Towson High junior midfielder Spencer Ford always has played lacrosse in the shadow of his older brother, Michael, a senior attackman for the Generals.
Yesterday, Spencer Ford stepped out of the shadow, and he could not have picked a better time to do so.
He scored three goals and had two assists to lead No. 6 Towson (5-0) to an 11-5 victory over No. 9 Dulaney (6-1) before 3,800 in the first Sun Lacrosse Classic at Towson State's Minnegan Stadium.
"I had a negative attitude before the game about our lack of team unity," said Spencer Ford. "But Michael told me to step up and show them what I've got."
"I basically yelled at him," said Michael Ford. "I told him to get with the team and change his attitude. I guess it worked. Hopefully, he stays like this for the rest of the season."
Dulaney junior attackman Mike Hohl scored an unassisted goal 1:20 into the contest to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.
Freshman Booth Farwell increased the lead to 2-0 with 6:12 remaining in the first quarter off an assist by senior midfielder Tim Speno, and Dulaney continued its surge, as junior attackman Matt Steil beat Towson goalie Ian Wildey one-on-one with 1:50 left in the quarter.
Towson got its offense going when Barry Heddings found Chi-Chi Giraldo alone in front of the Dulaney goal with eight seconds left in the first quarter.
"I believed Dulaney was going to come out strong because our kids were a little overconfident," said Towson coach Randy Dase. "I was happy that Dulaney dominated like that because it was a wake-up call for our kids."
The Towson offense woke up in the opening minutes of the second quarter, when Heddings and Michael Ford each scored an unassisted goal in the first 2:20 of the period to tie the score at 3.
Dulaney regained the lead with 2:48 left in the opening half, when Hohl found Dan Sherwood on a 3-on-2 fast break.
With 1:05 left in the second quarter, Michael Ford closed out the first-half scoring with his second goal of the game, off an assist by Ben Donovan, tying the score, 4-4.
When the second half began, Spencer Ford and Towson began to take over.
Ford scored two unassisted goals in the first 1:37 of the third quarter and assisted junior attackman Dan Ross on a third goal with 6:38 remaining to give Towson a 7-4 lead.
"The momentum really changed in the second half," said Dulaney coach Gary Schreiber. "Towson is too good of a team to lose momentum to."
Dulaney had a chance to get back into the game when the fourth quarter started. The Lions had a two-man advantage for the first minute of the period after Towson was called for illegal stick and motion penalties.
But the Generals killed both penalties and then scored three straight goals to build a 10-4 lead with 6:39 left in the game.
Speno scored with 5:19 left to end a 17:29 scoring drought for the Lions.