Towson turns back Oakland Mills, 4-2 Boys lacrosse

May 23, 1993|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

Towson is headed back to the Class 1A-2A state boys lacrosse championship game, although you would not have guessed it by watching the Generals' quiet postgame celebration yesterday.

That's because Towson's 4-2 victory over Oakland Mills in the semifinal at UMBC wasn't exactly one for the highlight film.

The first four minutes couldn't have gone smoother for Towson, as the Generals dissected Oakland Mills' man-to-man defense with three quick goals. But after the Scorpions went back to their customary zone defense, the Generals looked confused and disorganized on offense the rest of the afternoon.

The Scorpions' offense was worse. Oakland Mills turned the ball over repeatedly and managed only 13 shots to Towson's 33. And yet -- thanks mostly to a heroic performance by Oakland Mills goalie Matt LeBlanc, who recorded 16 saves, including 11 in the second half -- Towson could not pull away.

And after Jeff Wong scored with 7:56 left in the game to pull the Scorpions to 4-2, Towson (12-0) hung on for its 27th straight victory. The Generals will defend their state title against Fallston at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

"Those first few minutes, we got three quick goals off of easy shots, and suddenly my kids thought they were back in `f Baltimore County," said Towson coach Randy Dase, whose Generals beat their local competition by more than 20 goals routinely during the regular season.

"We knew exactly what to do against their zone, but our kids were lackadaisical on offense. I was petrified of them [Oakland Mills) coming in, but I don't think the kids respected them. We've had problems with a lack of intensity and focus all year."

The opening minutes may have decided the game. Oakland Mills (13-4), which spent most of the season frustrating teams with a zone defense, came out in a man-to-man alignment. It was a costly strategic move.

The Generals won the opening faceoff and quickly got off three shots in the first 30 seconds. Chi-Chi Giraldo then put back a miss to give Towson a 1-0 lead 32 seconds into the game. Two minutes later, Dan Ross scored the first of two goals off an assist from Spencer Ford. With 6:01 left, Michael Ford took a feed from Ben Donovan and turned it into a 3-0 advantage.

"We thought that [a man-to-man] might be a good way to shut them off, but it didn't work," Oakland Mills coach Phil Stephenson said. "Then we fell back into our regular defense and it worked."

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