St. Mary’s defense, Barnett’s four goals send Calvert Hall lax to first league loss since 2018 (VIDEO HERE!)
by Nelson Coffin
It couldn’t last forever.
Calvert Hall College’s 20-game MIAA A Conference lacrosse winning streak is over after St. Mary’s edged the Cardinals, 7-6, Friday night at Pasacl Field in Annapolis.
Before the season, St. Mary’s coach Victor Lilly noted that the strength of his team would be its defense, and that was clearly the case in the closely contested battle.
“I didn’t lie, did I,?” Lilly said after the game. “It was a chess match, and we played as a unit.”
Senior goalie Wes Schmidt, shielded by his fellow University of Maryland signee Colin Burlace, Johns Hopkins commit Nick Kaufman and sophomore Sam Palmisano on the backline, also benefited from an active defensive midfield group that included junior long-sticks George Acton (Georgetown) and Riley Reese.
Seniors Chris Golini, junior Brogan Stofa and sophomores Wyatt Cotton and Sean Berzins wielded short-sticks for the Saints (3-1 overall and MIAA A) staunch ‘D.’
Meanwhile freshman Teddy Androus more than held his own at the face-off ‘X’ as St. Mary’s beat Calvert Hall for the first time since 2015.
The last time the teams met was in the 2019 title game at Unitas Stadium, won by the Cardinals, 15-7, to complete a historic three-peat.
The Hall had won 19 straight overall since 2019.
“We lost 24 seniors,” Calvert Hall coach Bryan Kelly said about his 2020 team that only played four non-league games before the season was canceled. “The majority of our kids have never played in a A Conference game until this season. So I’m disappointed by the loss, but not by their effort.”
Calvert Hall (1-1, 1-1 MIAA A) was also without senior attackman Truitt Sunderland, a University of Virginia signee, who broke his foot in a 10-9 opening-game win over Gilman School two weeks ago.
Even with Sunderland, it’s likely that goals would be at a premium in a game in which the Cardinals’ defense was also on its game in front of junior netminder Tommy Lubin.
Barnett gave the Saints an early lead when he turned quickly to his right and fired a shot past Lubin before Calvert Hall senior attackman Ethan Long (Penn State) knotted the score 25 seconds later.
St. Mary’s inched back ahead on sophomore midfielder Bobby Keane’s goal that was matched by Calvert Hall senior midfielder Mic Kelly’s rocket that tied it again until senior midfielder Will Brimhall sent St. Mary’s back on top, 3-2, with just over two minutes remaining in the first period.
Long and Barnett scored two goals apiece in a taut second quarter that sent the Saints into the intermission clinging to a 5-4 advantage.
Sophomores Shuey Kelly and Wyatt Hottle found the net to give Calvert Hall a slim 6-5 buffer heading into the final quarter.
That’s when Barnett somehow found a sliver of an opening by the near post to tie the game at 6-6 with 11 minutes left in regulation.
“I got a step on my man,” the UMBC recruit said. “I knew it was a close angle. I had to double-check to make sure it went in.”
After St. Mary’s failed to score with a two-man advantage, Calvert Hall came up empty on its next possession.
Sophomore attackman Nick Golini then found the perfect time to score his only goal of the game when he converted a feed from junior attackman Will Hopkins for the go-ahead goal with just under six minutes left.
The Cardinals had several opportunities to send the game into overtime, although the Saints’ defense had other ideas.
“St. Mary’s really played well,” Coach Kelly said. “They’re good and well coached. And I think we ran out of gas a little bit in the middle of the field. We’re trying to build. We played much better tonight than we did against Gilman (March 23).”
Lilly said that his team is focused on an A Conference postseason like no other — all the teams make the playoffs.
“We’re using every chance we get to prepare for the playoffs,” he said. “But we have so much respect for Calvert Hall and Coach Kelly. They’re still the champs — the class of the league — until somebody knocks them out of the playoffs.”
Both teams will face Mount St. Joseph next; Calvert Hall faces the Gaels next Tuesday while the Saints will host St. Joe on April 16.
ST. MARY’S 7, CALVERT HALL COLLEGE 6
CH 2 2 2 0 — 6
SM 3 2 0 2 — 7
Goals: Calvert Hall – Ethan Long 3, Mic Kelly, Wyatt Hottle, Shuey Kelly; St. Mary’s – Tyler Barnett 4, Nick Golini, Bobby Keane, Will Brimhall.
Assists: Calvert Hall – Shuey Kelly, Jordan Wray, Wyatt Hottle, Ethan Long; St. Mary’s -Will Hopkins 2, Tyler Barnett, Nick Golini.
Saves: Calvert Hall – Tommy Lubin 9; St. Mary’s – Wes Schmidt 8.