One day after sunny skies and 70 degree temperatures graced the Baltimore area, dark clouds and cold rain hovered over Towson, Tuesday afternoon, as top-ranked Calvert Hall hosted No. 7 Boys’ Latin in a pivotal MIAA A Conference lacrosse showdown.
Relying on an outstanding defensive effort and their season-long knack for stepping up at the critical moments of several close games, the young but maturing Cardinals outlasted the Lakers, 8-5, to remain unbeaten.
Calvert Hall (9-0, 5-0) never trailed in the contest, taking a 2-0 lead at the end of one quarter and building a 4-1 advantage early in the second quarter. The Cardinal offense, however, slowed in the middle of the game and the squad had to rely on a bull dog defensive effort to hold off the Lakers, who clawed back into the contest, getting as close as 4-3 early in the third quarter.
Junior Evan Connell stood strong in the middle of the defensive effort and contributed on offense as well, breaking free on a clear and burrying a second quarter shot with his long pole to give the Cardainals a 3-0 lead.
“We knew we had to stop Wells and Shack [Stanwick]. They’re both great players, so me and [Garrett] Epple and Carmen French played great defense, and Jack [Brust] was amazing in the cage today,” said Connell.
Patrick Kelly led the Cardinals with three goals, including two late in the fourth quarter that sealed the victory. He also deferred credit to the defense.
“We played great. The defense played really great. They got on the attackmen’s hands and made it difficult,” said Patrick Kelly, who also scored the day’s first goal with an assist from Johnny Kelly. “If you look at the stat sheet, everybody’s scoring. It’s not just one player. That’s what we’re stressing about this season. We’re very balanced. If we run a good offense, we can get a lot of people going and puts some numbers on the board.”
Boys’ Latin also did a good job defensing Calvert Hall, especially in the third quarter when the Cardinals were held scoreless.
That draught ended early in the fourth quarter when Kelton Black made a great one-handed catch of a tall pass, near midfield, and immediately fed senior Matt Diehl, who was all alone in front of the BL cage. Diehl simply made the catch, turned and beat Adam Davey for a 5-3 Calvert Hall lead. A few minutes later the Cards added an extra-man goal as Tom Hollenback scored with an assist from Patrick Kelly.
Calvert Hall’s other goal came from Brian Bolewicki in the first quarter.
Shack Stanwick scored his second goal of the game, with 2:38 to play, pulling BL back within two, at 6-4, but Patrick Kelly finally ended the suspense with a pair of unassisted goals in a 10 second span, pushing Calvert Hall’s lead to 8-4.
The day’s final score came from the Lakers’ Taylor Stothoff, with just 35 seconds to go, but Boys’ Latin would get no closer. Wells Stanwick and Trevor Kiddy each had a goal and an assist for the Lakers (5-3, 2-3).
Cardinal head coach Bryan Kelly said the season is young and his team has a long way to go.
“It’s halfway through the season. We haven’t accomplished anything yet, to get the next level of a playoff or anything,” said Kelly. “We’re just focusing one game at a time and we’re on to the next game.”
Calvert Hall 8, Boys’ Latin 5
BL 0 2 1 2 — 5
CH 2 2 0 4 — 8
Goals: BL-S. Stanwick 2, W. Stanwick, Kiddy, Stothoff; CH-P. Kelly 3, Bolwecki, Hollenback, Connell, J. Kelly, Diehl.
Assists: BL-W. Stanwick, Luck, Kiddy; CH-P. Kelly, Black, J. Kelly, S. Kelly.