs in the second half and the move paid off. After falling behind 5-3 on goals by Chris Malone and Mark Knysh, the Crusaders rallied and eventually tied the game at 6 on Thompson's third goal of the game.

Loyola (6-4) had several opportunities to regain the lead in the fourth quarter but struggled with the fundamentals down the stretch.

Dulaney 10, Catonsville 3: Bill Kauffman scored five goals and had an assist to lead the No. 8 Lions over visiting Catonsville in a game that was stopped because of lightning after three quarters but ruled a complete game. Joe High added three goals for Dulaney (7-1).

Pub Date: 4/24/96

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