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Saints put up front to storm by Leopards

April 02, 2010|BY BOB PARASILITI
  • Saint James' Ryan Doyle, right, tries to check the ball away from Smithsburg's Adam Shaw (31).
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

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    SAINT JAMES -- The Saint James boys lacrosse team used the forecast to weather a storm.

    "When you are playing in 80-degree weather after playing in the 50s, it ends up feeling like 90 out there," said Saint James coach Ben Louchheim. "We knew it was going to be a hot day and we wanted to keep the ball for long possessions so we could rest on offense."

    Guess the Saints can call that the Warm Front offense. It made for an inclement afternoon for the Leopards on Thursday as Saint James scored the first three goals of the game with a deliberate attack and coasted to a 10-4 victory.

    The Saints kept the ball in the offensive end and took advantage of the Leopards' inability for clean passing and wins on ground balls to make the game no day at the beach for Smithsburg.

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"All that could go wrong for us, did," said Smithsburg coach Joe Dietrich. "They killed us on ground balls and they clearly were better in stick-handling. They played lacrosse better than we did today."

Ryan Doyle, Kevin McCormack, Ben Louderback and Andrew Ludwick had two goals each to pace the Saints (4-0).

Saint James set the early tone by storming to a 3-0 lead in the first period and scoring the first four goals of the game. Then the Saints settled into the deliberate style, which put a dark cloud over the Leopards.

"We were chasing them and we didn't pick it up," Dietrich said. "We had to pick it up in all the critical areas -- like ground balls -- and we didn't do that."

Ludwick, Jamie Peterson and Louderback each scored in a five-minute span of the first quarter to stake the Saints to the lead. Louderback charged in from the sideline and scored off a pass from Hal Smith in the first 30 seconds of the second quarter for the 4-0 lead.

"We wanted to jump on them early," said Louchheim said. "We knew they would be a great team. They have been around here in lacrosse forever. It was nice to get up 3-0, but we didn't let up."

Saint James continued to hold the edge in what became a physical game, which became more frustrating to Smithsburg.

Cullen Ganley and A.J. Minnich scored for the Leopards, but the Saints led 6-2 at the half.

Saint James led 8-2 by the end of the third quarter on scores by Ludwick and McCormick.

Luke Slick and Clayton Layman scored for Smithsburg in the fourth period, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Saints. Nate Lowery and Doyle closed out St. James' scoring.

"We tell our guys that 80 percent of the teams that win the ground ball battle win games," Louchheim said. "This game helped us build character. Our first three games were easy. Against Smithsburg, we wanted to see what we were made of."

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