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Boys’ lacrosse: @LoyolaDons rally to defeat @GilmanLacrosse, 9-8, in MIAA opener (with @KuddaLacrosse replay)

Friday, 4th April 2014

Categories Boy's/Men's, High school  

By Tom Peace, Posted 4/4/14

Loyola Blakefield started the 2014 MIAA season just as it ended the 2013 year – with a flair for the dramatic ending.

The Dons, who stunned Boys’ Latin to win the 2013 crown with a brilliant comeback, scored four straight goals to open the final period Friday and claimed a 9-8 victory over visiting Gilman School in this year’s league opener.

Ryan Conrad

Ryan Conrad

Loyola Blakefield is 5-3 overall and Gilman, ranked No. 12 in the Warrior/TopLaxRecruits Rankings, fell to 3-3.

Loyola junior attackman Ryan Conrad scored a goal and had two assists during that run in the fourth quarter.

“It was amazing, we fought hard the entire game,” said Conrad. “It was a really tough game, Gilman is a great team, but we came out we were ready to go, we prepared a lot this week (in practice).”

Gilman took a 6-5 lead in the final seven seconds of the third quarter when Andy Matthews found Will McBride for an EMO tally.

But Alex Roesner tied it off an assist by Conrad with 8:53 to play and then Roesner scored again 1:14 later to put the Dons ahead. Conrad and Brian Smith added on goals to make it 9-6.

Will McBride, who had a two-goal game and Andy Matthews (1G, 2A) scored to make it 9-8, but the Dons held.

“We wait too long to play and I don’t know what that’s about, but we wait too long to play,” said Gilman coach Brooks Matthews. “I’m disappointed that we didn’t throw the ball and pass the ball to each other like we normally do, and disappointed we stood around offensively and disappointed we didn’t talk more and communicate.”

Conrad finished with two goals and five assists for the Dons while Steve Jones added two goals.

Dons goalie Acie Newton made 14 saves.

The Dons entered the game after playing a tough out of conference schedule. Loyola-Blakefield played some of the best teams from Pennsylvania, New York, and Colorado to get prepared for the MIAA grind.

“We purposely schedule a tough non conference schedule to expose every weakness, and it does,” said Dons coach Jack Crawford. (laughing). “I think we knew going into this game what we did well and what we needed to improve on. The kids worked very hard the past few days to get ready for this game.”

The road doesn’t get any easier for Loyola-Blakefield as the Dons play McDonogh and Boys’ Latin next week. But getting a win over Gilman is definitely the boost the defending champions needed going forward.

“Last year was tough because we started off badly,” said Conrad. “This we got it going and I think we are going to have a really good year.”

Loyola Blakefield 9, Gilman 8

Gilman: Will McBride 2/0, Andy Matthews 1/2 , Tyler Ruhl 1/0, Chase Wittich 1/0, Andrew Gemma 1/0, Jake Waxter 1/0, Sam Wancowicz 1/0

Loyola-Blakefield: Ryan Conrad 2/5, Steve Jones 2/0, Alex Roesner 2/0, Brian Smith 1/0, Jack Lombardo 1/0, Sean Chasney 1/0

Saves: Gilman: Ben Schmerler: 3, Loyola-Blakefield: Acie Newton, 14

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