Loyola runs away from McDonogh for `A' title, 17-12

7-1 burst propels Dons to first crown since '90

MIAA lacrosse

May 26, 2001|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Loyola broke the game's fifth tie with a 7-1 run in a decisive third period, riding the scoring prowess of attackmen Phil Grillo, Andrew White and Austin Rodgers to a 17-12 victory over McDonogh and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship before an estimated crowd of 5,300 at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field.

Grillo had four goals and two assists, White scored five times, and Rodgers had four spectacular goals as the third-ranked Dons (20-4) outscored the Eagles (19-5), who entered the season with what was considered the league's most potent attack in Jed Prossner (four goals, three assists) and Joe Benson (three goals).

McDonogh's Travis Holmes had four goals and an assist, but teammate Pat Shek was limited to one assist, largely due to the efforts of Mike Waldron and Tim McFadden.

"We figured slowing them down, the rest would come. Our defense stepped it up big, our whole team defense as a unit," White said.

The title was the school's first since 1990, and the third for coach John Tucker, whose Gilman teams won three titles.

"McFadden and Waldron, they were incredible on Shek. A lot of credit goes to them," said defender Matt Pinto, who teamed with Princeton-bound Tim Sullivan. "I'm ecstatic that we won. I'm at a loss for words right now."

After Prossner fed Holmes to make it 7-6, and tied the score for the fifth and final time with his slam-dunk with 10:20 left in the third period, the Dons scored seven of the next eight goals and headed into the fourth with a 14-8 lead.

It was 11-7 with 5:20 left in the third period after White converted a pass from Matt Simms on the doorstep, and Evan Gallant (two goals) did the same on an assist from Sam Wagner (two assists). Also, both Grillo and Clipper Lennon scored consecutive unassisted goals. Holmes made it 11-8, but Rogers' behind-the-back goal, assisted by Mike Alfone, sparked a 3-0 run that closed the period.

McDonogh got within 14-11, the last goal by Prossner with 7:16 to play, but the Dons simply had too much firepower.

"Having one day of practice and going into the championship was hard on us," said Prossner, who felt his team, coming off Wednesday's 8-7 overtime win over Gilman, was not as fresh as Loyola (a 15-5 winner over Severn).

"We were kind of beat up mentally and physically beat. They were more fresh and had a deeper bench. They had a better team and deserved it."

Loyola goalie Trae Rodgers out-dueled McDonogh's Devon Bates, stopping 21 shots to 15 for Bates.

In addition to his behind-the-back goal, Austin Rodgers had a wraparound score, another off an assist from Sam Wagner while in mid-stride, still another yet seven seconds before halftime, roll-dodging two defenders to the right of the goal and ripping his shot into the goal's lower, left side.

"Since I was little, I was taught to shoot behind the back. I don't know how good I am at it, but it comes naturally," said Rodgers, whose attack coach, Dave Spencer, called it "the game of his life."

Goals: L -- White 5, Rodgers 4, Grillo 4, Gallant 2, Lennon, Dvornicky. M -- Prossner 4, Holmes 4, Benson 3, Kelly. Assists: L -- Grillo 2, Wagner 2, Alfone, Mulford, Simms, Tolson. M -- Prossner 3, Shek, Bond, Berens, Holmes. Saves: L -- T. Rodgers 21. M -- Bates 15. Half: 7-5, L

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