Lakers upend Calvert Hall with second half rally; Pietramala scores four goals
by PJ Owen
Special to VSN
Like one of the blustery and powerful wind gusts that swept through the area Friday, Boys’ Latin School’s offense blew through what had been a stingy Calvert Hall College’s defense to turn a four-goal deficit in the third quarter into a 10-8 victory in MIAA A Conference lacrosse action at Russo Stadium in Towson.
After being shut out in the third quarter, the Lakers (4-2 overall, 4-2 MIAA A) lashed the interior of the Cardinals defense for six goals, including the game winner from Ben Smith, who took a pass from Dominic Pietramala while cutting to the goal before flipping an over-the-shoulder shot into the goal for a 9-8 advantage with 2 minutes, 22 seconds left in the match.
“It’s just teamwork,” said Pietramala, who tied the match with about three minutes remaining while also exploiting the heart of the Calvert Hall defense with a timely cut. “Our coach just brought us in and told us, `It’s just one goal at a time. We’ve been here before. Play like a team; win like a team.’ We played like a team and won like a team.”
The Cardinals (3-3, 3-3 MIAA A) seemed to follow that same winning formula in the third quarter, turning their 5-4 halftime lead into an 8-4 advantage behind stellar defensive play, including some key saves from Tommy Lubin (10 saves for the match), and goals by JoJo Dean, Wyatt Hottle, and Jordan Wray, who flipped in a wraparound shot during an extra-man opportunity.
Pietramala (four goals, three assists) started the turnaround, however, with a goal less than a minute into the fourth quarter on a deep, line drive shot. Hopper Zapplitello then bounced in a shot and sped around the goal for another score to trim the deficit to 8-7 with 5:17 left in the match. Pietramala forged the tie and Smith tossed in the game-winner before Garrett Glatz all but sealed the victory with a goal at the 1:40-mark of the quarter.
“I’m proud of our seniors,” Boys’ Latin coach Brian Farrell said. “It takes leadership when the boat’s rocking a little bit and I felt they kept everybody calm, cool, and collected and we just kept chipping away, but again back to the seniors, of them not getting too down on the guys. I think earlier in the season, it would have been a different story, but I was really proud of those guys.”
While the Lakers offense was heating up in the fourth, the Cardinals were plagued by errant passes both in their offense sets and in transition. Those misguided throws severely limited the team’s possession and scoring chances.
It was another lesson for a relatively inexperienced Calvert Hall squad.
“They haven’t been in a situation like that with a team coming back on us,” Cardinals coach Bryan Kelly said. “I just think we reverted back to immaturity of not experiencing it. We were just tenative: indecisions and the wrong decisions. You either have to be committed or not committed and we were not committed as a young group. (The poor passing) has been an issue with certain guys when the storm hits–we have to work on it.”
Both offenses started the contest strong, resulting in a 3-3 tie after quarter of play. Aden Johnson, Mic Kelly, and Dean each notched a score for the Cardinals with Pietramala netting two goals and Smith adding one for the Lakers. Kelly’s goal tied the score at three with 2:16 left in the quarter off an assist from Hottle.
The stingy play of the Calvert Hall defense, led by a handful of saves by Lubin, limited Boys’ Latin to a single second quarter score for a 5-4 halftime lead. Shuey Kelly and Mic Kelly blasted in a pair of goals for the Cardinals, who were also largely limited by the Boys’ Latin defense and Lakers goalkeeper Cardin Stoller (eight saves) in the second quarter.
Jackson Walsh kept the Lakers within a goal at the half by tossing in a line drive shot off a pass from the ever-present Pietramala.
The gut-check victory keeps Boys’ Latin in fourth-place in the MIAA A, a half-game behind third-place Archbishop Spalding and a full-game behind second-place St. Mary’s. Next week, the Lakers host the Saints (Tuesday) and Loyola Blakefield (Thursday) and travel to Mount St. Joseph Friday.
“It’s a huge win for us. We played like Lakers play,” said Pietramala, who’s verbally committed to the University of North Carolina. “We just stuck to the game plan. We just had to be more mobile. We had to give everything we had.”
Boys’ Latin School 10, Calvert Hall College 8
GOALS: BL – Pietramala 4, Zappitello 2, Smith 2, Walsh, Glatz. CH – M. Kelly 2, Dean 2, Hottle, Wray, Johnson, S. Kelly.
ASSISTS: BL – Pietramala 3, Brooks 2. CH – Down, Hottle, Young.
SAVES: BL – Stoller 8. CH – Lubin 10.
Boys Latin 3 1 0 6 – 10
Calvert Hall 3 2 3 0 – 8