Strong second effort

Cardinals dominate rival Dons after tight first half

March 27, 2010|By By Glenn Graham

The Calvert Hall lacrosse team built confidence by opening the season with four impressive wins against nonconference opponents, and that carried over into Friday's league game against longtime rival Loyola.

Controlling draws, precise on attack and getting a strong performance from senior goalie Greg Dutton, the second-ranked Cardinals took over a close game in the opening minutes of the third quarter and never looked back in a 10-5 win over the No. 5 Dons.

Calvert Hall, which got three goals each from sophomore attackman Patrick Kelly and senior midfielder Tony Rossi, improved to 5-0 overall and 1-0 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association, while the Dons (4-1) fell to 0-1 in league play. The game was originally scheduled to be played at Loyola but was moved to Calvert Hall's artificial turf because of inclement weather.

With the game tied at 3 going into the third quarter, Kelly dodged his way in front on consecutive possessions to score two of his goals as the Cardinals scored four straight in the third quarter to build a 7-3 advantage.

Dutton finished with eight saves in the win.

"We were a little slow in the first half, and we knew we had to pick it up. I just got my opportunities and was able to make the best of them," said Kelly, who also had an assist. "We got a lot of young guys, but everybody is stepping up. We have really good team chemistry, everybody is working together, practicing hard and running the game plan."

The halftime message from Cardinals coach Bryan Kelly was direct and simple: Play your game and have some fun.

The Cardinals responded with strong, fluid play at both ends, and also won the majority of faceoffs to take control.

"Loyola does a great job of controlling tempo, and I think they really got us out of our game," the Calvert Hall coach said. "What we really told our kids was to relax and play. I think we were kind of pressing a little bit too much and not doing what we usually do with off-ball movement and other things, so I think we kind of picked up the pace."

With five freshmen and a handful of sophomores getting plenty of time along with senior leaders Dutton, Rossi and defenseman Patrick Rhodey, the Cardinals have enjoyed instant success but are well aware of the demanding MIAA schedule. Next up is No. 3 St. Paul's on Tuesday.

Goals: L-Cannon 2, Distler, Donovan, Smith; CH-P. Kelly 3, Rossi 3, Black, Connell, F. Kelly, Zoppo. Assists: L-Class, Distler, Krolus; CH-F. Kelly, P. Kelly. Saves: L-Bradley 6; CH-Dutton 8. Half: 3-3.

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