St. Paul's puts away McDonogh

Down 3, Crusaders rally, hand Eagles 1st loss, 8-6

Boys lacrosse

High Schools

April 07, 2004|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

After a slow start by both teams, visiting McDonogh burst for three goals in less than 90 seconds. It appeared as if the Eagles would depart St. Paul's with an unbeaten record and their third straight league road victory.

But just as suddenly, the Eagles' offense shut down and the fifth-ranked Crusaders produced a five-goal run for a permanent lead in an 8-6 Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference win yesterday.

Jason Donati scored twice in St. Paul's four-goal second quarter. The run included a goal each from Sam Slater and Emmet Ford as the Crusaders took a 5-4 halftime lead after trailing 3-0 with 3:29 left in the first quarter.

The win gave St. Paul's (7-1 overall, 3-0 league) sole possession of first place and left Eagles coach Jake Reed speechless: He declined to speak to The Sun and would not allow his players to be interviewed.

McDonogh (11-1, 2-1) had won its first two league games, including Friday's 6-5 victory over then-No. 1-ranked Calvert Hall, the defending MIAA A Conference champion.

Staring at the 3-0 deficit, St. Paul's tightened up defensively behind Thomas Zimmerman, Pike Howard, Cole Mueller and Matt Kogelschatz, and scored seven of the next eight goals for a 7-4 lead entering the fourth quarter.

"Starting in the second quarter, we were forcing them more down the middle, making our slides shorter and quicker, particularly from our middies," Zimmerman said. "We had problems clearing the ball at first, and they caught us in transition."

Possession was equally critical. Kyle Lagratta and Greg Seaman combined to win four of six second-quarter faceoffs and 12 of 19 for the day. The lessened offensive pressure led to a relatively easy afternoon for St. Paul's keeper Matt Landsman (seven saves).

"With more possession offensively, the defense didn't have to play as much defense as it usually does," said Donati, whose team scored all of its goals without assists. "Basically, if you had the open shot, you took it. We set up screens and ripped shots. We were able to dodge their strength."

Gavin Gill scored the Crusaders' first and last goals, and Bart Wagner their sixth and seventh. Gill came from behind the goal on both occasions, gaining a step on his defender before flipping the ball past keeper Joe Pike (12 saves) within inches of the crease.

McDonogh's early goals came from Eric Loeb, Bryn Holmes and Travis Reed, who also scored later. The Eagles' Garrett Schabb had a goal and an assist.

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