Loyola's responses silence McDonogh

After building 8-4 lead at halftime, No. 3 Dons stifle No. 4 Eagles, 15-12

Boys lacrosse

High Schools

May 12, 2001|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The Loyola boys lacrosse team had a number of second-half answers to hold off visiting McDonogh yesterday afternoon.

Every time the No. 4-ranked Eagles would get close, it was one play or another that helped the No. 3 Dons maintain the separation they gained in a solid first half.

Like a big save from senior goalie Trae Rodgers, who finished with 15 in all. Or a key goal on attack, where Phil Grillo's three-goal, four-assist performance led the way. There also was some timely faceoff wins to go with some strong defense on man-down situations that led to a 15-12 Loyola win in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Loyola enters the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoffs with an 18-4 record and a first-round bye, seemingly prepared after its complete win yesterday.

Never trailing in taking an 8-4 lead at halftime, the Dons saw McDonogh (18-4) twice pull within two goals in the second half before building a 15-10 lead late to leave no further questions.

"Playing hard and smart in the first half gave us a good lead, and when they kept coming back at us in the second half, we always had an answer. That's a sign of a good team," said Loyola coach John Tucker.

A well-executed man-advantage goal - Tim Cyphers taking a feed from Andrew White - gave the Dons the 8-4 halftime lead.

The Eagles, which will open the playoffs against an undetermined opponent on Friday, kept coming in a second half dominated by penalties, closing within 11-9 on Joe Benson's goal with 9:05 left, but the Dons won the ensuing faceoff and got that goal back a minute later when Grillo scored to start a 4-1 Loyola run.

"We were fired up," Grillo said. "It was Senior Day, and we really wanted to come out and win this one bad. We want to show we can beat any team out there."

While Loyola showed itself playoff ready, McDonogh coach Jake Reed said his group is close to where it needs to be, as well. Yesterday, Loyola and its fast start was a little too much to overcome.

"They have a lot of depth and play good team defense. We got ourselves in a little hole, but we never gave up," Reed said. "What really matters is the playoffs, and I think we have our best games still ahead of us."

Along with Grillo's big afternoon, White had two goals and two assists with Ryan Cosgrove adding two goals and Rodgers contributing steady play in goal. All four are seniors.

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