For much of the game, Fallston did everything but score in its Class 2A region championship game with Towson at Hereford High School last night.
There was a first-half goal and one 12 minutes into the second half, but Towson (11-2-1) was still very much in the contest.
Then the dam burst and the Cougars (13-0-1) bombarded goalkeeper Jon Vaupel with three goals in 73 seconds en route to a 6-0 victory.
"We were very positive at halftime, to be within 1-0," Towson coach Randy Dase said. "I'd seen them twice and they are a well-oiled machine."
Working on a 1-0 lead, it was as though Fallston was waiting for the right moment. It came some 11 minutes into the second half when assistant coach Tony Riedlbauer sent sophomore Brett Birkmire into the game with instructions to "make sure you cross it."
If he had known Birkmire, up from the JV, would take him at his word, he probably would have said something much sooner.
Moments later he sent crossing shot from the right side to Mike Giuffrida in the middle, and the team's top scorer knocked it past Vaupel for a 2-0 margin.
"That second goal meant a lot," said Fallston coach Len Petrey, ** who has guided the school to four straight regional titles, five in the last six years.
Giuffrida's second goal was unassisted as he controlled the ball, got the keeper out and blooped the ball over his head. Twenty-six seconds later, Fred Sheckells got loose on an isolated situation and ripped a shot into the top of the net from 20 yards.
Giuffrida had set up his team's first goal with a crossing shot to Kevin Morgan, and Morgan came back to get the third one in the flurry on a pass from Jud Ryan.
Dave Peterson's penalty shot wound up the show.
Fallston also neutralized Towson's scoring star, Ian Wildey (16 goals, nine assists).
"We just tried to keep him under control," said fullback Steve Schissler, and Petrey added, "We didn't mark him, but tried to match up as he went from side to side. Our backs are steady."
Fallston finished with an edge in shots, 19-7. Giuffrida's two goals lifted the junior's season total to 28.