In a three-game stretch, the No. 5 McDonogh Boys’ Lacrosse team was asked to face, hands down, the hardest high school schedule in the area.

Playing the highest ranked teams in the VSN Top 20 during a seven-day period, the Eagles fell short of the No. 2 Gilman Greyhounds, 8-3, on April 10, only to come back and down the area’s No. 1 Calvert Hall Cardinals, 7-6, on Friday.

But McDonogh (5-6) had another calling to the MIAA’s elite Tuesday night, going toe-to-toe with this week’s No. 2 Loyola Dons (12-1) in an exciting, but disappointing, 11-10 loss.

“I thought McDonogh played well, but I am disappointed in our execution,” Loyola coach Jack Crawford said.  “The one thing I am proud of is the fact that we were in a hole and we fought our way out of it.  

“Disappointed we put ourselves in the hole in the first place.  That was uncharacteristic of us, and that is the approach to the game, my fault as the coach, and you better believe we are going to work to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Working quickly to a 3-0 lead, Loyola posted a strong start behind Conor Dalton, Devin McNamara and Deemer Class, but the strong beginning would soon fall to a 7-3 deficit with the help of a seven-goal run for the Eagles.

Adding to his two first-quarter goals, Austin Frederick made his hat trick after the two goals of Evan Glaser and splitting the two goals of Trey McGee for a 7-4 halftime lead.

Loyola answered with a five-goal third quarter, winning four of the segment’s six face-offs to help tie the game at 7-7 and 8-8, before taking the final lead to the one-goal victory.

“We started out really strong, went up 3-0, and then we just didn’t keep it going,” McNamara said.  “They put seven on us, and we came out and decided we just had to keep going, and we really found the backside well.

“My teammates got me the ball in the right place and I just put it in.”

McNamara, in addition to his first quarter goal, scored three consecutive times for the Dons between the end of the third quarter and fourth-quarter start, capping his hat-trick with the final score of the third stage and his fourth goal to open the final period.

His second goal tied the game, 8-8, and his third and fourth goals helped put Loyola on route to its 11-goal finish.

“We were really just trying to move the ball around,” McNamara said of the Dons’ final goals.  “We weren’t trying to push anything; we weren’t trying to force it,  but we were trying to just play our offense… just trying to do what we had to do.”

Dalton finished his day with three goals for the Dons, while TJ Neubauen ended with two.  Loyola goalie Chris Thomas worked all four quarters to make seven saves in the goal.

The Eagles had three scorers mark multi-goal nights, including the four-goal game of Frederick and two-goal outings of McGee and Glaser.  Jack Clark and Black both scored once, helping McDonogh to two leads in the game, backed by the 12 saves from goalie Nick Doyle.

With the win, the Llossoyola Dons remain in the VSN No. 3 position, third to top-ranked Gilman and the team’s next foe; No. 2 Calvert Hall.

“Obviously a game like this makes you step back and look at a couple things; whether it is your preparation for a game or your execution,” said Crawford.

McDonogh heads away from its trio of the area’s elite, but the squad till must take on No. 5 St. Mary’s on April 21.

“I think anybody who doesn’t think they are a serious contender after today or Friday is not paying attention,” Crawford said of McDonogh.  “There is no way you van look at this McDonogh team and say they are not a good lacrosse team playing good lacrosse.

“We knew going into this game that they were a good team playing well, and we were going to have to play well to beat them.  That is a credit to their kids and a credit to their staff.”

You can email CJ Malinowski at cj@varsitysportsnetwork.com, and follow him on twitter.

No. 2 Loyola Dons 11, No. 5 McDonogh Eagles 10

LOY    3   1   5    2  —  11
McD    2   5   1   2  —  10

Goals: McD- A. Frederick 4, Glaser 2, McGee 2, Black, Clark; LOY- McNamara 4, Dalton 3, Neubauer 2, Class, Clise
Assists: McD- A. Frederick 2, Ringelman, Clark; LOY- Class 2, Hardwick 2, Distler, Neubauer, Conrad
Saves: McD- Doyle 10; LOY- Thomas 7