- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
TIMONIUM Calverton’s Nick Mazza has gone from midfielder to attack to midfielder.
No matter where he played Thursday, St. Paul’s had no answer on how to stop him, or anyone else for that matter, and the visiting Cougars rolled to a 17-11 win.
The Cougars (8-2 overall), who have won their last five games, also posted their first win over a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association team.
“It’s a great victory; I’m excited for our team and for our players,” said Calverton first-year head coach Greg Zecca of the win over the Crusaders. “[The key was] our stars playing like stars and they all did today. They just played great and I’m excited for them.”
And one of those stars was Mazza, who pumped in a team-high five goals including three in a span of 2 minutes 20 seconds in the second half to lead the Cougars to the win.
“I started playing attack recently and that opened up the doors for other midfielders,” said Mazza, who has verbally committed to play lacrosse at Penn State University. “Toward the middle of the game I went back to midfield because we started to mix it up and that’s when I really started going.”
Dylan Dooley and Cole Ranier each scored four goals and David Goodwin added three goals and an assist. Stephen Goff scored once. Ranier and Teddy Secor each added a pair of assists.
“Goodwin and I have been playing together since seventh- or eighth-grade so we have this connection,” Mazza said. “It’s really fun to play with him, so once he and I go down low, we can play our two-man game and it’s pretty lethal.”
Calverton held a 7-5 halftime lead, then poured in three goals in the first 1:38 of the third quarter. Goodwin started the run when he scooped up a loose ball, raced down the right side and beat Crusaders goalie A.J. Baretto high to the short side eight seconds into the quarter.
“They switched goalies and he looked like he was going to his knees quick, so I pumped it low and put it high,” Goodwin said. “It was a big momentum shifter for us.”
The Crusaders (2-6), who have lost their last five, including two in overtime, pulled to within 12-8, but Calverton scored the first five goals of the final quarter to post the win.
“I’m tired of making excuses. We work hard on things over and over and they did not come to play today; we had one or two kids come to play,” St. Paul’s head coach Rick Brocato said. “I’ll give Calverton lots of credit because they are a terrific team, they have a lot of athletes, they are a well-seasoned team and they know how to play the game, so I give them a lot of credit as well. But I’ll tell you what, we rolled over at a certain point today and that really irritates me.”
What also irritated Brocato was Secor’s adeptness at winning 19 of 27 face-offs, including seven straight in the third quarter.
“We knew he was excellent, we really tried to drill our guys over and over, but he really had our number and we threw all kinds of things at him but he just kept winning,” Brocato said. “He’s a grinder, he’s a fighter, he’s got his move and when he didn’t get his move, he grinded it out for the loose ball. That’s what a great face-off guy does.”
Secor also had a team-high 14 groundballs, but his work in the face-off circle drew praise from Zecca and Goodwin.
“Teddy’s been dominant all year; he starts everything we do,” Zecca said. “I’m just so proud of the way he’s been playing and making things happen for us.”
“When Teddy goes,” Goodwin said, “we go.”
Calverton opened the scoring on Rainer’s goal 85 seconds into the game, but St. Paul’s evened it up at 2:09. It was the last tie of the game as the Cougars scored the next three goals and six of the next nine.
“Coming out today we were a little scared, we’re not going to lie but we came out firing,” Mazza said. “Our team is just as good as anybody. Once our offense got going, our defense started to seal up. This is one of our biggest wins in school history.”
Zecca said the Cougars, who defeated powerhouses Landon School and Episcopal (Va.) previously this season, are doing just fine.
“We’re where we think we could have been, but we’re excited,” he said. “There’s a lot of people who didn’t think we could win eight games of our first, 10 but as a coaching staff we did and I’m happy we have.”
Calverton 17, St. Paul’s 11
Calverton 4 3 5 5
St. Paul’s 3 2 3 3
Goals: Calverton (Mazza 5, Dooley 4, Ranier 4, Goodwin 3, Goff); St. Paul’s (Parks 5, Larkin 2, Mattheiss, Riehl, Flaig, Louzan)
Saves: Calverton (Meinhardt 10, Cornellier 2); St. Paul’s (Pearl 5, Baretto 4)