CATONSVILLE -- Southern's boys lacrosse team entered Saturday's Class 2A-1A state semifinal in record fashion, having been the first boys team in the school's history to win a regional title.
But the fourth-seeded Bulldogs (9-6) were blasted, 17-6, by top-seeded Towson (14-0), which built an 11-0 halftime lead and left the contest with even more impressive milestones.
The Generals' top goal-scorer, Bill McLean (59 goals, three assists), put seven goals past Southern keeper Brian Barber (seven saves) to break the tournament record set by Dulaney's Damon Scordo (six) in last year's 13-4 Class 4A-3A state title victory over North County.
Towson's Mike Ford (47 goals, 53 assists) finished the game with three goals and seven assists, tying the mark for points (10) set by Dulaney's Sean Heffernan (one goal, nine assists) in 1990.
The Generals also tied the record for total goals (17) in the victory, as Southern senior defenseman Chris McQueeney witnessed the most dazzling offensive display he will see this side of college next year.
"They just kept the ball moving around the crease, and we weren't sliding to meet them," said McQueeney, a 6-foot-1, 190-pounder who has narrowed his college choices to Division I Loyola and Division III Salisbury.
"We knew they could move the ball pretty well," McQueeney said. "But we figured since they were smaller than us, we'd try to slow them down by using our size and being more physical."
But the Generals were simply too polished to be distracted by the Bulldogs' rough-house tactics. They dodged Southern checks or simply passed around them with pinpoint accuracy.
"We brought our briefcases today. This was business," said Towson coach Randy Dase, whose Generals defeated three-time defending Class 4A-3A champion Dulaney, 11-8, earlier to snap the Lions' winning streak at 45.
The Generals, who meet Mount Hebron of Howard County in tomorrow's championship game, also shut down the Bulldogs offensively.
They held top scorer Paul Schiavone (22 goals, 22 assists) to two goals, No. 2 scorer John Moreland (25 goals, eight assists) to one goal and fifth-leading scorer Jayme Block (9, 13), to a goal.
Dan Weikert, the Bulldogs' third-leading scorer with 19 goals and seven assists, was held scoreless, and No. 4 scorer Shawn Snodgrass (9, 10) had an assist.
Weikert was further victimized early in the second quarter, when his stick was ruled illegal, prompting an unreleasable three-minute penalty, during which the Generals scored twice.
"We knew offensively that Southern liked to stand and shoot, so we forced them to shoot off balance," said Dase, whose Generals led, 5-0, after one period. "This was the best game our defense has played in months."
Moreland made it 11-1 with his tally just a minute and 45 seconds into the third period, and it was 14-2 after Schiavone's goal with 4:10 left in the period. Sophomore Greg Prokaska scored twice for Southern in the fourth quarter.
"They were hitting 50 percent of their shots in the first half, and nothing was working for us," said Southern's first-year coach Jon Braun. "The stick penalty isn't what killed us. We just dug ourselves a hole that we couldn't get out of."
With 11 returning players, including seven starters and the entire defense from last year's 6-7 squad, many figured this year's Bulldogs could go over the top.
Southern was 6-0 before losing five of its last six regular-season games, including a 5-3 regular-season-ending loss to Class 4A-3A semifinalist Broadneck.
"I wish we could have done better," said McQueeney. "But it's over now."