MIAA A Conference lacrosse championship preview

The Baltimore Sun

No. 1 Calvert Hall (15-2) vs. No. 2 Loyola (16-3)

When: Friday, 8 p.m.

Where: Johnny Unitas Stadium

Coaches: Bryan Kelly, Calvert Hall; Jack Crawford, Loyola

Last meeting: Calvert Hall won, 11-6, April 2


Calvert Hall: Stephen Kelly, Jr., MF; Patrick Kelly, Sr., A; Evan Connell, Sr., D; Dimitri Pecunes, Sr., G, Ryan Brown, Sr., A.

Loyola: Deemer Class, Sr., MF; Devin McNamara, Jr., A; Matt Dunn, Sr., D; T.J. Neubauer, Sr., MF; Chris Thomas, Sr., G.


These teams took different paths reaching the title game.  While the Cardinals look to take the final step following a tough loss to Gilman in last year's championship game, the Dons made huge strides after not qualifying for the playoffs in a rebuilding season a year ago.

Calvert Hall got a scare in the semifinal round, having to come back from a 6-4 halftime deficit against No. 4 Boys' Latin before prevailing, 11-10. The Dons made quick work of No. 3 and defending league champion Gilman, scoring the game's first 10 goals in a 13-7 win to advance.

In their regular-season meeting, the Cardinals jumped out to an 8-0 lead and rolled at home, with Patrick Kelly providing the offensive spark with four goals and one assist. Stephen Kelly, the area's finest faceoff man, continually gets the Cardinals the ball and an array of talented finishers can put goals on the scoreboard in a hurry.

In reaching the title game, the senior-laden Dons have paid close attention to detail with focus on the next play in front of them. That must continue against the Cardinals, who have depth and limited weaknesses. Making the most of each possession and getting a strong game from Thomas in goal will play big for the Dons to come away with a victory.

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