Nike/US Lacrosse Mid-Atlantic Region Report
by Mike Loveday | LaxMagazine.com
Top PerformersDevin McNamara, Loyola-Blakefield (Md.)
To say McNamara and Loyola-Blakefield did the improbable is an understatement. Of all the teams pegged as possible MIAA A conference contenders the Dons were likely the last team mentioned. But to use a cliche, that's why they play the games. The senior tallied 21 points in three wins - all over nationally ranked programs. McNamara capped his career with a six-point performance in the championship game, including the game-winning goal with 1:56 left in the 10-9 win over previously undefeated Boys' Latin.
Grant Ament, Haverford School (Pa.)
The sophomore was key in Haverford School's 13-11 victory over Malvern Prep (Pa.) in the Inter-Ac Invitational tournament. Ament tallied five points on three goals and two assists and earned the Star of the Game honors. Ament also had four ground balls in the victory.
Sam Beazell, St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (Va.)
The Saints senior goalie came up big to help lead his team to the VISAA title and its first IAC championship last week. Beazell made 35 saves over the course of four games, which included the VISAA and IAC semifinals and finals. First, the Saints downed Paul VI (Va.) for the VISAA title, 6-5, and Beazell made seven saves. Two days later in the IAC final against Landon (Md.), the senior made eight saves in a 7-5 victory. Beazell made 173 saves this season.
Games to Watch
Virginia High School League finals - June 7-8
The battle to be Virginia's best will be decided in June as the VHSL holds its championships. Chantilly is the No. 1 team in Virginia, according to LaxPower.com, but an undefeated Loundoun County team has yet to allow more than eight goals in any game this season.
New Jersey Tournament of Champions final - June 8
It is difficult to not love how New Jersey handles its penultimate game. All the group winners, public and private, move into the Tournament of Champions and much like The Highlander films, only one will survive. Can Delbarton complete its undefeated season and make its case for a No. 1 ranking? Or will a team like Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) or Summit (N.J.) make its move to win it all?
1. Gonzaga (D.C.), 19-2
Season Complete: The Purple Eagles won their fourth consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship with a 13-11 win over Paul VI (Va.) in the championship game on Monday. Gonzaga has won 16-straight games and has not lost to a conference opponent since 2009. Alex Corboy led the team with a game-high four goals in the championship victory and finished the year with 45 goals. Patrick Myers led the team with 24 assists and goalie Timmy Farrell made 141 saves this season.
2. Malvern Prep (Pa.), 16-2
Season Complete: Malvern as the No. 2 school may be controversial with the Friars 13-11 loss to end the season, but the Friars opened the season with a win over the eventual MIAA A champions, Loyola-Blakefield, and posted three wins over Top 25 teams this season.
3. Loyola-Blakefield (Md.), 13-8
Season Complete: The Dons may have made the most improbable run to a championship of any team in recent memory. Loyola barely made the MIAA A playoffs and entered the tournament on a three-game losing streak. But the Dons finished the season on a three-game winning streak and toppled the previously undefeated Boys' Latin in the title game, 10-9, to win the conference and shoot up the rankings this week.
4. Boys' Latin (Md.), 19-1
Season Complete: The Lakers' season ended in shock and heartbreak with a 10-9 loss to Loyola-Blakefield in the MIAA A championship game. The loss dropped the Lakers from national title consideration, but the season was still a successful one for coach Bob Shrivers squad. Boys' Latin posted eight wins over teams in the Top 25. With a junior class that includes Shack Stanwick and Tal Bruno the Lakers are sure to be back in the hunt for a title in 2014.
5. McDonogh (Md.), 14-4
Season Complete: Entering the MIAA A playoffs, it looked as though McDonogh could be the team to knock off Boys' Latin. The Eagles won eight-straight, which included two overtime wins. But a 13-4 loss to Loyola-Blakefield in the semifinals ended their season. Trey McGee scored two goals in the final game and the Eagles posted four wins over teams currently ranked in the Top 25.
6. La Salle (Pa.), 19-2
Matt Rambo scored four goals as La Salle won the Catholic League Championship 11-6 over St. Joseph's Prep last week. The win gives the Explorers nine of the last 10 Catholic League titles and helped them advance to the District 12 championship game where they defeated Northeast 18-4 to advance to the PIAA playoffs.
7. Gilman (Md.), 12-4
Season Complete: Gilman was the other team that appeared primed to make a run for the MIAA title two weeks ago. The Greyhounds won four straight after losing by just two to Boys' Latin on April 19. But a regular season loss to McDonogh gave Gilman the No. 3 seed in the playoffs and an opening round game against Loyola-Blakefield. The Dons won 17-14 to end Gilman's season. Gilman has four wins over current Top 25 teams this season.
8. St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (Va.), 18-6
Season Complete: It was an up and down season for the Saints. They started with a season-opening win over nationally ranked Episcopal Academy (Pa.) and moved to 3-0. Then they lost three of four. They didn't win more than four-straight games until the end of the year when it all came together. St. Stephen's finished with a six-game winning streak and won their first IAC championship, 7-5 over Landon (Md.), and added a Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) title with a 6-5 win over Paul VI (Va.).
9. Haverford School (Pa.), 15-7
Season Complete: The Fords make it back into the regional Top 10 by capping their season with four-straight wins and an Inter-Ac Invitational tournament championship. Haverford School toppled nationally ranked Episcopal Academy (Pa.) in the semifinals and followed up with a 13-11 win over ranked Malvern Prep (Pa.) in the championship game on May 22. Haverford defeated Episcopal Academy twice in the final four games of the season. Freshman goalie Alex DeMarco made 12 saves and sophomore Grant Ament had four assists and two goals in the championship win -- the fourth Inter-Ac Invitational title in five years for the program.
10. Salesianum (Del.), 17-2
Season Complete: Salesianum became the first team to win three straight Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) championships when it defeated Caesar Rodney 18-4 on May 26. Jason Kelly scored five goals to lead the team. The Sals allowed only 75 goals this season and have won 39 consecutive games against Delaware opponents. Coach Bob Healy led his team to a win over IAC regular season champion Georgetown Prep (Md.) and New Jersey South, Group 3 champion Shawnee. The only losses for the Sals this season were by a combined six goals to Inter-Ac champion Malvern Prep (Pa.) and IAC co-champion St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (Va.).
News and Notes
Saints get first
St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (Va.) entered the season with high expectations. The Saints got an early win over nationally ranked Episcopal Academy (Pa.) to enter the rankings, but after a 3-0 start dropped three of four games and disappeared from the rankings.
However, while the Saints were gone they were not forgotten.
With a 7-5 win over Landon (Md.) in the IAC championship game on May 20 the Saints won their first IAC title and also posted their first win over Landon.
Senior Isaiah Davis-Allen scored the game-winning goal with 5 minutes 22 seconds left in the game to lead his team to victory and help them end the season on a six-game winning streak.
"We want to defend our state championship and we want to win the IAC," coach Andy Taibl said in an interview after the Episcopal win. "That's something that's never been done here. But that's something you can't say you want to do -- you have to go out and do it."
St. Stephen's will split the IAC title with Georgetown Prep (Md.), which won the regular season championship.
The Saints defended their VISAA title with a 6-5 win over Paul VI (Va.) on May 18. Goalie Sam Beazell recorded seven saves in the title win.
Dons stun Lakers
On paper it appeared as a no-contest win. Loyola-Blakefield barely made the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association playoffs and was on a three-game losing streak. To get to the title game they had to get through nationally ranked Gilman (Md.) and McDonogh (Md.), just to play undefeated Boys' Latin (Md.).
Improbable? Yes. Impossible? No.
Behind a stellar performance by Devin McNamara the Dons defeated Boys' Latin 10-9 to claim the MIAA A championship and end the Lakers undefeated season.
Loyola overcame a six-goal deficit at one point, then had to battle back from two goals down late in the fourth quarter by scoring the final three goals of the game to win.
McNamara scored the game-winning goal with 1:56 left in the game to get the win. The Villanova commit finished with four assists and two goals in the win. He accumulated 21 points in the three-game playoff run to lead the Dons to the title.
The title is Loyola's 12th overall championship and its first MIAA championship since 2008.
Around the Mid-Atlantic
The Haverford School (Pa.) won the Inter-Ac Invitational with a 13-11 victory over nationally-ranked Malvern Prep (Pa.) on May 23. The Fords, which plays a lineup of mostly freshmen and sophomores finished the season with a four-game winning streak that included two wins over Episcopal Academy (Pa.) and the Malvern Prep victory. The Fords are likely to be a Top 5 or Top 10 team to start the national rankings next season. ... University (W.Va.) won its second state championship in three years with a 17-3 win over Morgantown. ... Highland School (Va.) won the VISAA II title with a 21-13 win over Covenant (Va.). ... Hereford (Md.) capped another title with a 13-3 win over Glenelg (Md.) in the Maryland Class 4A/3A championship game. Fallston (Md.) won Class 2A/1A and Westminster (Md.) won the 4A/3A title. ... Sts. Peter & Paul (Md.) won the MIAA B title 13-11 over John Carroll (Md.) and Gerstell Academy (Md.) won the MIAA C title 12-6 over St. John's Catholic Prep (Md.).
Note: The Nike/US Lacrosse Regional rankings will not necessarily reflect the same order as the Nike/US Lacrosse National Top 25 poll, which is voted on by US Lacrosse area representatives and Lacrosse Magazine contributors, who compile the regional rankings.