South River coach Greg Carroll interrupted a post-game interview with reporters to congratulate Severna Park coach Ed Ulrich on his Falcons' 12-7 boys lacrosse victory over the visiting Seahawks yesterday.
"Hey, Greg, you know we always have good ones against you," sixth-year coach Ulrich reminded the 15-year mentor. "Unfortunately, you'vebeen coming up on the short end lately."
When Carroll's Seahawks dropped last year's meeting, 9-8, he and assistant coach Dave Morehead attributed the loss to a "magical" performance by the Falcons' sophomore keeper, Matt Pugh.
Magic had little to do with yesterday's loss, although Pugh (seven saves) played well when called upon. The Seahawks ran into an insurmountable force Carroll called "a speedier midfield with more depth."
"They just whipped us with their quickness," said Carroll, whose Seahawks dropped to 7-4. "In a couple of situations, our midfielders were just dog-tired."
Severna Park, which led, 6-5, at the half, outscored the Seahawks, 3-1, in each of the last two periods.
The Seahawks' top midfielder, Chris Messineo (13 ground balls) won 13 of 25 faceoffs, with the Falcons' Pat Krashoc taking nine and teammate John Miller three, but Messineo had little help from his wings, who tired down the stretch.
"Our midfielders were probably the key. I think the main thingwas their ground balls," said scoring leader Bob Evans (26 goals, seven assists), who along with teammate Scott deGraffenreid came up with four goals in the game.
The Falcons had only a 53-45 edge in ground balls, but had more (21-8) in the third quarter, after which theyhad a 9-6 lead.
"We could run about three midfields, and they probably ran about two," said Evans. "You could see them wearing down."
The Falcons (8-2), ranked No. 13 in The Baltimore Sun poll, led, 2-0, after first-quarter goals by Krashoc and Evans.
Kevin Collisonopened the second period by cutting it to 2-1 when his unassisted shot bounced in off the right-hand post.
The teams then traded goals. Evans tallied again off an assist from Mike Crawford (12 goals, 13 assists) on an extra-man opportunity. Messineo (15 goals, 16 assists), the Seahawks' third-leading scorer, then found top scorer Adam Cizek (23 goals, three assists), who was just two steps out when he firedthe ball into Pugh's left.
The Falcons' second-leading scorer, deGraffenreid (17 goals, 11 assists), then took relays from Steve Spence and Crawford to give his squad a seemingly stable 5-2 lead with 3:06 left in the half.
But the Seahawks responded with three goals ina 37-second span, tying the game at 5 with 1:50 left in the half. Inthat stretch, Matt Czoka (19 goals, 16 assists) scored twice on consecutive man-down situations before assisting Cizek for the third tally.
But with 32 seconds remaining in the half, the Falcons took a permanent lead, 6-5, after Spence dished another of his four assists to Dave Conord, who scored his first of two goals in the game.
"We moved the ball pretty well in the second quarter. Their defense got alittle lax, and we took advantage of it," said Carroll. "But there'sno question they've got the sticks, and we couldn't match up with them."
Evans said, "I think ball movement was another thing, workingtheir defense. We shut off Matt Czoka with David Livingston and Peter Vickerman, and after that pretty much got the open goals."