Calvert Hall boys lacrosse coach Bryan Kelly described No. 7 Archbishop Spalding, the Cardinals' quarterfinal opponent in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoffs, as "a very dangerous team that can hurt you when they have the ball."
The Cardinals' solution to that problem was easy: keep the ball away from Spalding.
No. 2 Calvert Hall (16-2) controlled the ball en route to a 16-5 victory over the visiting Cavaliers yesterday. The Cardinals advanced to the A Conference semifinals, where they'll play No. 3 Loyola at Towson University on Friday at 5 p.m.
"I thought we rode really well and I thought we faced off really well," Kelly said. "We wanted to keep possession of the ball and we did that, and I think it was a big positive for us."
Calvert Hall's Joe Impallaria won 16 of 18 faceoffs and his team won 20 of 24 overall. The Cardinals also had 45 ground balls to Spalding's 23.
Patrick Fanshaw scored a career-high seven goals in the victory. Sean Maguire had three goals and an assist, Michael Brashears had two goals and Jason McFadden had a goal and three assists for Calvert Hall. Rich May had three goals and an assist for the Cavaliers.
Calvert Hall wasted no time against Spalding, scoring five goals in the last half of the first quarter to take a 5-0 lead. Spalding's Mike Poiter faked twice and fired low at the 10:32 mark of the second quarter for the Cavaliers' first goal and Andrew Scally scored a minute later to make it 5-2.
Calvert Hall then scored six straight goals.
Although it wasn't the ending that first-year Spalding coach Zack Burke had hoped for, the Cavaliers far exceeded expectations this season. It was the first time Spalding had made the playoffs since joining the A Conference in 2003, and it had just one conference win last year.
"These guys did a heck of a job," Burke said. "We had to change the culture and teach them how to win. Once we got one win, they bought into it and I couldn't be any prouder of this group."