The No. 1 Calvert Hall lacrosse team was outplayed in every phase during the first half of Tuesday’s game against visiting Gilman.
It was clearly not what the defending Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champion Cardinals had planned for in their home league opener.
But plenty of time remained to get things right.
A dominant third quarter spilled over into the fourth as Calvert Hall scored the first seven goals in the second half to claim an 11-7 win over the No. 7 Greyhounds.
Sophomore midfielder Cole Herbert finished with three goals and one assist, junior midfielder Grant Mitchell added two goals and two assists, and the Cardinals scored four man-advantage goals to improve to 7-1 overall and 1-0 in the league.
Gilman, which got a goal and two assists from senior attackman Doug Godine, fell to 3-3 overall and 0-1 in the MIAA A.
Calvert Hall senior attackman Jacob Kelly, who scored twice, has learned to make his words count as a four-year starter and captain. He wasn’t pleased with the first half and let it be known at the halftime break.
“I’m not the most vocal leader all the time. But this team you kind of have to force it out of them sometimes, and i’m trying to find my role in that,” he said. “Today, I had to bring the fire a little bit because we were really flat. Being on spring break, it’s hard to come out here without doing anything, not being together at school — it’s just kind of different than what we’re used to. So we just tried to get a little extra push out of the guys today and we figured it out. The second half looked a lot better than the first.”
Kelly actually got things going a few minutes earlier. After the Greyhounds took their biggest lead of the game at 6-3 with 4:50 left in the second quarter, he scored his first goal 18 seconds later with the Cardinals on the man advantage.
It would be the start of eight straight goals — Herbert tying the game at 6 two minutes into the third quarter and Kelly providing the lead for good with 5:49 left in the quarter — as the Cardinals took hold of the game.
Calvert Hall coach Bryan Kelly said strong play from junior faceoff specialist Chris Cottone and the midfielders taking what was given played a big role in the improved second half.
“I thought our kids did a good job. They we really trying to take our attack away, and I thought our middies did a great job of creating and taking advantage of some matchups there. Overall, I was very pleased,” he said.
The visitors controlled the first half behind two goals each from Will DeMuth and Billy Spilman, and dominant work from Liam Muhly at the faceoff X. Muhly won eight of 11 draws in the half, which gave the Greyhounds the ball most of the way. They built the 6-3 advantage and then let the emotion of the game get the best of them with the Cardinals’ potent attack taking advantage for the four man-advantage goals.
“Obviously, there’s some really positive things to build on,” Gilman coach Brooks Matthews said. “We just have to learn how to play the whole game and when things start to get out of control, we’ve got to bring them back under control a little quicker than we did today.”
Daniel Kelly and Peter Ilardo each had a goal and an assist for Calvert Hall. the Cardinals. The Greyhounds got 10 saves from junior goalie Noah Klein.
Goals: G—DeMuth 2, Spilman 2, D. Godine, Washburn, Bond; CH — Herbert 3, J. Kelly 2, Mitchell 2, Sawyer, D. Kelly, Ilardo, Smith. Assists: G — Bond, D. Godine 2, W. Godine; CH — Mitchell 2, D. Kelly, Herbert, Ilardo. Saves: G — Klein 10; CH — Darragh 5. Half: G, 6-4.