Having scored his third goal of the night against Broadneck to give North County a 5-1 lead with 6 minutes, 33 seconds left in the game, Bob Wolfe figured another lacrosse victory was in the bag.
He surely didn't expect Broadneck to respond with consecutive goals by SteveBruso, Mike Stohman and an extra-man goal by Mike Fellona to bring the visitors to 5-4 -- leaving the Knights reeling with 1:37 left to play.
Then, with five seconds remaining, Bruso was charging the goal.
But a North County defender checked the ball high into the air. It landed safely in the lacrosse stick of Knights' goalie Tim McGeeney as time ran out, and North County took the 5-4 win.
"You can't blame any one person. It was just a lot of mental mistakes that let them back in," said Wolfe, who leads the Knights with 29 goals and 11 assists. "I think I made a couple of stupid mistakes as well as the team.But they made a couple good plays themselves, and I'm just glad to come away with a win."
The quarterfinal victory helped the Knights (11-1) advance to the Class 4A state semifinals. Third-seeded North County will face the winner between No. 2-seeded Annapolis and HarfordCounty's No. 7 C. Milton Wright on Tuesdaynight.
The Knights beatAnnapolis, 7-3, during the regular season but a 5-4 loss to Arundel forced them into a co-championship for the county title with the Panthers.
"I don't think we were as into this game mentally as we should have been," said Shea, who led Andover to a runner-up finish to North Harford in last year's Class 2A/1A state championship game.
"We gave them about 10 turnovers that they didn't force -- either offsides, too many men on the field or just plain throwing the ball away. You can't give a good team like Broadneck that many opportunities to get back into it."
Broadneck had an 11-9 advantage in first-half shots and the teams were even in faceoffs (three), but a stingy North County defense helped the Knights take a 3-1 halftime lead.
Andy Mocharsky's third-quarter goal increased the Knights' lead to 4-1 on an assist from Troy Fulwiler.
"We were trying to be patient on offense, like we did the first time we played them, and adjusted a littlebit to their man-down defense," said Broadneck coach Clay White, whose No. 6-seeded Bruins (10-3) dropped a 6-3 decision to the Knights during the regular season. "Our trademark is finding the open man, butwe didn't do that and made bad decisions in transitions."
White credited McGeeney (eightsaves) with thwarting the Bruins offensively -- including two stops from close range where an out-of-position McGeeney recovered to block them with his feet.
"We had some shots inside and we didn't cash in on them because McGeeney made some key stops," White said. "McGeeney played a great game, but like I said the first time they beat us: They're not one-dimensional."
Wolfe tallied the Knights' first two goals at 8:58 and 2:10 in the first quarter.
The first came on the end of a brilliant three-pass combination. Andy Ross took a pass while sprinting across the midfield stripe and found Wolfe streaking in on goalie Sam Peterson (seven saves) for a waist-level score.
Ross, who has 14 goals this year, nearly recorded his 18th assist of the year on Wolfe's second goal. But his pass frombehind the goal was batted down by a defender. Wolfe scooped the ground ball from about 10 yards out and fired a low blast that trickled in off Peterson's ankles.
With 6:22 left in the second quarter, Greg Sabo fed Ross to complete a four-pass counterattack. The goal cameafter Broadneck had blown an extra-man scoring opportunity, thanks largely to a defense led by Joe Ross, who scooped 10 of the Knights' 24 ground balls in the first half.
Greg Jackson put the Bruins on the board seconds before the half.