The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference lacrosse season has been filled with parity, marked by close games and some occasional surprising results.
One constant, however, has been consistently fine play from Loyola Blakefield.
The No. 2 Dons won their seventh straight league game and did so in convincing fashion against visiting Mount Saint Joseph on Saturday, scoring nine of the game’s first 10 goals on their way to an 18-8 win.
On senior day, Liam Bateman celebrated with a six-goal, one-assist performance and had plenty of help from his classmates — fellow seniors Connor Hume (three goals), Ryan Dunn (one goal, three assists), Alex Reid (two goals, one assist) and goalie Brighton Lorber (six saves).
Loyola Blakefield (13-3) improved to 7-1 in the MIAA A Conference, while the No. 13 Gaels (6-7) fall to 2-5 in league play.
“It was really great to come out here, obviously, our last game here at Loyola. I’ve been playing with these guys since middle school, so it’s really great to wrap up with a win and it’s really exciting with these guys right now,” Bateman said.
Despite just two league wins, the Gaels had been competitive most games, including a fine performance in an 11-10 loss to defending league champion Calvert Hall on Tuesday.
But the Dons quickly made sure this one would be their game.
Dunn and Reid Delanois scored seconds apart two minutes into play for a 2-0 advantage. After Mount Saint Joseph standout Kyle DeCrispino made it 2-1 with 9:26 left in the first quarter, the Dons scored seven straight goals — Bateman’s third of the game providing a 9-1 lead with 9:05 to play in the second quarter.
“We watched film on them and realized what would work and executed that really well in the beginning. Guys were moving really well to get me those open shots and I was just able to bury them,” said Bateman, who tacked on two more goals before halftime for an 11-3 lead.
Loyola coach Ben Rubeor was pleased with the team’s performance, but he quickly turned his attention to what lies ahead next week. The Dons will travel to No. 1 McDonogh on Tuesday and then visit Calvert Hall in their regular-season finale.
“I think the guys have brought consistent energy, which only builds trust and I was glad we were able to get a lot of guys out there,” he said. “I think we’re in for two really tough games though, and it starts with a McDonogh squad, who I know played really well on Tuesday.”
All season, the Gaels have been able to stay close with a grinding style and close attention to detail. Mount Saint Joseph coach Stephen Berger was disappointed to not see the same Saturday.
“Didn’t have effort today,” he said. “We tried to do things coming out and just weren’t ourselves and when you’re down 8-1, [you’re] trying to dig out of a hole. They obviously had emotion and energy with this being their senior day … but at the end of the day, we have to do what we do instead of trying to worry about making home run plays — just play simple and smarter.”
DeCrispino scored three goals to lead the Gaels.
Goals: MSJ — DeCrispino 3, Corbett 2, Kiley, Oliver, Ordakowski.
LB — Bateman 6, Hume 3, Dunn, Koras 2, Reid 2, Isola, Dixon, Delanois, Burchell.
Assists: MSJ — Kiley, Oliver, Ordakowski;
LB — Dunn 3, Bateman, Reid.
Saves: MSJ — Botsford 6, Larkin 1;
LB — Lorber 6, Preis 1.
Half: LB, 11-3