Park gains solace vs. Spalding, 7-3

With '02 loss still stinging, Bruins get it all together in second half for big win

Boys lacrosse

March 29, 2003|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Park School had been waiting for this one.

The Bruins had been pointing to yesterday's matchup with Archbishop Spalding because they suffered a one-goal loss to the Cavaliers in last year's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference championship game.

Though No. 15 Park was worried because of limited time on the field this spring, it took command with a strong second half and rolled to a surprisingly easy, 7-3 victory over visiting Spalding, the three-time defending conference champion.

The Bruins broke open the game with a five-goal burst in a 5:42 span of the third quarter after Spalding (2-2, 0-1) had taken a 2-1 halftime lead.

John Schneider led Park (2-0, 1-0) with four goals, and teammate Ross Nochumowitz made numerous pinpoint passes and finished with five assists - four in the third period - as the Bruins gained a measure of revenge for last season.

"It definitely hurt to lose the championship by one goal," Nochumowitz said. "This was a very sweet victory."

Park goalie Spencer Hickok helped make it sweet. The senior made 17 saves, many on point-blank shots, and kept the Bruins in the game in the first half. He also got plenty of help from Mike Dembert, Nate Lowentheil, Andrew Eifler and Brian Katzenberg on defense.

"If he doesn't have that kind of game, we don't win," Park coach Lucky Mallonee said of Hickok.

The Cavaliers took their 2-1 lead when Kyle Fortman and Matt Latonick scored 42 seconds apart midway through the second quarter, but Park took charge early in the second half, getting goals from Corey Gaber and then Schneider just 37 seconds apart for a 3-2 lead only 1:22 into the third period.

Nochumowitz assisted on both goals and then made a perfect pass to Josh Lauren (two goals), who scored on an impressive play with 9:22 left in the period.

Schneider then scored twice 75 seconds apart midway through the period to give the Bruins a 6-3 lead. Lauren got the game's final goal 47 seconds into the fourth quarter, scoring from in close after another fine Nochumowitz pass.

The Bruins controlled play the entire second half, holding the ball for long stretches and keeping Spalding quiet with tight defense.

The intensity was there throughout as both teams repeatedly delivered big hits. Sixteen penalties were called as every loose ball turned into a mini-battle more reminiscent of a football game.

"Their forte is they move the ball and they pass the ball very well," Spalding coach Walt Blahut said. "They came out a little bit fired up in the second half. Give them credit."

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