CATONSVILE — CATONSVILLE -- North County's Tim McGeeney has been showered with praise -- and deservingly so -- as the state's best high school lacrosse goalie.
Dulaney's best scorer, Damon Scordo, was wary of McGeeney's reputation coming into Saturday's Class 4A/3A championship game.
In fact, Scordo (47 goals, 25 assists) and the Lions decided to shower him even more -- with shots on goal -- in a 13-4 victory at UMBC stadium.
"We knew all about (McGeeney) and we knew we'd have to step it up big in this game," said Scordo, a senior headed for Essex Community College who had six goals and an assist in the game.
"Whenever I got the ball, I just made a little move and their defense was over-committing. We didn't look too good in the first half, but we got things clicking and things came together," he said.
And thingsfell apart for the Knights (15-2), who entered the contest allowing just under four goals per game behind defendersJoe Ross, Jim Ray and Karl Wick.
The North County defense faced big numbers in Scordo, Brad Berzins (36 goals, 29 assists), Clark Ledbetter (32, 13), Mason Ray (27, 23) Chis Steer (21, 30) and Tim Speno (15, 13), leaders of anoffense that has scored 230 goals.
In addition, the Lions out-shot the Knights by a two-to-one margin (34-17) -- most of their chancescoming from point-blank range as they consistently gained the insideposition.
"We weren't getting the kind of defensive pressure we're used to giving so the crease killed us," said McGeeney, who had 13 saves, including eight in the first quarter, to raise his total to 158 for the season.
"When an attackman can just stand there and pickhis corner, he's going to come back. If he gets hit, he might shy away the next time," said McGeeney, who is bound for Loyola College. "We weren't hitting consistently. I made a couple of big saves in the first couple of quarters, but then they started just picking their corners and their shots were everywhere."
Dulaney (12-0) captured itsthird straight title -- sixth overall -- under 12th-year coach Gary Schreiber and won for the 36th straight time since losing the title to Arundel in 1988.
Before Saturday, the Knights had faced a three-goal first quarter deficit just once -- in their 7-6 semifinal victory over Annapolis. Never had they trailed by four goals, as they did in facing a 5-1 second period deficit against Dulaney.
But, as the saying goes, there is a first time for everything.
North County came closest to the Lions after Andy Mocarsky (10 goals, 11 assists) scored his second goal of the game and Andy Ross (24, 16) tallied to bring them within 5-3 with 2:55 remaining in the half.
But just under a minute later, Ledbetter made it 6-3, and 17 seconds later, Scordotallied his first goal of the game to give his squad a 7-3 halftime lead.
Meanwhile, the Knights' Bob Wolfe (30 goals, 12 assists), James Meyer (23, 6), Troy Fulwiler (19, 5) and Greg Sabo (11, 16) were held scoreless.
"We had a poor game on both sides. Offensively, wemis-fed and missed passes," said North County coach Paul Shea. "Withthe score, 5-3, we were right where we wanted to be. But then they came back with two quick ones."
Last year, Shea guided Andover to arunner-up finish to North Harford in the Class 2A/1A state title game. Several North County seniors -- like Wick -- were members of that squad.
"We're kind of disappointed because we're 0-2 here," said Wick, who is headed to either the Naval Academy or UMBC. "But we made the successful step up in class and we came a lot farther than some people thought we would."