They graduated every starter from a 17-0 squad and were 0-4 earlier this season, but the defending Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champion Boys' Latin Lakers haven't gone away.
Yesterday, the fifth-ranked Lakers (12-6) came from behind to score a 7-6 quarterfinal tournament upset of No. 4 Loyola (12-5), winning for the ninth time in their last 10 games and for the sixth straight time since losing, 16-15, to No. 1 McDonogh.
The visiting Lakers, who avenged an earlier 12-2 loss, play No. 2 Gilman in the semifinal at Johns Hopkins tomorrow night.
"Bob Shriver's done a tremendous job," said Loyola coach Joe McFadden. "After a rocky start, they're having a great finish."
Trailing 6-4 after Loyola's Ricky Hayes scored at 10: 29 of the third period and having failed on three straight man-advantage situations against Dons goalie Nick Antol (16 saves), the Lakers closed with a 3-0 run.
UMBC-bound midfielder James Watson-Galbraith won four straight faceoffs, and sophomore Dan Lamonica (one goal, three assists) and junior Jamie Daue (two assists) keyed the momentum-stealing streak.
Defenders Greg Hendler, Mackey Cronin, Jason Leneau and Matt O'Malley often knocked the ball from opponents' sticks, and sophomore keeper Ryan Lafferty (15 saves) had four point-blank saves in the final period.
"We're a young team and played scared sometimes, but we've never given up or quit," Lamonica said. "We've learned how to come back, and today, we did that."
The Lakers took their only lead, the final 7-6 score, with 9: 32 left on Dan Berger's game-high third goal. Berger, who did not score in the first Loyola game, said, "They shut us down the first time, but today we moved the ball, got our shots off -- just kept firing away."
Loyola had its chances over the final two minutes, but Matt Urlock hit the pipe twice, and Pat Jackson did it once. Loyola's T. J. Morton (two goals) shot wide as time elapsed.
"We missed a few shots, hit the pipe, but the difference was who wanted it more. You could see the fire in their eyes," said the North Carolina-bound Jackson. "Losing to us by 10 goals, I knew that wasn't the real Boys' Latin."
Lamonica had a goal and an assist over the final 1: 27 of the third period, coming from behind Antol after receiving Daue's pass before slipping in an underhanded 4-yarder for a 6-5 score. With 13 seconds left, Lamonica fed Chris Edwards, who tied the game with his second goal of the game.
The Dons led 2-0 after goals on the game's first two shots, and had two-goal leads twice more in the first half. But the Lakers tied the game at 2-all and battled back to within 4-3 and, at half, 5-4.
"Teams can underestimate us," Cronin said, "but we'll keep playing our hearts out."
Pub Date: 5/07/98