Most of the time, the only thing girls lacrosse and boys lacrosse have in common is the name of the sport. But this year, Harford County's best girls team and best boys team have a lot more in common than you might think.
They both were undefeated in local action en routeto the county title, and they both reached the state title game (scheduled yesterday). North Harford was after its second straight Class 1A/2A championship while Fallston's girls sought their first title, also in Class 1A/2A.
There are many other similarities:
* Both have had seasons among the best in school history.
Fallston was 14-0 going into yesterday's game. The Cougars had never won 14 games in a single season. They have never had an undefeated season.
The Hawks were 13-1 beforethe title game. A win would tie them with last year's 14-1 mark as the best in school history. A loss would tie this year's team record for third best in school history behind 1984's 14-2 squad.
* Both teams routed their opponents in similar fashion in Tuesday's semifinals.
The top-seeded Cougars clobbered No. 4 seed Pikesville, 19-2, at Harford Community College. The No. 2 Hawks topped seventh-seeded Loch Raven, 10-2, at North Harford.
* Both showcased their offense in the semifinals.
Fallston's girls outshot Pikesville, 39-16.
North Harford outgunned Loch Raven, 35-18.
Eight players scored forFallston -- Meghan Williams (five), Cindy Jenkins and Jenny Haslbeck(three each), Kristina Lilley and Laura Rocchio (two each) and Denise Sarver, Natalie Dwyer and Karen Battenfeld (one each). Sarver, Lilley and Kendell Reichhart had two assists each.
For North Harford, five players scored -- Bret Schreiber and Tim Lucky (three each), Steve Overbay (two), Bruce Axelsson and Jason Ketner. Chuck Kelly had three assists.
* Both have dominating center midfielders.
Elise Andrews played all but the last few minutes against Pikesville, helping the Cougars control 14 of 22 draws.
Lucky, who set a school record for winning 69 percent of his faceoffs last year, faced off through all but the last few minutes as the Hawks won 10 of 15.
* Both have had strength at defense from day one. Each uses that defense to set off a fine transition game.
The Cougars have gotten outstanding defensive performances all season from Andrews, Sarver, Battenfeld,Cindy Hudson, Nichole Clark and Jenny Colt. Even their attack players know how to play solid defense.
For the Hawks, starting defensemen Ketner, Chris Gress and Chris Beall as well as Mark Bostic and Jason Zeigler have given their opponents fits. The Hawks also play smartdefense through the midfield and attack.
* Both have goalies who rank among the best in the state.
Fallston junior Tammy Kloiber had nine saves against Pikesville. Three were against free position shots, and she also had a couple of point-blank saves.
North Harford senior Tom Murrell had eight saves against Loch Raven, including several at close range.
* Both coaches said early on that there were many questions about their squads, namely inexperience on attack but strength on defense.
Nancy Ferguson and John Grubb knew they had plenty of talent on their fields, but they didn't know how quickly it would develop.
It appears to have developed right on schedule.