Ball control lifts Loyola by McDonogh

Dons prevail, 14-11, show passing, extra-man skill

High Schools

Boys lacrosse

April 17, 2004|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Loyola's offense put on a clinic yesterday at McDonogh.

Throughout the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference lacrosse game, the Dons showed the Eagles how to run an extra-man offense, control the ball, pass smoothly and dominate a game.

And after watching No. 2 Loyola hand his fifth-ranked Eagles a 14-11 loss, McDonogh coach Jake Reed neatly summarized the contest: "We had 11 goals, but they probably had the ball twice as long. They're a very good team."

Loyola (6-1 overall, 1-1 league) finished with four extra-man goals in six attempts -- and scored once just a few seconds after a penalty had ended. The Dons finished with eight assists and made numerous slick passes from all angles throughout the box to find open teammates. Goalie Matt Antol had four passes of at least 50 yards that started fast breaks.

Loyola rarely shot from farther than 10 yards, often leaving McDonogh goalie Joe Pike with little chance. Several goals squeezed just below the top pipe.

Andrew Baird and Brendan Smith both made numerous big plays on offense for the Dons. Baird scored four times and assisted on three more goals. Smith also scored four times to go with two assists.

"We have a lot of unselfish guys on our [extra-man], and that helps a lot," said Baird, who scored twice in those situations.

Loyola coach Jack Crawford was unhappy with his offense's play in last week's 7-5 loss to then-No. 2 Gilman.

Crawford pushed his team to play better on offense against McDonogh, trying to get the Dons to take control of the game by controlling the ball.

"The importance of being patient on offense and waiting for good shots is [crucial]," Crawford said. "Also, our shot selection and shot placement [were] pretty darn good today."

Loyola never trailed, and used a three-goal run midway through the first half that helped it take a 7-4 halftime lead. Ben Rubeor (three goals) scored twice, and Antol (11 saves) made some key stops early as the Dons took command.

Collins Carey (three goals, one assist) and Jeremy Sieverts (four assists) tried to rally McDonogh (14-3, 3-2). The Eagles cut the Loyola lead to two four times in the second half but never got closer.

Three goals in 92 seconds early in the fourth quarter gave the Dons a 13-8 lead. Baird got the first goal on an extra-man situation, Tim Paul converted Mike Kimmel's marvelous cross and Rubeor scored unassisted.

"We couldn't clear the ball, and that's what hurt us," Reed said. "We just kept giving them second chances."

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