With No. 1-ranked McDonogh, No. 2 Gilman, No. 3 St. Paul's and No. 4 Loyola grabbing the headlines, it has been easy to forget that Boys' Latin is the defending champ of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference.
But the fifth-ranked Lakers' rainy, 14-7 rout of No. 8 St. Mary's yesterday served as a reminder that, despite having graduated 23 seniors and every starter from a 17-0 squad, they are to be reckoned with.
Dan Lamonica had two goals and six assists, followed by Hunter Lochte (one goal, three assists), Chris Edwards (three goals), Mike Thomas (two goals, one assist) and Jamie Daue (three assists) as the Lakers (10-6) had assists on 13 goals and offensive contributions from 11 players.
James Watson-Galbraith had his two goals and one assist in the first half, when the senior from Perth, Australia, had eight of 10 ground balls, won five of seven faceoffs, and took eight shots.
Boys' Latin visits No. 4 Loyola on Tuesday in the first round of the MIAA A playoffs, and St. Mary's (6-7) is at No. 3 St. Paul's.
After yesterday's game, Watson-Galbraith reflected on the low point of this season, being blown out 14-2 by Loyola. However, that was followed by a 12-11 upset of St. Paul's and a near-upset of No. 1 McDonogh -- a 16-15 loss to a team that now has won 16 straight games since a season-opening double-overtime loss to Gilman.
As a second midfielder on last year's team, Watson-Galbraith was the Lakers' most experienced returning player this spring.
"Being a part of last year's team -- I wouldn't trade that experience for anything," said Watson-Galbrauth, who, as he put it, "came halfway around the world" to play for coach Bob Shriver. "He [Shriver] puts a piece of himself in every player, and watching how this team's come together, being a senior, this is right up there.
The Lakers' defense of Matt O'Malley, Greg Hendler, Mackey Cronin, Trevor Twist and Jason Leneau limited St. Mary's to one shot in the first period. Keeper Craig Lafferty (nine saves) blocked seven of the Saints' eight shots in the first half and did not allow a goal until 1: 32 before intermission.
Boys' Latin led 3-0 after one period and 6-1 at the half, outshooting the Saints 19-7 over that stretch and scoring on all three of its extra-man opportunities.
"We've had some ups and downs this year, but I think we've gotten it together," said Lamonica, a transfer from Calvert Hall. .. "Now, I think we're even with the rest of the teams [in the playoffs.]"
Beau Pich had three goals and an assist, Justin Mullen had two goals and Chris Summers a goal and an assist for the Saints, who twice were within four goals of the Lakers in the third period before frustration gave into penalties.
St. Mary's was penalized five times in the third period and 14 times overall.
"We didn't play well, but we also had too many penalties," said St. Mary's coach Jim Moorhead, adding that Boys' Latin "played like they wanted in [the playoffs]. We didn't."
Pub Date: 5/02/98