Early-rising Loyola falls to Landon, 12-10

Nation's top-ranked team awakens after 3-0 deficit

Boys lacrosse

High Schools

March 20, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

BETHESDA - Coach Rob Bordley entered his 33rd season at Landon knowing his Bears have the potential to be his greatest team. He also knew that No. 1-ranked Loyola boys would offer a critical early test.

Yesterday, his Bears proved themselves worthy of their No. 1 ranking by Inside Lacrosse magazine - their first ever in the preseason - in a come-from behind 12-10 victory over the Dons (1-1), the defending Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champions.

"We played hard the whole game but made some mistakes that hurt," said coach John Tucker, whose Dons failed to score on two of three extra-man scoring chances in the third period. "We love playing Landon. You know you're in for a battle. They're a great team, and this is a barometer of where we are."

Matt Ward (two goals, four assists) led Landon, followed by Jake Byrne (four, one) and Travis Meyer (three goals). The Bears (2-0) extended their winning streak to 21, last losing to Severn in the 2001 season opener.

Loyola, ranked No. 3 nationally, lost to Landon for the fifth in the past six meetings, but that took nothing away from the efforts of the Dons' Austin Rodgers (three goals, five assists), Evan Gallant (two, two), Chase Gahan (two goals) and goalie Ben Yingling (14 saves). Rodgers assisted on two goals and scored the other as Loyola led 3-0 after the first period. Yingling stopped or altered seven of the Bears' first eight shots.

"We heard all week how great they were, but we proved we could play with them," Rodgers said. "But that's a great team we just played."

The Bears' 20-game schedule includes games against St. Mary's (April 16) and Gilman (on May 7). With an unbeaten season, the Bears would surpass the 18-0 teams of 1988 and 1992 on the school's single-season list of wins without a loss.

"The kids have some goals," Bordley said. "But they knew we had to go through Loyola to achieve any of them."

Anchored by defenders David Evans, Chris Ourisman, Tony Vita, Andy Blechman and Michael Chapman, Landon outscored Loyola 5-1 in the second period. Loyola held its final lead (6-5) with 11:20 left in the third period after scoring twice within an 11-second span.

But Landon scored the next five goals for a 10-6 lead 2:36 before the final period, rallying behind goalie Jeff Wieker, who made five of his nine saves in the third period.

"We came out flat early, and they jumped on us just like last year," said Ward, referring to a 12-11 victory over Loyola after trailing 8-3 at halftime. "This was a real gut check for us."

Loyola's David Devan was taken to nearby Sibley Memorial Hospital after suffering apparent rib damage but was "fine," according to his mother, Debbie.

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