In a dramatic battle that underscores the excellence of MIAA A Conference lacrosse, top-ranked Calvert Hall and No. 2 Boys’ Latin went toe-to-toe in a double overtime thriller, Tuesday afternoon in Towson, before a goal from senior midfielder Brendan Curry delivered a sudden, 11-10, victory for the Cardinals with 2:06 left in the second OT.

The game-winner came on a play that Curry and junior Jacob Kelly had been trying to work all afternoon. Working against a BL zone that had stymied the Cardinals most of the afternoon, Kelly setup 10-yard behind the goal on the right side and flicked an on-time feed to Curry, as has slice inside a defender, ripped his winning shot.

“We had a play ready,” said Kelly, who had three goals and four assists in the victory. “We ran it a few times earlier and it didn’t really work out, but I knew Brendan was going to be there. I am glad he was able to can it and I could get it to him.”

Similar to the winning goal, Calvert Hall (13-2, 7-0 MIAA A) had to work for everything it got on this afternoon. Although the game was tied five times, the Cardinals never led until the claimed the win to take sole possession of first place in the MIAA and, in the process, clinch a first round bye for the playoffs.

Basil Aburn scored early in the first quarter to give the Lakers (12-4, 6-1 MIAA) a quick 1-0 lead and the teams traded goals for the entire opening quarter, which ended in a 3-3 tie. The game was tied at 4-4 in the second when BL got back-to-back tallies from Reagan McNemar and Greg Ey to open the game’s first two goal lead at 6-4, and the Lakers led 7-5 at intermission.

In the third quarter, Kelly, with an assist from Curry made it a one goal game once again, but Boys’ Latin answered with scores from Ey and freshman Brendan Grimes to take it’s biggest lead of the game at 9-6, with 10:52 to play in the quarter. Kelly fed his brother Daniel Kelly for a Calvert Hall score to bring it to 9-7 and it stayed that way until the end of third quarter. A pushing call with one second to go in the third, however, led to an extra-man goal by Boys’ Latin, early in the fourth quarter, as the Lakers re-established a three-goal advantage.

The Lakers would not score again.

Jacob Kelly assisted Collin Allen to make it 9-7 BL, Curry scored unassisted and Kelly scored, with an assist from JT Bugliosi, to even things up with 7:40 remaining in the fourth quarter.

“We gave up a few easy goals for them, losing guys in the middle of the field,” said Kelly of the Cardinals second half deficit. “Once we cleaned that up, our attack was able to get some rides back, we got some transition goals and it really helped us.”

Both goalkeepers had outstanding days and Calvert Hall’s Liam Darragh was especially tough in the four quarter when he made four of his 10 saves, including a point blank stop against Grimes with 8:13 remaining in regulation.

“He just bore down,” said Calvert Hall coach Bryan Kelly of Darragh, who finished with 10 saves. “He’s getting to his spots, which is key. He’s been playing really well for us and I think he does a really good job in the clearing game.”

According to Curry, who had two goals and two assists in the contest, the victory does wonders for the team’s confidence.

“We haven’t really had to fight back that much,” said Curry. “This is huge, seeing we can maintain a lead and now knowing we can dog fight our way back into one.”

In addition to Jacob Kelly and Curry, Calvert Hall got two goals and two assists from Bugliosi, two goals from Allen, one goal and one assist from Daniel Kelly and a goal from Jack Sawyer.

Ey led the Lakers with a hat-trick. Matt Brandau had a goal and two assists, Garret Voigt had two scores and Basil Aburn and Raegan McNemar each had a goal and an assist. In addition, Konnor Caplin and Brendan Grimes each netted a BL goal, while Luke Shilling produced an assist.

“I felt our kids grinded it and they grinded out a win against a great team,” said Coach Kelly. “We have some good kids that compete. We kept our composure. It’s a good experience for us to be down at halftime, because you are going to be down at halftime.”

With the victory, Calvert Hall has clinched a first round bye in the playoffs. The Cardinals now have a one game lead on BL and two game lead on both McDonogh and St. Paul’s, which visits Calvert Hall on Friday night. Calvert Hall can finish no worse than tied for second-place and because of its head-to-head tie-break advantage over Boys’ Latin and McDonogh, the Cardinals will go directly to the league semifinals at Johns Hopkins. The Lakers still have a little work to do to lock up that second seed. They play at Gilman on Friday before closing at arch-rival St. Paul’s next Tuesday in game.

BL  3  4  2  1  –  0  0  —  10
CH  3  2  2  3  –  0  1  —  11
BL-Grey Ey 3, Garrett Voigt 2, Matt Brandau 1, Basil Aburn 1, Raegan McNemar 1, Konnor Caplin 1, Brendan Grimes 1; CH-Jacob Kelly 3, Brendan Curry 2, JT Bugliosi 2, Collin Allen 2, Daniel Kelly 1, Jack Sawyer 1.
ASSISTS: BL-Matt Brandau 2, Basil Auburn 1, Raegan McNemar 1, Luke Shilling 1; CH-Jacob Kelly 4, Brendan Curry 2, JT Bugliosi 2, Daniel Kelly 1.
SAVES: BL-Chris Brandau 11; CH-Liam Darragh 10.