After tough losses over the weekend, Loyola Blakefield and Severn School knew Tuesday’s MIAA A Conference lacrosse match was a must win.
With the playoffs quickly approaching, the No. 3 Dons strengthen their case. The Towson school used a balanced offensive attack and a stingy defense to propel themselves to an 11-6 decision over the No. 7 Admirals in Anne Arundel County.
“Coming off of that loss to St. Mary’s we knew that this was a must win game and for some of us this is our last shot to win the championship,” said Loyola senior Deemer Class, who had a game-high three goals.
“I felt that today there was really sense of urgency our part that maybe wasn’t there on Saturday,” Dons coach Jack Crawford, whose dropped an 11-8 decision at home to St. Mary’s last Saturday. “Today, the team came down here with the understanding that this was a must win game.”
It didn’t take long for Loyola (13-3 overall, 5-2 MIAA A) to put Saturday’s home loss to St. Mary’s behind it. The Dons scored the game’s first seven goals as six different players notched a score.
“Our offense is really spread out with a lot playmakers and that makes it hard for the defense just to focus on guy,” said Class, who will play for Duke University next year.
Loyola’s defense flustered the Admiral offense in the first half with 10 turnovers.
Down 8-1 in the third period, Severn (14-5, 3-4 MIAA A), which took No. 1 Calvert Hall College to overtime before falling last Friday, tried to rally with goals by Nick Manis and Mike Dennin. But goals by Class and defenseman Gerad Clothier pushed the Loyola margin back to eight with 9 minutes and 50 seconds left in the fourth period.
“I was very pleased with how smart we were with our decisions on offense, communicated and how we defended the ball,” said Crawford.
Loyola took valuable minutes away from the Admirals with excellent possessions to close out the win. Severn would three unanswered goals late in the fourth period, but the damage was already done.
“We had to focus on a lot of stuff especially on possessing on the ball, they [Severn] have a really good system on defense,” said Class. “We knew that had to finish on our chances, something we didn’t do on Saturday against St. Mary’s and we did that today.”
The Dons, sitting in a tie for second with Gilman and Boys’ Latin in the league standings, travel to Archbishop Spalding Friday evening. Severn hosts neighborhood league rival St. Mary’s (3-4 MIAA) Friday afternoon in a key match.
No. 3 Loyola Blakefield 11, No. 7 Severn School 6
Loyola 5 3 1 2-11
Severn 0 1 2 3-6
Goals: Loyola – Class 3, Conrad, Neubauer 2, O’Toole, Dalton, Distler, Clothier, Hardwick; Severn – Gray 2, Manis, Dennin, DeStefano, Lamon.
Assists: Loyola – Clise; Severn – Manis 2, O’Mally.
Saves: Loyola – Thomas 8; Severn – Frey 6.