Calvert Hall College lacrosse coach Bryan Kelly didn’t use last season’s loss to Gilman School in the MIAA A Conference finals as motivation for Tuesday’s league matchup. Nor didn’t he say the game was the Cardinals’ opportunity at the area’s No. 1 ranking.

“Let’s just have fun,” Kelly said. “Enjoy the process, don’t worry about the outcome.”

Weighed by expectations after starting the season as the consensus No. 1 squad in the area and the nation, No. 3 Calvert Hall looked relaxed in its 11-8 victory over the top-ranked Greyhounds at Kelly Field at Russo Stadium in Towson. Jordan Germershausen, Kevin Diehl and John Belz , all juniors, each scored two goals for the Cardinals (8-2 overall, 2-1 MIAA A)

The LaSalle Road school assembled a six-goal flurry in the second half, handing the reigning league champ Greyhounds (6-2, 2-1 MIAA A) their first loss in arguably the nation’s toughest conference. After falling at McDonogh in overtime last Friday, knocking the Cardinals out of the area’s top spot, Kelly said he saw a more spirited effort Tuesday.

“Our team has faced nothing but adversity. It’s been a lot of pressure, we had only one go and that was down,” said Kelly, whose team is 16th in the latest ESPN national Top 50. “If we throw the ball away, we stink. They showed character today and we’ve learned a lot from our failures.”

“You want to go out and win every game, no matter what you’re ranked,” said Germerhausen, an attack. “I don’t look at those [rankings] too much anymore. I just think about us, Calvert Hall.”

The Greyhounds, ranked No. 8 by ESPN, gave the Cardinals a lot to think about with a pair of extra-man goals, shaving a 5-2 deficit to 5-4 in the third quarter, but Calvert Hall showed why it was the undisputable No. 1 team in the preseason. With the Cardinals back at full strength, Germerhausen took a pass from senior Kelton Black and scored with 2 minutes, 34 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Off a restart, Calvert Hall quickly attacked as Diehl netted his second goal. The Cardinals won the ensuing faceoff with faceoff man extraordinare Stephen Kelly, resulting in Belz’s second goal for an 8-4 advantage with 80 seconds remaining in the quarter.

Unassisted tallies by Germerhausen and Johnny Kelly upped the Cardinals’ lead to 10-4 before Stephen Kelly found senior Ryan Brown alone in front of goal, and Brown easily finished. Eight different Calvert Hall players scored Tuesday.

“We knew not to let up,” said Germerhausen, who watched from the stands at Unitas Stadium last May as Gilman rallied in the final minutes to beat Boys’ Latin in the league semifinals and the Cardinals for the title. “I have faith in this team. This is a good team win, a lot of different scorers.”

Jake Matthai scored all three of his goals over the final six minutes as Gilman made the final score respectable. It wasn’t much consolation for Greyhounds coach Brooks Matthews, whose team never led Tuesday.

“We were a little bit too stagnant early. We got a couple of good looks and didn’t finish them, and that took some spark out of us,” said Matthews, whose team next plays at Mount St. Joseph Friday afternoon. “We dug ourselves a hole. We just didn’t play smart enough consistently enough.”

The Cardinals will host No. 2 Loyola Blakefield under the lights Friday night at Russo Stadium as the longtime Towson schools renew their storied rivalry. The last time Calvert Hall played at night at Russo, it lost to Conestoga (PA) late last month after building a five-goal lead in the second half.

“This is the real Calvert Hall, but we’re far away from where we want to be,” said Germerhausen.  “We liked that we had a bunch of scorers today, but we’re still work out kinks in our offense. We got a long ways to go.”

No. 3 Calvert Hall College 11, No. 1 Gilman School 8

Gilman         1 1 2 4-8

Calvert Hall 2 3 3 3-11

Goals: Gilman-Matthai 3, Koerber 2, DeSmit, Greene, Morrill; Calvert Hall-Germerhausen 2, Diehl 2, Belz 2, J. Kelly, Brown, Bolewicki, Black, P. Kelly.

Assists: Gilman-Morrill, Matthai, Koerber, Brown, McBride; Calvert Hall-P. Kelly 2, J. Kelly, Brown, Black, Bolewicki.

Saves: Gilman-Moore 7; Calvert Hall-Pecunes 12