No. 2 Loyola dispatches Mount St. Joseph; Bateman scores six goals (VIDEO HERE!)
by Derek Toney
As his seniors celebrated victory in their final game at Hargaden Field Saturday afternoon, Loyola Blakefield lacrosse coach Ben Rubeor put his team’s impressive run in perspective.
“We have a group that’s dealt with a lot of distractions,” said Rubeor. “The kids brought the tickets, they got to take the ride. Those things happening outside of that ride are nice, but they’re not important to what we’re trying to accomplish.”
The second-ranked Dons won their seventh straight decision with an 18-8 dismantlement of No. 13 Mount St. Joseph in a MIAA A Conference contest in Towson. Senior Liam Bateman finished wth six goals and an assist for Loyola (13-3 overall, 7-1 MIAA A), and Connor Hume added a hat trick in his home finale.
The Dons ran off seven unanswered goals en route to an 11-3 halftime cushion and send their 20 seniors off in rousing fashion. During halftime, Loyola’s 1968 MSA (Maryland Scholastic Association) B Conference championship was honored.
The current Dons have been playing with a championship edge since dropping its league opener to Archbishop Spalding.
“It was a wake up call. We went in there thinking we were going to roll them,” said Loyola senior defender and tri-captain Andrew Florenzo. “We had to change the mindset today and not take this team lightly because they’re a good team.”
The Dons overwhelmed Mount St. Joseph, which pushed reigning champ Calvert Hall College Tuesday before falling 11-10. Nine players scored as Loyola recorded the second-highest tally in MIAA A play so far this spring.
Saturday, Bateman had a hat trick less than three minutes into the second quarter. The Loyola University recruit had six goals with three minutes remaining before halftime.
With Senior Day as part of the school’s annual BlakeFest, Bateman said the Dons were focused.
“I’ve been with these guys since middle school so it was really great…I love all these guys,” said Bateman. “Definitely a lot of emotions.”
Senior midfielder Alex Reid finished with two goals and an assist for Loyola, and sophomore Jack Koras scored twice. Senior attack Ryan Dunn added a goal and three assists.
Kyle DeCrispino recorded a hat trick for Mount St. Joseph (6-8, 2-5 MIAA A), and Corbett scored twice. The Gaels showed life in the second half, running off three straight scores after trailing 12-3.
It was little consolation for Mount St. Joseph coach Steve Berger.
“We tried to do things coming out and just weren’t ourselves and who you’re down 8-1, you’re trying to dig out of a hole,” said Berger. “They [Loyola] obviously had emotion and energy with their senior day.”
In its biggest challenge to date, Loyola will travel to Owings Mills Tuesday for a first-place showdown with No. 1 McDonogh School. The Eagles have also won seven straight decisions in the nation’s toughest lacrosse league after falling to St. Mary’s in their debut.
“I would give them the No. 1 seed because I think they put together a more complete season than we have,” said Rubeor, whose team last won at John McDonogh Stadium in 2012. “We’re steadily trying to get better and we took a step forward today…we got to heal up and rest up and bring our best effort Tuesday.”
No. 2 Loyola Blakefield 18, No. 13 Mount St. Joseph 8
Goals: Mount St. Joseph – DeCrispino 3, Corbett 2, Kiley, Oliver, Ordakowski; Loyola – Bateman 6, Hume 3, Koras 2, Reid 2, Burchell, Delanois, Dixon, Dunn, Isola.
Assists: Mount St. Joseph – Kiley, Oliver, Ordakowski; Loyola – Dunn 3, Bateman, Reid
Saves: Mount St. Joseph – Botsford 6, Larkin; Loyola – Lobber, Preis
Mount St. Joseph 1 2 3 2 – 8
Loyola 8 3 3 4 – 18