For the second time in a week, Loyola Blakefield knocked off the nation's No. 1 team in boys' lacrosse.
So far, it has been a perfect homecoming for new Dons head coach and former player Ben Rubeor. Prior to returning to Loyola, Rubeor guided the St. Mary's boys' lacrosse team to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship in 2015.
"Loyola is the place where I grew up," said Rubeor, who was a three-time All-American at the University of Virginia, where he played from 2005-08. "I felt like I became a man here. Along the way, I had some inspirational mentors, and I hope to do the same for some young men."
On March 15, Loyola knocked off the nation's preseason No. 1 team Haverford in a 16-14 shootout. Seven days later, the Dons brought home a 11-9 victory against Landon, which had taken over the top spot.
So far, Rubeor likes what he has seen from his team.
"We have played hard in our first three games," Rubeor said. "We need to continue to bring that effort. Like all good things, confidence is earned."
Loyola has been led by senior attackmen Cole Williams (Johns Hopkins) and Nick Goles (Dickinson). Both came up big during early season victories and are primed for huge years.
"They are two guys that stay after practice often to work on their craft," said Rubeor, who also is an assistant athletic director at Loyola. "I believe that extra effort has the potential to make a big difference."
Loyola has shown it has the firepower on attack to play with any team. Rubeor would like for the defense to continue to improve. If the Dons strike that correct balance, they could be primed for a title run in the MIAA.
For now, Rubeor has a clear vision for his players.
"Our goal is to help our players become better people and to win every day," Rubeor said.