St. Mary's shows No. 1 form

It beats No. 2 St. Paul's, 16-10, in debut at top

April 07, 1999|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

St. Mary's boys lacrosse players knew about it, said senior attackman Chris Summers, but "just didn't talk about it."

Hoping to avoid becoming the third straight No. 1-ranked team to lose on the day of its debut in the top spot, the Saints were low-key about their position going into yesterday's game against No. 2 St. Paul's in Annapolis -- a game they won, 16-10.

"No one said anything, even in the pre-game huddle. We wanted to keep it quiet," said Summers. "But deep down, we wanted to prove to ourselves and to this league that we were good enough to be No. 1."

But nothing was subtle about the play of Summers, who matched his career-high eight points with four goals and four assists in a non-divisional Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference battle of unbeaten teams.

Summers scored the Saints' first goal, to tie the game at 1, along with two of their last four goals during a game-clinching 6-2 run.

Leo Crane scored three goals with two assists, and Justin Mullen scored three goals with one assist in a game that left the Saints (6-0) as the conference's only undefeated team.

St. Mary's was ranked No. 6 in the preseason before it beat then-No. 2 Gilman, 9-8. That was one day before then-No. 1 McDonogh lost its league opener by a goal to Boys' Latin, which in turn, was No. 1 when it lost to visiting Gilman, the league's defending champ.

On Friday, the Saints travel to Bethesda to play Landon, winner of 18 straight Interstate Athletic Conference titles. A 13-5 loser to St. Paul's but a recent 11-10 winner at No. 6 Loyola, Landon is the Washington area's No. 1-ranked team.

St. Mary's lost, 9-8, at home last season to Landon, which ended a 20-year unbeaten streak against nonconference teams for the Saints. St. Mary's nonleague record is 93-1.

"Focusing a game at a time in this league, in particular, and on our season, overall -- it's critical," said coach Jim Moorhead, who picked up his 20-year career's 215th win yesterday. "I'm very happy for the kids. They played well today. But it's a long season, and you can never look ahead."

The first period saw four ties and each team take the lead twice.St. Paul's (6-1) led 1-0 and 2-1 during a period which ended in a 4-4 tie.

But St. Mary's never trailed again after Summers' goal for a 3-2 lead 3: 19 before the second period. And the Saints led for good after Matt LoCascio juked two defensemen for his second goal and a 5-4 lead 10: 33 before halftime.

LoCascio's first goal sparked a 3-0, second-quarter run during which the Crusaders' offense failed on two extra-man opportunities against goalie Chris Garrity (13 saves) and defenders Matt Passagno, Kevin Stodd, Andrew Jacobs, Steve Kuehn and Mac MacAdams.

St. Paul's scored once in four extra-man situations yesterday.

But it was the Saints' offense which turned an 8-6 halftime lead into a 12-7 edge with 3: 32 left in the third period, keyed by two goals from Mullen, a goal and an assist from Crane and Summers' two assists.

Doug Mueller brought St. Paul's within 12-8, entering the fourth period. But St. Mary's led by as much as 15-8 in the final period.

"We were able to stop their clears, work off transition," said Crane, an attackman converted to midfielder this season. "We were able to work the ball around, get some nice looks."

Andrew Jacobs had two goals and an assist, and Joe Thompson had a goal and two assists for St. Mary's, which had assists on 13 of yesterday's goals.

Drew Pfarr, with a goal and an assist, and Dave Price, with two assists, were among the Saints' eight different offensive contributors.

For St. Paul's, Alex Kopicki scored three goals, Conor Ford had two goals and an assist, and Mueller and Jay Wich scored twice each.

St. Paul's held an 11-8 advantage in the draws despite being without faceoff specialist Jack deVilliers, winner of 80 percent of his faceoffs before missing his first game yesterday with a broken foot. deVilliers is expected to miss at least three weeks.

"We did pretty well with our faceoff rotation of Reed Bouchelle, Grant Halford and myself, but Jack's part of our first midfield, so that hurts on depth," Kopicki said.

Pub Date: 4/07/99

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