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No. 3 Calvert Hall completes takedown of No. 1 McDonogh in boys lacrosse

All-Metro senior attackman JT Bugliosi and freshman attackman Daniel Kelly of Calvert Hall talk about their 11-9 home win. (Glenn Graham/Baltimore Sun video)

Calvert Hall knew a complete effort covering all four quarters would be a necessity to get past No. 1 and defending Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association lacrosse champion McDonogh on Friday night.

After seeing its big lead trimmed to two in the closing minutes, All-Metro senior attackman JT Bugliosi got a step on his defender and ripped a goal with 1 minute, 37 seconds to play as the No. 3 Cardinals claimed an 11-9 home win.

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In addition to Bugliosi's late heroics, freshman attackman Daniel Kelly got the attack going early and finished with five goals and an assist for Calvert Hall (8-2, 2-0 MIAA A). Junior goalie Liam Darragh, a first-year starter, stopped 12 McDonogh shots. And with two players sitting with penalties to start the fourth quarter, the defense kept the Eagles (9-2, 1-1) from getting a shot.

"This is a big win for us. It just put us in a really good position for the rest of the year and we control our own destiny and that's really good," said Bugliosi, who finished with three goal and an assist. "I learned that we're just really good competitors and we never gave up. Even when they came back, our defense stayed strong and got the job done."

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Kelly gave the Cardinals their biggest lead when he opened the second-half scoring with his fifth goal at the 7:36 mark of the third quarter.

But the Eagles started their push shortly after with third-quarter goals from Jack Sweeney (one goal, one assist), Jack Simmons (four goals, one assist) and Jack Parr (one goal, two assists) to cut the lead to 9-5 going into the fourth quarter.

The Cardinals leaned heavily on their defense the rest of the way and it responded favorably – including the two-man penalty kill at the start of the fourth. Calvert Hall coach Bryan Kelly said the second-half defense keyed the win with a strong collective effort in front of Darragh.

"The defense in the second half won us the game," Kelly said. "Defensively, where we were from the beginning of the year to where we are today — we have gotten so much better and we have to keep getting better."

After the penalty kill, Buglisoi took a feed from Brendan Curry to push the lead to 10-5 with 7:59 to play.

With the lead at 10-7, the Cardinals killed another one-minute penalty before McDonogh's George Ward scored on another man-advantage with 2:43 to play. After a key ground ball by senior PJ Peters, the Cardinals got the pivotal goal from Bugliosi to restore order at 11-8 with 1:37 left. Jack Simmons cut the lead to 11-9 with 58 seconds left, but the Cardinals got a late possession to run out the clock.

"We don't want a game like this to defeat us, we want it to develop us. We want to use this game as fuel to get better and to learn. It's the second game of a nine-game [league] season so there's a lot of lacrosse to play," McDonogh coach Andy Hilgartner said.

In taking an 8-2 lead at the half, the Cardinals had the better of the play in every phase. They had their way on faceoffs to earn possessions and were productive behind Daniel Kelly's precise finishing. Darragh also had six saves in the first half – most coming early in the game.

After surrendering the game's first goal a little over one minute into play, Calvert Hall rattled off four straight and then closed the second quarter with the last three for the six-goal lead.

Good defense and swift passing also played big in building the advantage.

Leading 3-1, Jacob Kelly intercepted a McDonogh clear and found Daniel Kelly to make it 4-1 with 1:19 left in the first quarter.

After the Eagles finally ended the string with a goal from Laim Powderly with 47 seconds left, the Cardinals answered with a goal from Jack Sawyer in the final second of play. The Cardinals scored three unanswered goals in the second quarter with Daniel Kelly scoring twice and Curry adding his second of the game.

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Goals: M – Simmons 4, Parr, Powderly, Sweeney, Catlett, Ward; CH -- D. Kelly 5, Bugliosi 3, Sawyer, Curry 2. Assists: M – Catlett, Simmons, Sweeney, Parr 2; CH – Bugliosi, DeBerry, D, Kelly, J. Kelly, Herbert 3, Curry. Saves: M – Abramson 3; Ch – Darragh 12. Half: CH, 8-2

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