Two things were proven in Wednesday night’s matchup between the UCBAC’s top two Chesapeake Division boys’ lacrosse teams: You can’t let No. 20 Fallston go on runs, and No. 16 Patterson Mill certainly does not lack heart.
With the two last unbeaten division teams knocking heads for a probable division crown, Fallston (7-5) made its way to the Patterson Mill (11-3) field and demolished the Huskies for the first 24 minutes in a 10-3 halftime lead, and hung on at the hosting dogs fought till they 14-10 Cougar final.
“I was telling them that Patterson Mill is a good team and they had already beaten Bel Air, C. Milton and North Harford by about the same score as we did,” Fallston coach Matt Parks said. “We knew they were capable of coming out and playing very well, and, luckily, we were able to get goals in transition and really breakdown their defense to get close-range shots and finish them.”
Not just scoring a hat-trick In the first quarter, Cougar Zack Wheeler net his first three goals within a three minutes span as Fallston scored five unanswered goals opposite Patterson Mill’s game-opening score in a 5-3 first quarter.
But the Huskies goal to close the first period would be their last for more than 20 minutes, being shutout while the Cougars posted another five-goal quarter in the second to boast a 10-3 halftime lead.
“We really moved the ball quick in transition, and we t a lot of quick goals off fast breaks,” Wheeler said. “Our set offense, we had a little trouble possessing it, but we ended up being able to hold them back.”
Wheeler, who scored six goals in the game, helped the Cougars keep tabs on the uprising Huskies along with hat-trick teammate Kyle D’Onofrio, while two-goal games were posted by Greg Horsham and Taylor Brown in addition to the single goal of Jason Lawrence.
“We kept winning the faceoffs, so we kept the ball, and Caleb [Abney] played great defense,” D’Onofrio said. “He had amazing saves, kept us in the game, and our great defensive game saved us in the second half.”
The Huskies, down by as many as nine goals (12-3), proved to all present that the team would not go down without a fight. With less than five minutes remaining in the third quarter, Patterson Mill posted three goals to start a five-goal run, cutting the deficit to four scores, 12-8, and still give the home crowd hope.
But the terrific work of Fallston keeper Caleb Abney made the feat too much for the Huskies, standing in the goal as a wall with 10 saves, and halted Patterson Mill’s scoring enough for the Cougars to match its foes final scores.
“It was a story about two completely different halves,” Patterson Mill coach Jason Bellamy said. “We got it handed to us for 24 minutes in the first half, and it was the worst first half we have played in two years.
“The kids battled back, didn’t hang their heads, and we were able to battle back in the second half.”
In battling back, the Huskies were able to see a four-goal game from Josh Wilson, in addition to fellow hat-trick scorer Deonte Alston. Single scores went to Chase Wedekind, Michal McIntyre and Brandon Burris to compliment the help of Jay Kuhn and a nine-save performance.
Fallston now stands as the division’s only undefeated team heading into the Cougars last two UCBAC games. First, Fallston will take on the North East Indians on May 1, before taking on the one-loss Bel Air Bobcats on May 3.
Two wins for the Cougars would make them the outright champions of the Chesapeake Division, while losses could force a three-way tie, or even worse, knock the team out of contention.
“It’s nice to hold our own destiny,” Parks explained. “That way, we can beat North East and Bel Air and there are no ties. Both are going to come after us, and while Bel Air may be struggling right now, they are coming into the heart of their Harford County schedule with C. Milton this Friday and North Harford on Tuesday.
“I’m sure they are going to be ready for us and geared up on May 3rd.”
Patterson Mill still has hope for division accolades with key wins and losses, but still must face Baltimore County’s Franklin Indians before taking back to the UCBAC against the Havre de Grace Warriors and North East Indians.
“We have to finish out the season with a couple games with both in-division and out-of-division Franklin on Friday, and then we push on to the playoffs,” Bellamy explained. “Right now we are tied for the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, and we certainly hope we get another shot at them (Fallston) on a bigger stage.”
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No. 20 Fallston Cougars 14, No. 16 Patterson Mill Huskies 10
FALL 5 5 2 2 — 14
PM 3 0 3 4 — 10
FA Goals: Wheeler 6, Brown 2, Lawrence 1, D’onofino 2, Horsham 2
PM Goals: Wilson 4, Wedekind 1, Dinatale 1, Alston 3, Caretti 1
FA Assists: Badger 2, Wheeler 1, Donofino 2, Esser 1, Horsham 1
PM Assists: Dinatale 2, McIntyre, Tallon 1, Burris 1
FA Saves: Abney 9
PM Saves: Kuhn 10