One of the many strengths on the 2012 Calvert Hall boys lacrosse team is an attack that features a handful of players capable of taking over a game.
But when the No. 1 Cardinals were getting a significant push from No. 4 Boys' Latin in Tuesday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference semifinal, it was no surprise that All-Metro senior Patrick Kelly was the one who took on the lead role.
Calvert Hall improves to 15-2 on the season and will play the winner between Gilman and Loyola for the championship at 8 p.m. on Friday at Johnny Unitas Stadium. Gilman and Loyola will resume Tuesday's game on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The game was suspended due to lightning with Loyola leading 13-5 with 6:57 left to play.
Boys' Latin, which got two goals each from Colin Heacock, Tally Bruno and Ben Pridemore, ended its season at 14-7 .
Trailing 6-4 at the half, the Cardinals did not panic, rattling off six straight goals before fending off a late Lakers' rally. Junior midfielder Stephen Kelly dominated on faceoffs, senior attackman Carter Brown added three goals, and senior goalie Dimitri Pecunes had 10 saves in the win.
"It took a little bit to get our legs under us in the first half, but we kept fighting and we kept doing our thing and the defense played great, Dimitri did a great job in goal and we ended up coming out here with a win," Kelly said.
The Cardinals carried their success from the third quarter into the fourth — turning the 6-4 deficit into a 10-6 lead with 8:03 to play — it looked as if they would roll to their second straight championship game. But the Lakers, who dropped a 12-5 decision to the Cardinals in the league opener on April 10, showed they had plenty of fight left.
Heacock scored consecutive goals to cut the lead to 10-8 and then after Brown scored his third to give the Cardinals an 11-8 lead with 3:20 to play, the Lakers pressed to the final seconds. After Pridemore cut the lead to 11-9 with 2:09 left, junior Michael Lynch scored a man down with 39 seconds left to make it a one-goal game. The Lakers had the last possession with sophomore Shack Stanwick (three assists) heavily marked by senior defenseman Evan Connell behind the cage. His pass in front intended for Lynch was broken up by Tyler Mayes as time expired.
"Our kids were incredibly valiant. We got a nice lead at halftime, but we made a boat load of mistakes in the second half and Calvert Hall is too good not to capitalize," Boys' Latin coach Bob Shriver said.