2023 MIAA Lacrosse Championships Preview
2023 MIAA Lacrosse Championships Preview
The stakes are set for the MIAA Lacrosse Championships taking place tonight at Loyola’s Ridley Athletics Complex. This article summarizes an insightful and thought-provoking conversation between two of Maryland’s most renowned lacrosse experts: Don Zimmerman and Bob Shriver. Shriver, who retired from coaching in 2015 after a storied 36-year career at Boys’ Latin, boasts an impressive record of 507 wins and only 140 defeats. Zimmerman, a National Lacrosse Hall of Fame inductee in 2017, served as the head coach for the UMBC Retrievers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County for 24 years. With their combined expertise and experience, few minds are better suited to offer valuable insights and analysis on everything MIAA Lacrosse. Let’s take a look at the matchups for tonight’s MIAA Lacrosse Championships.
Archbishop Curley vs Park School
The Archbishop Curley Friars are currently enjoying an impressive win streak, remaining undefeated since their last loss on April 12th. With a record of 9-7, the Friars have maintained a flawless performance in the MIAA B-Conference. Head Coach Chris Ogle boasts an extensive coaching tenure of 19 years, including ten years as the head coach. Under his guidance, the team has secured four MIAA B-Conference Championships in 2007, 2008, 2019, and 2022. Notably, the Friars adopt a strategic approach when it comes to player utilization, prioritizing the involvement of their versatile two-sport athletes. At Archbishop Curley, ten Friars actively participate in dual-sport endeavors, engaging in disciplines such as football, hockey, soccer, and even volleyball. Trey Magnaye, a prominent first-line midfielder committed to Bridgewater for soccer, exemplifies the impact these multi-talented athletes bring to the field. Another notable player to keep an eye on is James Zingo, a junior already committed to playing at Saint Joseph’s. Zingo’s exceptional performance throughout the season has made him an invaluable asset to the team’s offensive capabilities, with his potential for further growth and development yet to be fully realized. Eager to secure back-to-back titles, an unprecedented feat in the MIAA, the Friars approach each game with unwavering determination. Employing an up-tempo offensive strategy, they skillfully keep opposing defenses on their toes. However, Coach Ogle attributes the team’s greatest strength to their formidable defense, which thrives on maintaining a strong defensive structure, applying relentless pressure, and tactically challenging opponents. Notably, the decision to utilize two-way midfielders aligns with the team’s composition of dual-sport athletes, ensuring a balanced and effective gameplay approach.
Park School has emerged as a formidable presence throughout the MIAA B-Conference, capturing attention and commanding respect throughout the season. The team exudes a newfound level of confidence that has been absent for quite some time. Guiding this remarkable journey is Head Coach Josh Lauren, an esteemed alumnus of Park School’s Class of 2003, whose deep-rooted connection to the program fuels his leadership. Under Coach Lauren’s tutelage, the squad has experienced a phenomenal year, boasting an impressive 13-2 record. However, the Bruins encountered a humbling setback when they were decisively defeated by Archbishop Curley a few weeks ago, the only stain on their otherwise impeccable B-Conference performance. This defeat served as a much-needed wake-up call, as it came after a prolonged period of success that may have bred a sense of complacency within the team. Nonetheless, the past remains in the rearview mirror as Park School now finds itself in the MIAA Lacrosse B-Conference Championship for the first time since 2006, igniting a fervent desire to seize the moment. In parallel to Archbishop Curley, the Bruins possess a cohort of dual-sport athletes, with soccer players predominantly comprising this group. While each of these multi-talented individuals contributes significantly to the team’s efforts, it is Noah Heller who particularly shines with his ability to take control of the game. As a senior captain, Heller has consistently exhibited exceptional skill and leadership, solidifying his pivotal role within the Park offense. With numerous motivating factors driving their aspirations for victory, the upcoming match promises to be an enthralling encounter, as Park School aims to emerge triumphant.
McDonogh vs Calvert Hall
The McDonogh vs Boys’ Latin game certainly did not disappoint. The game was extremely tense from start to finish with multiple heart-clenching moments, especially in the closing moments. However, McDonogh emerged triumphant over Boys’ Latin with an 8-7 overtime victory in the MIAA A-Conference Semifinal. Boys’ Latin truly gave everything they had, with goalie Aiden Seibel standing on his head for most of the contest. He made some incredible saves down the stretch to keep the Lakers in the game. McDonogh stuck true to their gameplan and valued the ball every chance they got their hands on it. Smart passing led to limited turnovers which was crucial in a game with so much on the line. Drawing the attention of many Boys’ Latin defenders, this methodical approach ended up paying off as senior attackman McCabe Millon found the back of the net with a mere 1 minute and 54 seconds remaining in overtime. Undeniably, McDonogh stands as a strong contender for the nation’s top team, as evidenced by their performance on Tuesday. However, such accolades hold little significance unless the Eagles can secure consecutive MIAA A-Conference Championships. Expect McDonogh to leave no stone unturned, as they pour their hearts and souls into this upcoming matchup, with the ultimate goal of emerging as the victorious team.
Calvert Hall executed their game plan flawlessly on Tuesday night, securing a decisive victory over Loyola. The memories of their previous visit to Annapolis, where they suffered a disheartening defeat, still lingered. However, their return to the state capital marked a significant step towards championship glory. In a highly anticipated MIAA A-Conference Semifinal at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, the Cardinals emerged triumphant with an 11-8 win over Loyola. Shuey Kelly, bound for Georgetown University, showcased his offensive prowess with an impressive three-goal performance, complemented by Wyatt Hottle’s contribution of two goals and three assists. Overcoming a three-goal deficit, Calvert Hall orchestrated a remarkable comeback, outscoring the Dons by a 6-2 margin, thereby solidifying their place in tonight’s MIAA A-Conference Lacrosse Championship. This marks the Towson school’s first appearance in the title game since their historic three-peat from 2017 to 2019 in the nation’s premier high school boys lacrosse league. Although their 2023 league campaign commenced with a disappointing 13-3 loss to St. Mary’s in late March, Calvert Hall’s midfield unit showcases exceptional depth and athleticism. Senior standout Noah Brannock epitomizes these qualities, seamlessly transitioning between defense and offense while showcasing remarkable stamina. Additionally, Donovan Lewis and Josh Nagy, both renowned for their prowess in other MIAA sports, bring invaluable versatility to the team’s offensive strategies, adeptly drawing slides and facilitating ball movement. At the faceoff-X, Calvert Hall benefits from the presence of the formidable Jackson Strickland, committed to the University of Richmond, whose exceptional 66% win rate exemplifies his ability to perform under high-pressure circumstances, as demonstrated in the Cardinals’ contest against Boys’ Latin. In summary, Calvert Hall’s depth, athleticism, and unwavering tenacity position them as formidable contenders, striving to claim their rightful place among the MIAA Lacrosse elite. Their journey to reclaim greatness hinges on surpassing the nation’s best team.
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