Hereford defender Rob Bateman dropped to his knees on UMBC Stadium's synthetic turf as time ticked off the clock yesterday.
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound high school All-American was stunned at how Towson's extended scoring spree had just erased the Bulls' run at a second Class 1A-2A state title since 1996.
Down by four goals with 5: 18 left in the first half, Towson (13-3) scored seven of the game's final eight goals for a 9-7 victory.
The loss snapped a 13-game winning streak for Hereford (14-3), including a 9-0 road record, an earlier 8-4 win over the Generals, and victories over Dulaney and Harford County tri-champ North Harford.
The win earned the Generals their eighth title game appearance. They will go after their fifth state title vs. Mount Hebron at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
"I tell my kids, it's not the size of the dog but the fight in him," said Towson second-year coach Ben Berquist. "The regular season is just a preparation for this, and our kids believe that every time we come here."
Towson's David Swift scored three times in the second half. His second goal made it 7-7 with 5: 54 left to play.
Two minutes later, Josh Zennaro's second goal off a feed from Fritz Eisenbrandt gave the Generals only their second lead, this time for good, with 2: 55 to play.
Hereford's Dan Miller won the ensuing faceoff. But Towson defenseman Chris Brown, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound junior, checked the ball from his stick directly into the path of a teammate, who scooped it up.
That allowed the Generals to run the clock down to 53 seconds before calling timeout. When play resumed, so did Towson's scoring, as Ben DeFelice dished to Swift again with 42 seconds left.
"We feel like this is our home away from home," said DeFelice, who had one goal and two assists. "We even wore our home jerseys."
Towson's Gavin Kimball had a goal and two assists, and Andy Norris scored twice, his first the game's first at 8: 27 of the opening quarter.
But Hereford scored six of the next seven goals on 10 shots, including four straight, led by Matt Miller's three goals and one assist, Todd Smith's two goals and Chris Lauer's three assists. The Bulls led 6-2 at halftime.
The last two goals in the run were scored 12 seconds apart, including Miller's, assisted by Luke Gilbert (one goal, one assist), for the halftime margin with 5: 18 left.
"They were scoring on unsettled situations, so we told our defenders to settle down," said Towson goalie Jesse Markowitz, who as a sophomore was on the Generals' last championship team. "We know Mount Hebron's a great team, but I want a second title. I just hope we don't get behind by so much."
Pub Date: 5/23/99