A good chunk of practice time for the Boys’ Latin lacrosse team going into Friday’s home game against rival Loyola Blakefield was spent on making sure to start fast.
The No. 7 Lakers impressively applied what they worked on.
With freshman attackman Dominic Pietramala the igniter, Boys’ Latin scored four unanswered goals in the game’s first five minutes and made sure to keep a safe distance the rest of the way in claiming a 15-8 win over the No. 5 Dons in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference play.
Pietramala, who made his varsity debut in Tuesday’s win at McDonogh after being sidelined with a knee injury, finished with seven goals and two assists -- in on all four of the opening goals – to lead a complete team win for the Lakers (7-4 overall, 3-1 MIAA A). Goalie JT Morton finished with 11 saves, also assisting on a Pietramala goal in the final second of the first quarter; faceoff specialist Mackenzie Moreland more than held his own; and defenseman Blake Gable stood his ground against Dons standout attackman Jack Koras.
After a 12-5 league opening loss at Calvert Hall on March 29 – the Lakers’ third straight setback – they have hit their form with cohesive play.
“It was kind of all about the team,” Pietramala said. “We came in here and said the only way we’re going to beat them is if we work as a team, move the ball quick, and we did that. I was glad I had two teammates that could pick for me and move the ball to me. The offense worked as a whole, our defense worked well and it was really Mackenzie [Moreland] – the faceoff X – had one helluva game, kept us in it.”
Loyola Blakefield first-year coach Gene Ubriaco, previously a longtime assistant at Boys’ Latin, tried to give his team an idea what it was getting into with the Lakers at home, healthy and eager.
It didn’t help.
Pietramala scored twice in the game’s first 3:04 of play. He was assisted on a goal by Ben Smith less and 40 seconds later scored off a short pass from Cameron Spencer to send the Lakers to a 4-0 lead with 6:49 still left in the first quarter.
With the lead at 5-1, Morton, who made four first-quarter saves, connected on a long outlet pass to Pietramala, who scored with one second left on the clock for a 6-1 advantage.
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The Dons (6-4, 3-2) got within three goals twice in the second quarter, but no closer. With the Lakers leading 8-5, Smith scored with 1:28 to play in the first half and then the home team scored four of the five goals in the third quarter.
Ryan Evans scored three goals and added an assist and Smith scored three times for the Lakers, who will next host St. Mary’s on Tuesday. Coach Brian Farrell was pleased with the Lakers’ execution and how they’ve responded to the setbacks earlier in the season.
“The whole team has matured tremendously the whole season and I think when you lose games it’s an opportunity to grow as well,” he said. “So I thought our team – our seniors especially – kept these guys together and they stayed positive and we just keep working on it day by day, and at the end we’re where we need to be.”
Koras finished with two goals and two assists for the Dons, who will look to bounce back at Mount Saint Joseph on Tuesday.
“We knew we were kind of walking in the lion’s den here today and we tried to get the guys to understand that, but I don’t think they did,” Ubriaco said. “By the time we got off the bus, we were on the short end of a lot of goals and we honestly had no answer for [Pietramala]. For a freshman, I don’t know that I’ve seen a kid in this league as talented as that kid.”