St. Mary's falls, 12-5, to Loyola in semi

7-goal run in 2nd period lifts Loyola to victory

MIAA lacrosse

May 14, 1999|By Mark Hoeflich | Mark Hoeflich,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Yesterday's first semifinal game in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference tournament between Loyola and St. Mary's had plenty of possibilities, but a mismatch was not supposed to be one of them.

A close game? Yes. A blowout? Not likely.

But this is what happened:

No. 5 Loyola blitzed the Saints with seven straight goals in the second quarter and breezed to a 12-5 win yesterday at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field.

The Dons advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 1996 and will play the winner of last night's late-running McDonogh/Gilman matchup at 8 p.m. next Friday at Homewood Field.

In the first game between Loyola and St. Mary's this season, -- a nine-goal victory by the Dons -- coach Joe McFadden said he didn't think his team could play any better.

But McFadden had to be even more impressed at how Loyola dismantled the third-ranked Saints (11-5) yesterday.

The Dons were patient and poised on offense. They pushed and shoved their way to a majority of the loose balls, and, above all, Loyola's disruptive defense took St. Mary's top scoring threats, Chris Summers and Justin Mullen, out of the game.

"Our second quarter was as good as we've played all year," McFadden said. "We have always showed heart and fight, but we haven't always showed poise. To crack their zone defense the way we did in the second quarter was just tremendous."

The Dons (14-6) ran the Saints' defense dizzy in the second period. After Brian Miller scored off a pass from T.J. Morton to tie the game at 3-3, Loyola reeled off five goals in the last 5: 25 and led 8-3 at intermission. The Dons got goals from five players during the run and finished the half with a 26-11 edge in shots.

Meanwhile, St. Mary's put up little offensive fight. The Saints had only six possessions and were out of sync, turning the ball over five times and producing only three shots to Loyola's 18.

"The biggest disapointment for me was that we were not physical at all. Because that's not the type of team we are," said St. Mary's coach Jim Moorhead.

The play of Ricky Schultz, Loyola's top defender, summed up the effort of the Dons defense. Schultz held Summers to just one shot while the rest of Loyola's defense harassed the Saints into taking hurried shots.

"We talked all week about staying low instead of going for the over-the-head checks," said Schultz. "We really buckled down, and after they missed on their first two possessions of the second, they started to drop their heads."

It was more of the same for Loyola in the second half. The Dons won the opening faceoff, forced St. Mary's into two penalties, and extended their lead to 9-3 on an extra-man goal by Weatherley.

The Saints ended a scoreless stretch of 20: 45 on Mullen's only goal of the game, and Matt LoCascio's unassisted goal 20 seconds later had St. Mary's within 9-5.

After a Loyola timeout, Nick Meceli ended any suspense with a goal that put the Dons ahead by five.

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