Some say defense wins championships -- and Dulaney's boys soccer team certainly has great defense.
But a lack of offense cost the No. 6-ranked Lions (12-1-1) in last night's 2-0 loss to Montgomery County's Churchill in a Class 4A state semifinal at Arundel High. Bowie downed Meade, 5-0, in last night's other semifinal.
Mark Jonas and Greg Ossont each scored two goals to lift top-seeded Bowie (14-0) over fourth-seeded Meade (11-4). Andy Moore also scored for the defending state-champions who have a 30-game winning streak.
Churchill, ranked sixth in the Washington area, used a patient short passing attack to spread a Dulaney defense that had recorded 10 shutouts.
"It seemed like every ball that we had a chance to get to, they were just one extra step ahead all night long," said Dulaney coach Craig Laferty, who starts five seniors. "We had a couple of chances and we didn't convert and you can't do that against a team like this. No one we've faced was as tough as Churchill. They didn't have a weak guy on the field."
Third-seed Churchill (13-2), which out-shot second-seed Dulaney, 7-3, in the first half (14-6 for the game), scored its first goal 11 minutes, 30 seconds before halftime.
Oliver Bityeki banged in a low, 10-yarder off a pass from scoring leader Mark Miles (nine goals, five assists).
Lions goalkeeper Mason Ray, who had five saves in the first half, appeared to have been screened by two defenders and reacted too late.
It was only the fourth goal the Lions have allowed this season and the only time they had been behind since their season-opening, 2-1 overtime victory over Franklin.
Dulaney's Evan Clarke had a chance to score the equalizer less than two minutes later after a Churchill player was called for a hand-ball in the box. But Clarke's penalty kick went inches above the crossbar.
"You don't miss a penalty kick against Churchill and expect to stay in it," said Laferty. "But that wasn't the ballgame."
Of Paul Gonzalez's 12-yarder, which went just wide of the left post early in the second period, Laferty said, "That's the one we needed."
With 14:04 remaining in the game, Churchill's Mike Imber collected a rebound of John McClean's blocked shot. Ray was stretched across the ground after making the stop, so Imber tapped the ball into an empty net for the winning margin.
"We had just those two leaks that cost us when we let up," said Ray, who left the game with eight saves after being kicked in the jaw on that play. He was replaced by Mike Hohl (two saves).
"But we weren't expected to do much, so we had a great season."