Loyola Blakefield rallied for four goals in the fourth quarter to upend Malvern Prep of Philadelphia on Saturday in an interstate battle in Towson.
Even without top defenseman and University of Maryland recruit Matt Dunn, the Dons had the wherewithal to hold the Friars to just a pair of goals in the first half while building a 4-2 advantage.
The hosts, who pummeled Memphis University School, 18-4, earlier in the week and face another Philadelphia power, Haverford School, on Tuesday, snapped a 2-2 tie in the second quarter on goals by junior Devin McNamara and fellow attackman Alex Roesner, a freshman.
Both goals were assisted by senior midfielder Deemer Class, the trigger man of the Dons' offense.
"Feeding is a big part of my game," said Class, a Duke recruit. "It really pumps the team up."
Malvern jumped to an early lead on a goal by senior midfielder Paul Finley before the Dons answered on McNamara's first goal and Class' initial feed of the contest.
The teams then traded scores by Loyola senior middie Mike Distler and Malvern senior attackman Jake Glancy.
Malvern struck twice in the third quarter to tie it on goals by junior attackman Thomas O'Connor, and then spurted ahead, 6-4, on goals by senior middie Graeme Weaver and Glancy.
"We knew it would be a game of runs, but last year we would have fallen apart in the situation," Class said. "This year we're mentally tougher because of our coaches. They help us get ready for the kind of adversity we faced today."
The Dons' 4-0 explosion was spurred by senior middie Pat Coan's lefty runner which preceded Class finding senior attackman Alec Dauses for the equalizer with 9:36 to go.
Senior midfielder T. J. Neubauer dug out a tough groundball behind the cage and then whipped in the go-ahead goal with 6:38 remaining and senior Conor Dalton followed with the final marker just over a minute later for the final margin.
"We're still trying to figure things out," said Malvern coach David Metzbower, a 1982 Loyola grad who said he was part of a couple of Maryland Scholastic Association championship squads while playing for the Dons. "Loyola played a great fourth quarter, and went a little harder than we did."
Loyola coach Jack Crawford said his defense played well despite Dunn sitting out with a sore knee.
"Any time you don't have your top cover guy out there, other guys have to step up, and I thought we did that today," he said. "(Senior shortstick) Kacy Kapinos played really well and (junior) Cole Luthy and (sophomore) Ryan Gilliss were really good, too, for us. They came up big."
Malvern goals-Paul Finley, 1; Jake Glancy, 2; Thomas O'Connor, 2; Graeme Weaver, 1
Malvern assists-Joseph Carlini, 1; Glancy, 1; Joseph Dunn, 1; Michael Horrocks, 1
Loyola goals-Devin McNamara, 2; Mike Distler, 1; Alex Roesner, 1; Pat Coan, 1; T.J. Neubauer, 1; Alec Dauses, 1; Conor Dalton, 1
Loyola assists-Deemer Class, 4
Goalie saves: Chris Thomas (LB)-10; Matthew Barrett (MP)-12