After Mount St. Joseph's lopsided defeat at St. Mary's in the Gaels' season opener, St. Joe coach Drew Bowden said the nice thing about playing in the Maryland Scholastic Association is that you get to face each opponent twice.
Maybe that's not such a nice thing after all.
Yesterday at Mount St. Joseph, fifth-ranked St. Mary's (8-4, 6-4) was again too strong for the seventh-ranked Gaels (7-4, 3-4), taking a 10-4 MSA A Conference Division II win.
"I'm really sick of losing to St. Mary's," said Bowden, whose Gaels have dropped four straight to the Saints. "I'm not going to say they have our number, they just always play better than us, and they did it again today."
The win helped St. Mary's distance itself from Mount St. Joseph in the race for one of the two playoff spots in Division II. Boys' Latin will likely capture the other playoff berth in the division.
"We were certainly reeling a little bit," said St. Mary's coach Jim Moorhead, whose Saints had lost their past three games, including a 7-6 overtime loss to Severn Tuesday. "This doesn't guarantee [a playoff berth], but we thought it was a critical game for us."
St. Mary's started out strong, scoring the first two goals and holding a 3-1 lead after the first quarter.
Kevin Reichardt scored two of his three goals in the second quarter, when the Saints scored four unanswered goals to take a 7-1 lead into halftime.
St. Mary's feasted on Mount St. Joseph's zone defense, out-shooting the Gaels 18-3 in the first half.
"We played a very good first half and controlled the ball," said Moorhead. "Our kids were excited to play and they really hustled and executed."
Midway through the second half, Mount St. Joseph's Maury LaPointe, the area's leading scorer, tried to get the Gaels back in the game, scoring two unassisted goals in a 1:11 span to bring Mount St. Joseph to 8-3 with 6:37 left in the third quarter.
But St. Mary's scored the next two goals, and by the time LaPointe scored his third goal (with 1:14 left in the game), it was too late.
"LaPointe's a heck of a player, but I thought we played good team defense against their attack," said Moorhead. "Plus we took a lot more shots, and when you shoot that many times, eventually you score."
The Saints finished with a 30-8 shot advantage over the Gaels.