Calvert Hall and St. Mary's are back.
Strangers to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference lacrosse championship game the past few years, both teams advanced to the finale with impressive semifinal victories last night at Towson Stadium.
Kevin Huntley scored five goals and assisted on another, Nick Williams scored four times with one assist, Grant Martin had a goal and two assists and Matt Eckerl and Shane Nigrin each scored twice as No. 2 Calvert Hall ran past No. 3 Loyola, 16-10, before a crowd of nearly 6,500.
In yesterday's first semifinal, No. 4 St. Mary's surprised top-ranked Boys' Latin, 11-5. Mike Zurfluh had a game-high three goals as the Saints ripped through a team whose keeper, Trey Sheain (seven saves), had allowed less than five goals per game coming in. Nick Bonacci had a goal and two assists.
The Saints, who hadn't played in the tournament final since going unbeaten for the 1996 championship, will meet Calvert Hall, who hadn't qualified for the A Conference playoffs since 1997 when it finished second, at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Towson Stadium.
"My sophomore year we got to the quarterfinals and last year we lost to Boys' Latin in the semifinals," said St. Mary's Eric Zerrlaut. "This is great, but we've got one more, and I want to win the MIAA championship."
Jason Carter had 17 saves for St. Mary's (12-6). Five players scored for Boys' Latin (16-4).
The Calvert Hall victory, the second for the Cardinals (17-4) over Loyola (12-4) in nine days, earned the program its first berth in the finals since being runner-up to Boys' Latin in 1997, and a shot at the school's first crown since 1977.
Eckerl won 16 of 28 faceoffs, sparking two four-goal runs, along with a 6-0 run during the Cardinals' seven-goal fourth period. Mike Edwards (one goal, one assist) was among 10 offensive contributors for Calvert Hall. Andrew Baird led Loyola with four goals.
"I've never been involved in a win over Loyola, so to beat them twice is incredible," said Huntley.
Spalding 10, Park 6: Freddie Cassilly scored four goals and Matt Latonick and Casey O'Connor combined for four more as the host Cavaliers (16-5) won the MIAA B Conference semifinal game.
John Carroll 15, AACS 5: Owen Jordan scored a game-high six goals and Drew Westervelt added four more as the Patriots (13-1) cruised past the visiting Eagles.
John Carroll will face Spalding in the championship Friday at Towson University at 5:15 p.m.