Loyola Blakefield’s players understand how tough the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference is in lacrosse. All four of the Dons’ games against Gilman, McDonogh, Boys’ Latin and Severn had been decided by three goals or less.
Make that all five of Loyola’s games, after the Dons defeated visiting Mount St. Joseph on Tuesday, 9-7, in Towson.
Loyola coach Jack Crawford thinks his team could avoid some of the drama if the Dons played better with a lead. Loyola (7-5 overall, 3-2 in the conference) had four-goal leads in the third and fourth quarters.
“We have not yet mastered the art of building on leads,” Crawford said. “We constantly find a way to shoot ourselves in the foot either through turnovers or bad penalties. It’s very frustrating. We have got to start putting people away.”
Junior midfielder Ryan Conrad, a University of Virginia recruit, powered the Dons past Mount St. Joseph by scoring three goals. Colin Lopez and Alex Roesner had two goals each for Loyola.
“He is a big-time player, and he is playing like it right now,” Crawford said of Conrad. “He is a reason why we have been able to build a few of these leads. Without him, we would really have a harder time putting the ball in the net.”
Conrad’s unassisted goal with 11:03 remaining in the final quarter gave the Dons a 9-5 lead when he beat sophomore goalie Ben Heinzman on a low shot to the left corner.
But Mount St. Joe (8-5, 1-3) didn’t quit and played its best the rest of the way.
Shawn Carter scored a man-up goal with 5:28 left on a feed. About two minutes later, Drew Harrison scored on a pass from Carter.
The Gaels, who outshot Loyola, 7-3, in the quarter, continued to pressure the Dons.
Carter hit a goal post with 1:07 remaining and Loyola junior goalie Acie Newton stopped Tyler Snyder’s shot 53 seconds later.
“We have talked about it,” Mount St. Joseph coach Dave Slafkosky said. “Some of our guys at times have been a little bit selfish on both ends of the field. We have to play more as a team. You can see in the fourth quarter what happens when we do that.”
Graham Lorber and Jack Lombardo also scored for Loyola.
Jimmy Lucas, Isaac Hembree, Caleb Gaeng, Bryan Costabile and Clay Kirby accounted for the remainder of St. Joe's goals.
Heinzman made eight saves.
“He played real well today,” Slafkosky said. “He hadn’t had more than five saves in any of our league games.”
Tuesday's MIAA lacrosse scores
Boys' Latin 11 McDonogh 8
Gilman 12 Severn 8
St. Paul's 9 Calvert Hall 6
Archbishop Spalding 14 St. Mary's 8
John Carroll 15 Friends 7
Archbishop Curley 11 Park 5Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun