Goalie Fiorito saves the day for McDonogh

He stops 18 shots as Eagles boost odds of making playoffs

No. 5 McDonogh 9 No. 7 St. Paul's 6

Boys lacrosse

May 04, 2008|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Sun

Midway through the third quarter in yesterday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game between No. 7 St. Paul's and No. 5 McDonogh, Crusaders attackman Tyler Feeley caught a pass just outside the crease for what appeared to be an easy goal. However, McDonogh goalie Tyler Fiorito instinctively raised his stick and kept St. Paul's from tying the score.

Those types of saves have prompted many coaches in the sport to call Fiorito one of the best in the nation, and his 18 saves were the difference in McDonogh's 9-6 victory over host St. Paul's. The win keeps the Eagles in the playoff race, and Fiorito is confident anything can happen if his team makes the postseason.

"We had to win this game to keep our playoff hopes alive," said Fiorito, who will attend Princeton in the fall. "It has been an up-and-down season for us. This was a huge win."

Patrick Toohey led McDonogh with three goals, and Kyle Rice added two. Tyler Frederick, who had three assists, Brian Hess, Pat Sartory and Sam Greenberg rounded out the scoring for the Eagles.

St. Paul's trailed for much of the first half, but Peter Smyth scored the first of his three goals for the Crusaders on a spectacular behind-the-back shot that tied the score at 3 with 1:02 left in the second quarter. Frederick, however, answered for McDonogh 38 seconds later, and the Eagles led 4-3 at the half.

St. Paul's put together several effective attacks in the third quarter, but each time it got an open look, Fiorito came up with another big save. Rice and Hess sandwiched goals around Smyth's second goal of the game, and the Eagles led 6-4 at the end of the third. They were never threatened the rest of the way.

"Fiorito had a couple of big saves in the third quarter that changed the game," McDonogh coach Scott Corrigan said. "He works hard and leads our defense so well."

The victory improved McDonogh's league record to 4-4, and it puts the Eagles in position to grab one of the six playoff spots. Meanwhile, St. Paul's dropped to 3-5, and coach Rick Brocato knows his team has an uphill climb to get back into the race. Matt Lunnen, Adam Johnston and Feeley also had goals for the Crusaders.

"To be a playoff team in our league, you have to be tough, you have to be smart and you have to be skilled," Brocato said. "There have been times when we have not put that all together."

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