In a game that was dedicated to fundraising for cancer victims and their families, Calvert Hall coach Bryan Kelly's heartfelt speech to a full house at Paul Russo Stadium in Towson before his No. 3 Cardinals took on archrival and No. 2 Loyola on Friday night was well received by the large crowd.
Part of Kelly's speech was about Stacey Del Bene, whose son Michael is a sixth grader at Loyola and husband Tom was a 1976 graduate of the school. Michael and Kelly's son Jacob play club lacrosse together.
"If I was starting a team, Stacey would be the first one I would pick," said Kelly, alluding to how hard she fought breast cancer before succumbing Feb. 12.
As inspirational as the speech was, it seemed to have more of an effect on Kelly's club than on the Dons (11-2, 3-1 league), who were riding a three-game Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference winning streak and had won nine straight overall.
Instead, the Cardinals (9-2, 3-1) rolled on their home field, building an 8-2 halftime advantage and coasting to an 11-6 victory to grab a share of the conference lead with Gilman, Severn, St. Mary's and Loyola.
Calvert Hall jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first 18:33, striking first when senior attackman Patrick Kelly ran off a pick to beat Loyola senior goalie Chris Thomas to ignite a monster first half for the North Carolina recruit.
Kelly went into the intermission with four goals and a pair of assists, also scoring the second, sixth and seventh goals and assisting on the fifth and eighth goals. One of several Kelly cousins on the team, junior faceoff specialist Stephen, claimed 14 of 20 draws.
"We were spreading the ball well and moving it well," said Patrick Kelly, who did not score in the second half. "A lot of good stuff was happening out there."
When Patrick Kelly wasn't scoring, senior midfielders Kelton Black (two goals, one assist), Patrick Carotenuto (one goals) and Brian Bolewicki (two goals), senior attackman Ryan Brown (one goal, one assist) and freshman attackman Timmy Kelly (one goal) were getting the job done.
Loyola didn't score until senior midfielder Mike Distler parked a shot in the corner on a bad-angle, one-hopper with 5:10 remaining in the first half and freshman midfielder Ryan Conrad rifled in a carpet-burner with 47 seconds to go.
After Black scored early in the third quarter, the Dons answered on goals by senior midfielder T.J Neubauer and senior attackman Alec Dauses.
Timmy Kelly's goal restored a six-goal margin and gave the Cardinals breathing room down the stretch to finish a strong week — they beat No. 1 Gilman on Tuesday.
"There were no aspects of the game where we were sharp enough to beat a team that good," Loyola coach Jack Crawford said. "I thought we were ready, but the first half proved we weren't."
Goals: (L) – Conrad 2, Dauses 2, Neubauer 1, Distler 1; (CH) – P. Kelly 4, Bolewicki 2, Brown 1, Black 2, T. Kelly 1, Carotenuto 1.
Assists: (L) – McNamara 1, Clise 1; (CH) – P. Kelly 2, Black 1, J. Kelly 1, Brown 1.
Saves: (L) Thomas 12; (CH) – Pecunes 6.
Half: CH 8-2