By Tom Peace
TopLaxRecruits.com. Posted 5/14/13
TOWSON, Md. – Sixth-seeded Loyola Blakefield, which barely got into the tournament, continued its stunning trek through the post-season tonight by thoroughly shocking second-seeded McDonogh, 13-4, in the second semifinal of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association tourney here at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium.
The upstart Dons (12-8, 3-6 in MIAA regular season) advance to meet No. 1 seed and the nation’s top-ranked team, Boys’ Latin (19-0), in the title game Friday at 8 p.m. at Towson.
Loyola Blakefield had qualified for the playoffs as the final seed as a result of Mount St. Joseph beating St. Mary’s Annapolis in double OT in the season’s final game. Loyola then stunned No. 3 seed Gilman, 17-14, in the first round and now the Dons have dispatched of the Eagles (14-4), who came into the tourney as the hottest team of all with an eight-game win streak.
“Two weeks ago we were in a situation where we didn’t even think we were going to make it into the playoffs,” said Loyola Blakefield coach Jack Crawford. “We got some help; we got a lot of help.
“And I think these guys understood when you have a second chance you make the most of it. They certainly have done that.
“This team has really fought through a lot of adversity all year long. Tonight was no exception. It was one more challenge they had to confront it was a very good team. When you are able to play as well as that against a team as well coached and athletic as McDonogh you’ve got to feel fortunate to come out with a win.”
Loyola seized a 4-2 halftime lead and totally dominated the second half as the Dons controlled possessions (12 of 21 face-offs) and won the battle of the groundballs (39-30).
Alex Roesner led the attack with four goals and Kevin Jackson had three goals and an assist while Devin McNamara contributed two goals and five assists. Ryan Conrad had two goals and an assist and Tyler Llewellyn scored twice.
“We got off to the quick lead and just kept pushing it,” said McNamara. “The defense played awesome and we were really moving well off the ball.
“I was not expecting this at all; we only made the playoffs because we got lucky. Our seniors got together and we said that this is a gift. We realized we had to play better if we wanted a chance to go to the championship.”
Trey McGee led McDonogh with two goals.
McDonogh coach Andy Hilgartner was disappointed with the loss, but not with his season.
“I am grateful to coach these kids, whether we win 13-4 or lose 13-4; they’re just an amazing group and we had an amazing season,” he said. “To have and 8-1 season (in the league) is something we are all extremely proud of.
“To have it end like this is obviously overwhelmingly disappointing I thought we would have played better, but we picked a bad night to have our worst night.
“Congrats to Loyola. He (Crawford) has them playing at their best and they’re a very good team right now. They have an opportunity to win a championship.”
This article will be updated.
Loyola Blakefield 13, McDonogh 4
Loyola Blakefield 2-2-3-6- 13
McDonogh 1-1-1-1- 4
Alex Roesner 4g
KevinJackson 3g, 1a
Devin McNamara 2g, 5a
Ryan Conrad 2g, 1a
Tyler Llewellyn 2g
Tim Nordbrook 2a
Kevin O’Toole 1a
Acie Newton 6 saves
Trey McGee 2g
Austin Frederick 1g
Bobby Austin 1g
Nick Doyle 8 saves