Keeping away, Loyola beats No. 1 McDonogh

Lack of possessions hurt Eagles

Dons score 5 straight goals in third

Boys lacrosse

High Schools

April 07, 2001|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

When McDonogh attackman Joe Benson scored his first goal of the game with just 3:54 left, the home-team supporters pleaded for one goal a minute for the rest of the way to get even with visiting Loyola.

But like most of yesterday afternoon, the No. 1-ranked Eagles simply didn't have the ball enough.

When asked where to start in No. 3 Loyola's complete-package 12-9 upset of the previously undefeated Eagles, Dons coach John Tucker thought for a second and then said "ground balls."

He added: "The last four games, we've been working particularly hard getting ground balls. As deep and talented as we are, if we can get balls off the ground, we can be dangerous."

Five straight goals in the third quarter helped turn a 7-4 halftime lead into a 12-6 edge going into the fourth quarter, and the Dons never looked back.

Possession was the key in the fourth quarter, with the Dons taking three-plus minutes off the clock to start and more time late with no significant punch coming from McDonogh.

Andy White led the Loyola attack with five goals -- including the Dons' first three for a 3-1 lead they would never relinquish. Phil Grillo and Ben Rubeor both added two goals in the win.

Loyola improves to 10-2 overall and, more importantly, a perfect 5-0 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference. The Eagles fell to 9-1 overall, 3-1 in conference play.

"They just kicked our butts in every aspect of the game -- ground balls, effort and especially coaching," said McDonogh coach Jake Reed. "They came fired up and played like a great team. We knew what they were going to do and couldn't stop them. I'm proud of our guys; they didn't show any quit, and I like where we're at right now."

While the Dons were executing precisely on offense with some fine connections -- White getting a nice look from Mike Alfone on a first-half goal; and Alfone one-touching a pass across the crease from Ryan Tolson in the five-goal stretch in the third -- their defense more than held up against the Eagles' strong attack.

Defenders Tim Sullivan, Matt Pinto and J. G. Guidera, who made the switch from midfield two weeks ago, played well in front of goalie Trae Rodgers, who finished with 11 saves.

"McDonogh is an excellent ballclub, and we had to be at our best in this game to win -- I thought we earned it today," Tucker said. "It's a long season and it's still up for grabs; I just hope to be playing well in the end."

Benson led the McDonogh attack with two goals and three assists, while Pat Shek added three goals. Keeper Drew Wade, in for injured starter Devon Bates, finished with 14 saves for the Eagles.

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