Precocious freshman Pietramala’s nine-point effort leads seventh-ranked Boys’ Latin past No. 5 Loyola; Morton makes 11 saves, adds an assist in Lakers’ third straight MIAA A lax victory (VIDEO HERE!)
by Nelson Coffin
The Boys’ Latin School lacrosse team unleashed a new and very powerful force Friday, one that could have a long-lasting effect on the MIAA A Conference this season and for years to come.
In just his second game back after recovering from an injury, lefty freshman attackman Dominic Pietramala, by scoring a game-high seven goals and adding two assists in a 15-8 triumph over No. 5 Loyola Blakefield, has the seventh-ranked Lakers soaring again after some early-season stumbles.
“Obviously, we had no answers for No. 38 (Pietramala),” first-year Loyola coach and BL alumnus Gene Ubriaco said. “We tried to shut him off, and that didn’t work. Then we zoned him a little bit and then tried a tall basketball kid on him. Nothing worked. I don’t know that I’ve seen a kid in this league as talented as that kid.”
In what turned out to be a less-than-enjoyable homecoming for Ubriaco to J. Duncan Smith Field in North Baltimore, Pietramala took center stage by netting three of BL’s first four goals — and assisting on the other one — while helping the Lakers build a 6-1 advantage in the opening quarter.
That fast start turned out to be crucial for the Lakers (7-4 overall, 3-1 MIAA A), whose margin of victory over the Dons (6-4, 3-2 MIAA A) made it clear that they are back in title contention after securing playoff tie-breakers with McDonogh School and Loyola.
BL edged McDonogh earlier in the week, 10-9, as Pietramala put the Lakers ahead for good on his third goal of the game.
“It felt good to be back,” said Pietramala, the son of Johns Hopkins University men’s lacrosse coach Dave Pietramala. “This was a huge week for us with two games we had to win.”
Other Lakers who shined were junior goalie JT Morton, junior face-off specialist Braden McClure and junior close defenseman Blake Gable.
Morton made 11 saves and assisted Pietramala’s fourth goal on a long clearing pass with one second left in the first quarter.
McClure more than held his won at the face-off ‘X’ and Gable did a nice job of guarding standout Loyola attackman Jack Koras, who still finished with a pair of goals and as many assists.
“It was a total team effort,” BL coach Brian Farrell said. “We had two excellent days of practice and then did what we do best.”
Three times Loyola shaved the deficit to three goals on tallies by Koras, senior midfielder Alex Breschi and Koras again, yet each time the Lakers responded in kind on goals by junior midfielder Ryan Evans, Pietramala and sophomore attackman Ben Smith.
The Dons never got closer than four goals in the second half, and that happened only once when sophomore midfielder Matt Rice converted a Koras feed to make it 10-6 with under six minutes remaining in the third quarter.
After Evans converted a pass from Pietramala, 90 seconds later to begin a 3-0 run, the Lakers’ margin was never slimmer than five goals.
“As coaches, we knew we were walking into a lions’ den,” Ubriaco said. “But I’m not sure the boys believed that. It seemed like by the time we got off the bus, a lot of goals were scored.”
While the Dons will have a chance to make amends against Mount St. Joseph on Tuesday, the Lakers will have another pivotal encounter when they host No. 2 St. Mary’s the same day.
NO. 7 BOYS’ LATIN SCHOOL 15, NO. 5 LOYOLA BLAKEFIELD 8
LB 1 4 2 1 — 8
BL 6 3 4 2 — 15
Goals: LB-Jack Koras 2, Kevin Tucker 2, Alex Breschi, Matt Dixon, Chase Llewellyn, Matt Rice; BL-Dominic Pietramala 7, Ryan Evans 3, Ben Smith 3, Garrett Glatz, Avery Tankersley.
Assists: Loyola; Jack Koras 2, Charlie Koras 2, John Rineman, Dave Lamarca; BL-Dominic Pietramala 2, Cam Spencer 2, Mackenzie Moreland 2, JT Morton, Ryan Evans.
Saves: Loyola-Kevin Ellington, Max Emde 3; JT Morton 11.