After a slow start to the lacrosse season, the Loyola Blakefield Dons bounced back by smoking out-of-conference Dulaney High School, Timonium, 10-1, April 9.
From there, the team kept rolling, right into the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association’s A Conference championship match-up May 14 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where they demolished Boys’ Latin, Baltimore, 10-6 before 4,500 fans.
The team was led by junior attackman Steele Stanwick with four goals and four assists on the day.
The Dons secured the lead by halftime and never looked back as Loyola’s Stanwick demanded the attention of Boys’ Latin, freeing up seniors Jared Gangler and Spence Daw, and junior Joe Cummings for additional goals.
Gangler and Stanwick’s hat trick evening, along with other Loyola offensive playmakers, were supported by seniors Tim Donovan and Gerald Savarese.
Loyola’s defense also remained strong, holding Boys’ Latin’s offense down while junior MJ Leonard made 17 saves in the game for Loyola.
In MIAA B Conference action, the Archbishop Curley Friars remained undefeated in conference competition and completed their perfect conference season by defeating Park School 8-6 on May 18 at Calvert Hall College High School, Towson.
This was the Friars’ first B Conference title honor in lacrosse, and according to head coach Joe Latona, this is the start of a long history in providing a quality program with consistent results.
The Friars were led throughout the season by their seniors. Yet, the championship game was a mix of scoring power with senior Doug Herdigan scoring three goals, junior Brandan Cappeletti with two goals, and sophomore Pete Lee, senior Kenny Whittaker and senior Joe Browning each with a goal.
Coach Latona credits senior goalie Ray Wodarski with an excellent outing over Park, notching 15 saves on the day.
The Friars ended their season with a 12-0 league record and 18-1 overall.
In the C Conference game, The Cardinal Gibbons School, Baltimore, faced Chapelgate Christian, Marriottsville, a repeat match-up from 2006. Again the Crusaders just could not get it done, as the Chapelgate Yellowjackets overpowered the Crusaders for a 10-6 win.
The Gibbons lacrosse program was prepping all week for the win; they wanted it. They spent time reviewing game scenarios just a day before, with spirits high and the thought of breaking the title ceiling.
The team is coached by Jamie Carver, who is in his fourth season. The Crusaders appeared in the play-offs during Carver’s first two seasons, then the finals last year and again this year.
Spurts of offensive brilliance and defensive stops were visible but the Crusaders could not sustain, with numerous penalties placing Gibbons at a distinct disadvantage.
To their credit, the Crusaders never let down. Led by seniors Ryan Kearney (four goals), Ben Stidham, Joe Valderas and junior David Nesbit, the Crusaders marched on until time ran out.
On the assist side, as he has done all year, senior Josh Skene, a team leader, top scorer and all-around exemplary player, had a solid game with key plays and one assist.