After trading goals and exchanging the lead with No. 13 RTC Dulaney for the first three periods of last night's second annual Sun Lacrosse Classic, No. 7 Towson erupted for five unanswered goals in the fourth quarter en route to an 11-5 victory at Towson State's Minnegan Stadium.
Senior midfielder Spencer Ford, who paved the way with a game-high five goals and one assist, and senior Dan Ross (three goals, two assists) led the fourth-quarter assault with goals each.
They led the two-time defending 1A-2A state champion Generals to their third straight win over Baltimore County's 3A-4A powerhouse.
"I told the kids that it's the icing on the cake to beat Dulaney but I'm hoping to get more cakes to start icing because we want to win that third state title," said Towson coach Randy Dase.
"A three-peat would be sweet."
The Generals (8-0, 6-0), who won last year's inaugural Classic, 11-5, found themselves trailing 2-0 early in the first quarter.
Senior Chris Karppala opened the scoring 55 seconds into the contest when he converted a pass from Matt Steil and the Lions took a two-goal lead with 5:44 left in the first when junior defenseman Aaron Devos fed sophomore attackman Booth Farwell for the first of his two goals.
Ford closed the first-quarter margin to one by dodging a defender and rifling a shot past the left ear of Dulaney's sophomore goalkeeper Jeff Brookes (12 saves).
"All we've been hearing all week is how we're the underdogs," said Ford. "But, we came out here and beat them for the third year in a row."
The Lions (7-3, 6-0) returned the lead to two goals a little over a minute into the second quarter as Farwell dug up a ground ball in front of the crease and flicked it past Towson's junior keeper Mark Tamberino (11 saves).
Ross returned the favor on the Generals' ensuing possession as he scooped up a shot that escaped the grasp of Brookes and nonchalantly placed it in the back of the net with 8:21 left in the half.
Twenty-four seconds later, Ford tied things up with his second goal of the contest and the Generals took their first lead at the 5:15 mark when junior midfielder Brad Kimball scored after fielding yet another loose ball in front of the crease.
The Generals' lead was short-lived, however, as Dulaney senior attackman Dan Sherwood scored on an assist from Farwell, making it a 4-4 game at half.
Sherwood answered a goal by Towson's Dan Keller in the opening minutes of the second half, but Ford gave the Generals the final say and a 6-5 lead heading into the fourth quarter by netting his third goal on an assist from senior midfielder Chi-Chi Giraldo.
"We did a nice job on Ford and Ross for three quarters and then I don't know what happened," said Dulaney coach Gary Schrieber.
"I think what happened was guys were switching off and leaving Spencer Ford wide open for those crank shots.
"We just made a lot of mental mistakes in the fourth quarter."