Crusaders still in MIAA playoff hunt

The Baltimore Sun

The season hasn't gone as planned for the No. 11 St. Paul's boys lacrosse team. Early injuries and a slow start looked like they would derail what the Crusaders hoped would be a promising season. For the seniors, though, a win over No. 6 Boys' Latin is of some consolation.

"All the seniors have never beaten BL," senior midfielder Peter Smyth said. "Beating them makes you forget everything else that went on during the season."

The St. Paul's seniors now know what it's like to beat the Lakers, having triumphed, 9-7, on Lake Avenue in both teams' regular-season finale yesterday.

With the victory, St. Paul's kept itself alive in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoff race.

Games played by No. 4 St. Mary's and No. 9 Archbishop Spalding last night factor in to the playoff picture, which won't be determined until next week.

"You can't ask for any better way to end a season than to beat BL," said senior attackman Adam Johnston, who had two goals and two assists. "If we don't make the playoffs, it's been a great year, but hopefully ... we'll be playing next week."

Smyth had three goals, Cliff Larkin had three assists, and Jack Rice led the Lakers with four goals and an assist.

The first half was close,with neither team managing to get more than a one-goal lead. Mark Feild's goal with 4:38 left in the second quarter gave the Lakers (13-7, 4-6) a 4-3 lead at the half.

St. Paul's (10-10, 4-6) stepped up after the break. Johnston scored off a ground ball in heavy traffic to tie the score just a minute into the third. Matt Lunnen fired a low shot from 12 yards with less than a minute left in the quarter to give the Crusaders the lead.

In the fourth quarter, Smyth scored twice in the first three minutes off passes from Johnston. Johnston scored at the nine-minute mark and Tyler Feeley (two goals) scored with 5:49 left for a 9-4 lead.

"I was preaching all game to keep the ball hot and keep moving," coach Rick Brocato said. "I thought we had them on their heels a little bit [in the second half] and we tried to get that knockout punch when we started to push them a little more and attack them a little more. It worked."

The Lakers tried to rally in the last three minutes, scoring three goals (two by Rice), but ran out of time.

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