Howard loses title at last second, 15-14

Boys lacrosse

High Schools

April 08, 2004|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Six times host Howard battled back to tie the championship game of the third annual Karl Wolf Memorial Lacrosse Tournament, the last time coming with 27 seconds left.

But Matt Higgins scored with one second left last night to give Franklin the championship, 15-14.

"We were looking forward to winning this tournament," said Howard attackman Ari Dennis, who scored five goals. "This was a big thing to us and it's a tough loss, but we learned a lot. We learned that we can possess the ball and sooner or later the ball is going to bounce in our favor. They scored off a loose ball on that last play because their guy just happened to be in the right spot and put it in."

Franklin (2-3) was a state 3A-2A state finalist last season, losing to Annapolis, 9-6. But the Indians graduated 21 players from that 12-5 team.

"We played against a great team," said Franklin coach Scot Laudeman. "No. 6 [Dennis], No. 7 [defenseman Michael Randolph] and their goalkeeper [Chris Sickles] were impressive, and they had a nice extra-man play that was tough to stop."

Franklin's biggest lead was three goals, but once Howard tied it at 6-6 after two straight goals by Dennis with 7:56 left in the second quarter, neither team led by more than a goal until Franklin went up 14-12 with 2:59 to play.

But the Lions (1-3) dug down for something extra as Brian Lavin scored with 1:14 left and Daniel Lavin beat three defenders to score with 27 seconds left.

Howard outshot Franklin 31-23, and won the ground ball battle 29-14 and the faceoff battle 16-14. Franklin sophomore goalkeeper Geordy Clements made nine saves, and senior midfielders Rob Clements and Mike Fielder, and senior defenseman George Stern all played well enough to make the difference for the Indians, who were missing five players on vacation for spring break.

Dan Masiulis scored four goals and had two assists for Howard, and teammates Arin Foreman scored four goals and had one assist.

Howard advanced to the championship by defeating Long Reach, 15-0, and Franklin advanced by beating Hammond, 11-10.

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