Members of the St. Paul's lacrosse team were so disappointed the night of an earlier three-goal loss to visiting Loyola "that we all went home and marked our calendars because we couldn't wait for the next time we'd play them," said midfielder Matt Marchildon.
"Next time" was yesterday's 10-3 rout at fifth-ranked Loyola, a game the Crusaders dominated.
The No. 2 Crusaders produced yesterday's 10 goals, six of which were assisted, on only 24 shots, a much better percentage than their five-goal effort on 44 shots in the earlier 8-5 loss to the Dons.
Loyola keeper Trae Rodgers also had something to do with St. Paul's ineffectiveness the first go-round, when he stopped 23 shots and the Crusaders converted only once in five extra-man situations.
Rodgers (12 saves) didn't look bad yesterday, but with better overall shot placement, St. Paul's was able to produce a 6-2 halftime lead on only 11 shots (a lead of 3-2 after the first period).
That and the defense of keeper Paul Spellman (eight saves), Geoff Hunter, Ben Bartlett, Pat Connelly and Charley Conkling - the latter playing with a broken thumb - led to a 6-0 run and a commanding 9-2 lead entering the fourth period.
"Last time, their goalie had an outstanding game against us. But we've been working on shooting, taking better shots. Today, we were a little more poised," said St. Paul's coach Mitch Whiteley.
St. Paul's improved to 8-2 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association's A Conference, and, at 4-1 in Division I, moved into a first-place tie with Loyola (8-4, 4-1), which suffered its third loss in its past four games.
"Losing to them was a buildup to this, where we said, 'O.K., we'll be ready next time,'" said the Ohio State-bound Marchildon, whose goal five minutes into the game capped an early run for a 3-0 lead.
"We wanted to make a statement that we have the best defense in the league," said Hunter. "We came out all fired up to shut them down."
Brendan Gill had two goals and an assist, Brandon Childs had a goal and an assist in only his third start, and Conor Ford had a goal for a team that got offensive contributions from eight different players.
The Crusaders dominated faceoffs as usual, winning four of the first five and holding a 13-2 advantage for the game. Jack deVilliers won seven of eight faceoffs and scored a goal, Ethan Haire won four of five and scored a goal and Scott Boyle won both of his faceoffs.
Midfielder Ben Cusson scored twice and Grant Halford had a goal and an assist. The Crusaders out-shot Loyola, 8-2, in the third period.
"Our attack was awesome. Our midfield was awesome. Our defense was awesome. Our goalie was awesome," said Marchildon, who scored once and had two assists.
"Mike Alfone had a goal and an assist for Loyola, and Owen Mulford and Brian Miller scored once each.