For the first time in the history of the MIAA, the Loyola water polo team swept the regular season from Calvert Hall with a 15-9 win at Blakefield on Monday afternoon.
With the win, the defending A conference champs clinched the top seed in the conference playoffs which will be held on Saturday at McDonogh. Loyola will face the fourth seed (yet to be determined) at 1 p.m, and the #2 and # 3 seeds will play at 2:30. Winners advance to the 5 o’clock championship game.
Oliver Bennett and Michale Feihe each scored five times for the Dons, and Cole LInder was outstanding game in the goal. Bennett scored twice in the opening quarter, when the Dons raced out to a 5-2 lead. They held their lead wire to wire, unlike the first meeting between these Towson rivals, which Loyola won on goal with three seconds to go in the game.
Loyola had to use all of its players on Monday, as Alex Porter, who opened the scoring for Loyola, 38 seconds into the game. Kevin Balhoff and Feihe sat for a lengthy amount of time after all three received two ejections. (A foul results in an ejection and three ejections in one game eliminates a player from further participation, much like five fouls in basketball).
“We had three starters on the bench for more than half the game, and we still scored 15 goals,” said Loyola head coach Keith Schertle. “Oliver played the whole game, but guys that don’t normally get much playing time had to really step up today, and they did. This was our best team effort of the year.”
Bennett said the game was much closer than the score.
“We always go out fast, and tend to go up early. We started scoring on the sets we practiced.”
“Everybody stepped up,” said Feihe, who had back to back goals at the start of the fourth quarter to give the Dons a seven goal lead.
Calvert Hall won nine titles in a row before they were dethroned by the Dons in last season’s championship game, 8-7.
If Loyola advances to the finals on Saturday, they will be trying to make it two in a row. Schertle’s swimming teams have won 16 straight MSA/MIAA championships.
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|Loyola 15, Calvert Hall 9|
CH-Warren 2, Roberts 2, Rothman, Walker, Schatner, Stroup, Ward; LOY-Bennett 5, Feihe 5, McDonald 2, Daly, McGarvey, Porter.
CH-Wiese 10; LOY-Linder 9.