Every team likes to control its destiny when it comes to making the playoffs, and the fifth-ranked St. Mary's boys lacrosse team is in that position.
The Saints (10-4) got in that position by defeating No. 10 Calvert Hall, 10-3, at Weems Whalen Field yesterday.
St. Mary's can win its Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference division if it beats Boys' Latin on Tuesday.
The Saints beat Calvert Hall behind junior attackman Matt Clune, who had three goals, and a defensive unit that shut out the Cardinals (6-8) in the second half.
"The defense played great as a unit today," said coach Jim Moorhead. "My defensive coordinator, Mike Codd, has done a great job with them. It's no easy feat to hold a team scoreless for 20 minutes, but they did that against a team that has a lot of offensive weapons."
Saints goalie Jim Brown finished with four saves, but only one in the second half. That was because Steve Schummer, Joe Keenan and captain Peter Rowan didn't let Cardinals shooters anywhere near the goal, and that included six man-down situations. Rowan said that the man-down defense was the key to the game.
"All we try to do is stay relaxed and play our game when we're a man down," Rowan said. "We all know each other real well, so we're not afraid to go for a tough check because if we miss, we know someone is going to be backing us up."
Offensively, the Saints were storming the goal. The turning point of the game came at the start of the second quarter. Thirty seconds into the quarter, Clune made a cut for the goal and got a great pass from Kevin Reichardt for a goal. Three minutes later, Todd Vizcarrondo deked his defender behind the crease and got a shot past the goalie's stick to give the Saints a 4-2 lead.
Calvert Hall's Greg Stark got his team within one with a goal at 5:54, but that was the closest the Cardinals got. Reichardt and Dan Collins had unassisted goals to give the Saints a 6-3 lead at the half.
Calvert Hall coach Mike Thomas thought his team was overmatched.
"We stayed with them for a couple of quarters," said Thomas. "But after awhile, their speed and size just wore us down."