For three quarters yesterday at UMBC, it looked as though Towson's bid for an undefeated season and a state championship would end.
But coach Randy Dase asked his team to "reach back and believe," and that's what the Generals did, scoring three unanswered goals in the fourth quarter to beat Mount Hebron, 8-7, and capture the 2A/1A state title before a crowd of 2,500.
Towson (15-0) fell behind 7-5 with 1:52 left in the third quarter, as Carl Bochall, Doug Smith and Blair Hill scored for Mount Hebron within a 1:30 span.
But that was the end of the scoring for the Vikings, as the Towson defense picked up its pressure and the Generals' potent offense got on track.
In the fourth quarter, junior attackman Barry Heddings scored two goals, including the game-winner with 4:08 left, and senior midfielder Scott Hoskins added one. Junior attackman Michael Ford, who faced off for Towson in the fourth quarter, assisted on two of the goals.
"[Ford facing off] was our secret weapon all year, but we waited till the 15th game to use it," said Dase, whose team had lost 10 of 13 faceoffs in the first three quarters.
Towson goalie Lance Buckley also rose to the occasion, stopping theVikings several times at point-blank range in the final period. The senior finished with 13 saves.
"The word 'revenge' definitely came up," said Dase, whose team lost to the Vikings, 7-4, in the semifinals of last year's state tournament. "We said we wanted to go coast to coast . . . to go undefeated, and the boys reached back."
Towson's leading scorer, senior attackman Bill McLean, was held without a point, but the Generals did not miss his punch.
"All year long, it's been a total team effort," said Dase. "And that's what it was today."
Ford finished with two goals and three assists. Heddings, Hoskins and Ben Donovan had two goals each.
Andrew Ballinger led Mount Hebron with two goals and an assist. Jason Vettori had three assists for the Vikings (13-2).
"I thought we had a great year," said Mount Hebron coach Warren Michael. "That was a good team we played out there. Against a team like that, if you don't make the right decisions, they're going to beat you."
The Vikings also got great play from their goalie, Chris Parandian, who made 18 saves.
"It was great lacrosse game," said Michael. "The kids gave everything they had. You can't ask for more than that."