Strong second half propels No. 15 Towson boys past Dulaney; Lion girls get four goals from freshman Burke, tight defense to upset 17th-ranked Generals (VIDEO HERE!)
by Nelson Coffin
There were times when Towson High’s boys lacrosse team looked spectacular against Dulaney in the opener of a doubleheader between the arch-rivals’ boys and girls lacrosse teams on Wednesday evening at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
In other moments, the unranked Lions looked every bit as good as the No. 15 Generals.
In the end, Towson had enough firepower — and senior FOGO Mitch Boudreau — to prevail, 11-6, before the Lion girls earned an 11-8 decision over the 17th-ranked Generals in the nightcap of the twin bill.
Towson’s boys bolted to a 3-0 advantage on goals by senior midfielders Rory Bateman and Leighton Bechdel and senior attackman Grant Kuehn in a 90-second span early in the opening period.
At that point, the Generals (5-2 overall) were rolling and the Lions reeling until they came to life to tie the score by the end of the quarter on goals by junior attackmen Johnny McGrain and John Schmidt and junior midfielder RJ Feerick.
After Towson went on another 3-0 run on two goals by senior attackman Mason Hickman and one by Bechdel to build a 6-3 lead in the second quarter, determined Dulaney matched that spurt on a goal by Feerick and two by junior midfielder Justin White.
“Things came almost too easily for us,” Towson coach Shawn Burke said. “The crowd really had us up, and then it was almost like we crashed. When we went up 9-6, I told the guys ‘I’ve seen this before. You have to keep playing. Then we settled down and started making simple passes — like hockey assists — instead of trying to do too much.’”
Besides, having possession most of the time because of Boudreau’s heroics at the face-off ‘X’ made it more problematic for the Lions (5-2) to mount a third comeback bid.
He won 20 of 21 draws, giving Towson more time with the ball while wearing down the Lions’ defense.
“I was just really excited to play — really pumped,” Boudreau said. “I just play my game.”
Towson went ahead for good when senior midfielder Max Burkett converted a feed from Bateman midway through the third quarter.
Senior midfielder James Dugan made it 8-6 less than two minutes later before Burkett struck again and Bechdel pumped in his third goal on a terrific individual effort.
“Time of possession was a big part of the game,” Dulaney coach Kyle Fiat said. “They have a great face-off guy and that made a big difference. And I think their depth showed a little, too.”
Dulaney’s girls started strong while running out to a 5-1 lead in the first half against the Generals, who fell for the first time in five games this spring.
After junior attacker Sofie Sorterberg staked Towson to a 1-0 advantage, the Lions (3-2) rattled off five straight goals with junior attacker Kate Bialczak, sophomore midfielder Samantha White, freshman attacker Rowan Burke and junior midfielders Bridget Kelly and Audrey Dickens taking charge before senior midfielder Riley Hartman cut the deficit to 5-2.
Burke led all scorers with four goals and an assist.
Eventually, Towson (4-1) would come all the back to take a 7-6 lead with just over 13 minutes remaining in regulation.
Still, the Lions had had another 5-1 run in them while the defense, led by senior Lucy Hughes, locked down on the Generals in the late going to gain a split in the doubleheader.
“Our communications skills are important to us,” Hughes said. “We have worked on our slides and on pressuring the ball.”
She added that having a rookie goalie in Malorie Brody is something that is working well for the Lions, who brought Towson’s offense to a grinding halt late in the contest.
“We have a good defensive dynamic because she has so much to offer us and we have so much to offer her,” Hughes said. “Even though she’s young, we wanted to make her feel as important as the rest of us.”
Dulaney coach Kristi Korrow said that the Lions’ defense and strong work on the draws by senior midfielder Emily Persinger were key to the victory.
“Emily did a really nice job,” Korrow said. “We knew if we could cause turnover and win draws we would be fine. And it was really important to get off to a strong start and not get into hole we couldn’t get out of.”
NO. 15 TOWSON BOYS 11, DULANEY BOYS 6
D 3 2 1 0 — 6
T 3 3 4 1 — 11
Goals: D-RJ Feerick 2, Justin White 2,Johnny McGrain, John Schmidt; T- Leighton Bechdel 3, Mason Hickman 3, Max Burkett 2, Rory Bateman, Grant Kuehn, James Dugan.
Assists: D-Ethan Anderson 2, Cullen Grogan, Owen Campbell; T-Rory Bateman, Grant Kuehn, Rober Welling 2.
Saves: D-Brennan McCaffray 7; T-Wilson Turner 6.
DULANEY GIRLS 11, NO. 17 TOWSON GIRLS 8
T 4 4 — 8
D 6 5 — 11
Goals: T-Sofie Sorteberg 3 Riley Hartman 3, Erin Steinberg, Sofia Grose; D-Rowan Burke 4, Bridget Kelly 2, Audrey Dickens 2, Nancy Slaughter, Kate Bialczak, Samantha White.
Assists: D-Rowan Burke, Bridget Kelly.
Saves: T-Caroline Ready 7; D-Malorie Brody 6.