Fast start, faster finish get Loyola past Severn

Third-ranked Dons prevail in MIAA A showdown, 13-8

Boys lacrosse

High Schools

April 04, 2001|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Loyola started strong, struggled, and then finished fast to post a 13-8 boys lacrosse victory at Severn School in Anne Arundel County yesterday.

The No. 3-ranked Dons (9-2 overall) remained unbeaten at 4-0 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference while the No. 2 Admirals (3-2) lost their second straight at home and slipped to 2-2 in the conference.

Severn was coming off Friday's 11-9 loss on a rain-soaked field to top-ranked McDonogh, but the turf was in good shape yesterday. The Admirals were not, especially in the first half, as the Dons jumped out to a 7-2 lead.

By the last period, Loyola was clinging to a 9-8 lead when Conor Bell's fastbreak goal gave the Dons some breathing room at 10-8 with 5:02 left. Nearly three minutes later Matt Simms fed Ryan Cosgrove for an 11-8 lead and Andrew White iced it with his fourth goal that made it 12-8 with 2:05 on the clock.

"It's been like that all season," said Loyola coach John Tucker. "It was a character-building win in a lot of ways, because we had the same situation against Landon and let it slip away. Today, we really beared down and found a way to grit it out against a very good team."

Loyola put Severn in the position of having to come back a long way when it increased its lead to 8-2 four minutes into the second half. Junior attack Evan Gallant scored his first of three goals to start the last 24 minutes.

Seemingly out of it, the Admirals suddenly hit all cylinders in a frantic final 5 1/2 minutes of the third period. Mike Houser, who had three goals and one assist, scored the first two, and Todd MacMullan, who scored four times, had the last two - a four-goal burst that cut Severn's deficit to 8-6.

White, who led the Dons with four goals and one assist, made it 9-6 in the first minute of the final period. MacMullan answered with a Severn goal and with 10:44 remaining, Drew Habeck, whom the Admirals moved from attack to midfield in the second half, made it a 9-8 game.

Severn coach Jamie McNealey also changed goalies to start the second half, with sophomore Kip Turner replacing senior Matt Larkin. Turner finished with six saves, but couldn't stop the Dons' late rush, much like Larkin couldn't prevent the Dons' start.

"We were very flat-footed [in the first half] and Loyola was a step faster," said Severn coach Jamie McNealey.

"They were much crisper and more mentally prepared. We're going to re-evaluate our whole pre-game warm-up, everything. That's two games in a row we've gone down by a large margin."

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