For nearly three periods, the No. 2 Boys' Latin lacrosse team appeared to be on its way to a rout yesterday.
Its defense, anchored by All-Metro player J.R. Stahl, Joey Rallo and All-Metro keeper Trey Sheain, had all but snuffed the high-powered offense of eighth-ranked, three-time Class 4A-3A state champion Dulaney.
Faceoff specialist Alex Smith and midfield mate Adam Hagelin had banner days: Smith would win 15 of his 16 draws - including the first 13 - and Hagelin (two goals, six assists) would contribute to all but two of the Lakers' first 10 goals.
In the end, however, any joy gained in Boys' Latin's 11-8 win was tempered by Dulaney's opportunistic, four-goal final period.
The final score, representing the most goals against the defending Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champions, didn't sit well with Stahl.
"Offensively, we hit the goalie's stick a lot. Defensively, we let down and lost our flow," Stahl said of 25-year coach Bob Shriver's 304th victory. "We thought the game was over, started subbing people in. But congratulations to them: They got their goals."
Dulaney attackmen Cary Howard (two goals, two assists) and Kyle Batton (three goals) rallied the Lions (2-1), whose late run came against backup goalkeeper Charles Floeckher (four saves). First-year Dulaney starter Jason Woodford (16 saves) made two of his six fourth-period stops while facing man-down situations.
"To put up eight goals and lose close is a tremendous effort," said Howard, whose team scored one more goal against the Lakers than No. 5 St. Mary's did in a 9-7 loss. "No MIAA team has scored more than five goals on them."
Boys' Latin (7-1) dominated for three periods, however, scoring the game's first five goals en route to an 8-3 halftime edge. Hagelin was particularly effective, scoring the Lakers' first and ninth goals and assisting on all but the fourth and fifth goals of the first half. Greg Baggin (three goals) and Ryan Walterhoefer (two goals, two assists) also contributed.
"We executed really well in the beginning," Hagelin said. "I felt like I was on today."
Stahl held Batton scoreless until the third period, and Rallo held Howard to a goal and an assist until the fourth. The Lakers led 10-4 with 10:40 to play before Floeckher replaced Sheain.
"Our time of possession was low at first because Smith is awesome," Batton said. "The few early possessions we got, their defense was real intense, high-pressure, and [that] made it tough."
But the Lions surged in the fourth quarter. Twice after Floeckher blocked initial shots, Howard and Ryan Hoff raked the rebounds in off the ground for the Lions' sixth and seventh goals. Batton had a similar conversion off a ground ball pickup, this one from 18 yards.