Coming off a win at No. 2 St. Mary’s early this week, No. 6 St. Paul’s had a feeling that they finally found their rhythm. In a second straight MIAA A Conference road lacrosse contest, at No. 3 Calvert Hall, the Crusaders took an early lead and never looked back, knocking off the Cardinals 12-8.
“This was a tough week, but every week in the MIAA is,” St. Paul’s coach Rick Brocato said. “This is as good a win we have had at Calvert Hall in long time and I really proud of the kids. We are starting to hit our groove, we are coming together and we have a good feeling about ourselves now. They kids are pulling it together, they are working hard and supporting each other.”
Joe Pollard led the way on offensive for St. Paul’s (9-4) with four goals and Carter Flaig added one goal and three assists. In addition, Ben Bagli scored twice.
“It is so huge to get on a roll in the MIAA and it is really important to keep picking up these wins,” Pollard said.
Senior goalie A.J. Barretto was a brick wall cooling off the hot Calvert Hall (9-3, 2-2 in the MIAA A) offense with 17 saves.
“I was seeing the ball really well, but our defense did a really good job pushing people and denying shots,” Barretto said.
The win puts the Crusaders in a three way for second place with McDonogh and Boys’ Latin, all three teams are 3-1 in the MIAA A Conference. St. Paul’s will take on No. 1 Loyola for a shot at first place in the conference with just over two weeks remaining in the regular season.
After falling behind 1-0 early in the first quarter, via a Pollard goal, the Cardinals answered when Brendan Curry fired in a goal in the top right corner of the net at the 8 minute and 34 second mark. The Crusaders got rolling scoring four straight goals from Pollard, Flaig, Mitch Gordon and Alex McGovern.
“We were confident in our offensive and we able to make plays,” Brocato said.
The Brooklandville school carried a 9-4 lead into halftime.
“Our team really scores in bunches, so it important for us to get some quick goals after a team has made a run against us,” Pollard said.
Calvert Hall cut the St. Paul’s advantage down to four with a tally from Timmy Kelly (3 goals) 36 seconds into third quarter. Pollard and Manny Mastromanolis increased the Crusader margin to six with six minutes left in the third quarter.
The Cardinals got back-to-back goals from JT Bugliosi in the fourth, but St. Paul’s was able to coast to the win.
“We got away from what we need to do and have good possessions,” Calvert Hall coach Bryan Kelly said. “We shot a couple of fast break shots right into the goalie’s stick and you just can’t do that. We learn from it and hopefully get better.”
NO. 6 ST. PAUL’S 13, NO. 3 CALERT HALL 8
SP 6 3 2 1 — 12
CH 2 2 1 3 — 8
Goals: St. Paul’s-Joe Pollard 4, Bagli 2, Flaig, McGovern, Milchling, Rockhill, Gordon, Mastromanolis; Calvert Hall-T. Kelly 3, Brown, DeBerry, Bugliosi 2, Curry.
Assists: St. Paul’s-Flaig 3, Gordon 3, Milchling, McGovern, Joe Pollard, Jack Pollard; Calvert Hall: J. Kelly.
Saves: St. Paul’s-Barretto 17; Calvert Hall-McSorely 8.