No. 4 Calvert Hall starts quickly to subdue No. 7 Severn

by Nelson Coffin

Mary Mandish, the unofficial team photographer for Severn, wondered just how many players named Kelly played for No. 4 Calvert Hall in the seventh-ranked Admirals’ key Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference lacrosse battle against the Cardinals on Friday afternoon at Paul Angelo Russo Stadium in Towson.

To Mandish, whose son, Joel, is a senior midfielder who missed the game due to a knee injury, it must have seemed like a lot more than just two Kelly’s — senior Jacob Kelly and his sophomore brother, Daniel — playing attack, considering the impact the siblings had on Calvert Hall’s 13-6 triumph.

Daniel, who had the hot hand early, produced a game-high five goals while his older brother added a pair of goals and three assists in the victory played — where else? — on Kelly Field while being coached by their dad, Bryan.

The family feeling permeated throughout the roster as the Cardinals (11-3, 5-2 A Conference) played a very unselfish game while holding off an Severn squad that had just knocked off No. 3 Boys’ Latin on Tuesday while Calvert Hall had to rally from an early 3-0 deficit to edge No. 13 Mount St. Joseph, 11-10.

Jacob Kelly, the reigning VSN Player of the Year, did not play against the Gaels because of an injury, making the team’s leading scorer’s return to the lineup a welcome event for his father, brother and other teammates.

“Last week was a good test for us,” Jacob Kelly said. “It was good to see the team react in a good way (to playing without him) and go out and get a good win against a good team.”

The game was also a renewal of sorts for Daniel Kelly, who was held to one goal and an assist in the win over St. Joe.

The younger Kelly matched those point totals on his first two shots on Friday, taking feeds from seniors Zach Green and Timmy Kroneberger and whistling the ball past Severn senior goalie Cooper Emmons to stake the Cards to 2-0 lead midway through the opening period.

Daniel Kelly wasn’t through.

Big brother Jacob found him open inside after Calvert Hall’s ride produced an unsettled situation less than two minutes later for a 3-0 advantage that ballooned to 4-0 when Green shoveled in a loose ball that had squirted from a scramble in front of Cooper.

“Today, we jumped on them early,” Jacob Kelly. “Their face off guy (Jacob Jarosz) was really good, but we handled that pretty well. It was good to see my little brother net a few early, too.”

The hero of the Admirals’ upset of BL, senior attackman Dylan Gergar, finished a fastbtreak with two seconds left in the quarter to make it, 4-1, and then the Penn commit scored again early run the second period to halve the margin.

Junior midfielder Grant Mitchell and Jacob Kelly restored the four-goal difference for Calvert Hall before halftime that grew to 9-3 late in the third quarter after Daniel Kelly and Severn senior attackman Danny Boldt traded goals and senior attackman Jack Sawyer and Jacob Kelly countered for the Cardinals.

At that point, the hosts were cruising until offsetting penalties coupled with an ill-advised non-releasable unsportsmanlike penalty put them in danger of squandering the big lead.

The Admirals (7-6, 4-5) were quick to respond when senior midfielder Jake Lilly scored when it was five-on-five before junior midfielder Henry Rentz and Gergar tallied on extra-man sets to put the game in reach at 9-6 with just over a minute left in the third quarter.

With momentum clearly in the Admirals’ corner, the tide turned back toward the Cardinals when Sawyer spotted unheralded sophomore midfielder Justin Mintzer in front of the goal. Mintzer’s clutch catch-and-finish with 40 seconds left in the period made it 10-6 and was followed by a Jacob Kelly-to-Sawyer score 39 seconds later.

“Justin’s a very good player and very good inside,” Jacob Kelly said. “He catches everything you throw at him and he’s a good finisher, too.”

If that spree wasn’t the knockout punch, goals by Sawyer and Daniel Kelly in the fourth quarter were the final blows that felled the Admirals.

“We had some self-inflicted wounds, with four failed clears in the first quarter,” Severn coach Joe Christie said. “You can’t do that against a well-coached team like Calvert Hall. We didn’t take advantage of the face-offs we were getting with Jacob Jarosz, and we just didn’t execute on offense or defense. We didn’t match Calvert Hall’s emotion today.”

Bryan Kelly said that his message to his team was simple.

“We needed to refocus,” he said. “I told them just to go out and have fun. Play with joy and the results will take care of themselves.”

The loss puts the Admirals, whose final league game is slated for next Friday against archival and No. 5 St. Mary’s, in a precarious position regarding a playoff bid while currently in seventh place in a league that advances only the top six teams to the postseason.

Calvert Hall, on the other hand, still has conference games remaining against unranked John Carroll, No. 6 St. Paul’s and second-ranked Loyola Blakefield.

Pictured above: Daniel Kelly, who finished with five goals, makes a move during Calvert Hall’s rout of No. 7 Severn.

SEV 1 1 4 0 — 6
CHC 4 2 5 2 — 13
GOALS: Sev-Dylan Gergar 3, Danny Boldt, Jake Lilly, Henry Rentz. CH-Daniel Kelly 5, Jack Sawyer 3, Jacob Kelly 2, Justin Mintzer, Zach Green, Grant Mitchell.
ASSISTS: Sev-Zack Kinsella, Dylan Gergar 2, Gavin Johnson, Kain Domenech; CH-Jacob Kelly 3, Garrett Zungailia, Zach Green, Tim Kroneberger, Jack Sawyer, Grant Mitchell.
SAVES: Sev-Cooper Emmons 6; CH-Liam Darragh 9.