No. 9-ranked Friends will savor its third straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference championship, achieved yesterday with a 16-5 thrashing of John Carroll at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field.
But another defense of the title does not appear to be in the cards for the Quakers (13-3).
For like most three-time B Conference champs, Friends is expected to move next season into the more powerful, more competitive MIAA A Conference.
First things first, though.
Yesterday, Quakers attackman Chris Condlin powered in four goals, midfielder Jake Martin had a hat trick plus three assists, and attackman Todd Spear contributed two goals and two assists to sink John Carroll (10-7).
Friends started quickly, scoring the game's first six goals. Condlin notched two of his goals in the first quarter, and Martin added a goal and an assist.
"We knew that we had more quickness than they did," Martin said. "We wanted to exploit them with our speed."
John Carroll coach Bob Wright said Friends' six-goal break-out stunned his players.
"We were all geeked up, and then we go six goals down," Wright said. "That's a hard hole to climb out of."
John Carroll finally got on the board with 25 seconds left in the first half, as senior midfielder Taylor Whitehurst -- positioned on the right wing -- centered the ball to senior attackman Ryan Dengler, who beat Friends senior goalkeeper Justin Sussman (12 saves).
Patriots sophomore attack Brad Haller injected a glimmer of hope when he took a feed from senior midfielder Chris Porter and dumped the ball into the net nine seconds into the third quarter.
But the Quakers scored the next three goals over a 2: 39 span to take a 9-2 lead.
Then they sandwiched a goal by John Carroll sophomore attackman Brad Haller with two of their own to take an 11-4 lead into the fourth quarter.
Friends clinched the crown with a 5-1 output in the fourth quarter.
Friends coach Rich Seiler said an important factor was his squad's ability to take 19 of 25 faceoffs from the Patriots and to limit John Carroll's shots. The Quakers outshot the Patriots, 39-18.
"We wanted to expand our zone [defense] and keep them from the middle," Sussman said. "We knew that they couldn't score from the outside."
Friends will play in the A Conference for at least two years, then decide whether it wants to return to the B conference.
Seiler said his squad -- which loses 10 seniors -- might not be as strong in the A Conference next season, but he said he would not oppose the move.
"It would be an honor to play in the A Conference," he said. "The kids deserve that honor."
Sophomore standout Kyle Harrison said he welcomed the opportunity to play the likes of Boys' Latin and Gilman, perennial A Conference powers.
"I think we're ready," he said. "We should be able to hang with them."