Park boys lacrosse ends J. Carroll's 2-year run

Conference streak is over

Fallston repeats in tourney


Sports Beat

Harford County schools

April 17, 2005|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The streak is over. But the John Carroll boys lacrosse team doesn't feel like it has struck out.

No. 13 John Carroll's two-year winning streak in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference ended with its 6-5 double-overtime loss at Park on Tuesday. But the streak, which Patriots coach Keith Hinder believed to be 22 games, wasn't a major topic of conversation, and the team is just hoping to start a new one.

"We never even talked about it," Hinder said. "But we get to play them again, and the focus is getting back to the championship game."

The loss dropped John Carroll to 5-2 overall (5-1 in the conference) and ended a five-game winning streak this season.

John Carroll is the two-time defending conference champion and, by coincidence, the Patriots' previous loss came in another double-overtime contest, to Archbishop Spalding in 2003. The Patriots defeated Park in last year's title game - a motivating factor for the Bruins in Tuesday's matchup.

Park took a 3-0 lead before John Carroll fought back and scored twice in the final minute of regulation to force overtime. The smaller Patriots squad kept battling, got good performances from goalie Greg Boyle (12 saves), Matt Rayburn (two goals), Mike Nawrocki (two goals), Brett Leppert (two assists), Mark Scanlon (one goal, one assist) and others.

But the game proved costly when Nawrocki was hurt midway through the second quarter. He collided with a Park player and suffered a partially separated shoulder. Nawrocki, the team's top scorer, missed the rest of the game and will be out for about three weeks.

"That really hurts, but we'll have to [adjust]," Hinder said.

John Carroll also continues to get strong defensive efforts from seniors Dan Hinder and Michael Tagliafari. The Patriots also benefit from experience as they have six senior starters and eight seniors on this year's team.

The Park game showed some of the things that the Patriots have to work on, and coach Hinder was fine with that. Park clogged the box on defense and simply let John Carroll fire - and the Patriots did that a little too much. John Carroll finished with 40 shots, but Park goalie Brad Mendelson made 15 saves.

"We got frustrated and took shots we shouldn't have taken," Keith Hinder said.

But the Patriots showed their poise by holding off a number of Park runs, bouncing back from deficits of 3-0 and 5-3. That's something John Carroll is confident it can build upon.

"Our guys listen," Boyle said. "If they make a mistake, they don't do it twice. They don't quit."

Victory at last

Fallston has been too nice of a host at its boys lacrosse tournament over the years.

The first 17 years the Cougars held the Fred Sheckells Tournament, they couldn't win it. But they finally took the title last weekend and improved to 7-0 for the season.

The tournament had been pushed back from last month because of rain, and the new date forced Towson to drop out and changed the competition to a round-robin format. That made life easier for Fallston, which routed South River (10-2) and West Chester (9-3). The Cougars ended with the best record and took the championship.

"It's a great confidence-builder," Fallston coach Matt Parks said. "It just seems that every year we go into it with high expectations and came out of it with a loss."

Fallston's Steve Bosse continued his early-season hot streak, getting six goals and two assists in the tournament. He now has 23 goals and 12 assists through the first seven games. The senior had 78 points last year. He also scored his 100th career goal in the tournament.

Going for three

The Harford Christian girls soccer team faces its biggest early-season game on Tuesday when it goes to Carroll Christian.

Harford Christian has beaten the Patriots in each of the past two Maryland Association of Christian Schools title games - last year's being a 3-2 triple-overtime victory. Carroll Christian is a young team that has jumped off to a surprising 6-1 start. Harford Christian has struggled to a 3-3 start.

Tower Hill (Del.) handed Harford Christian a 4-0 defeat on Wednesday, but the Carroll Christian game should get the two-time defending champions fired up. Harford Christian lost some solid seniors to graduation, but seniors Jenna McKnight, Aubrey Wenzl, Virginia DeFrank and Abigail Hancock have played well so far.

But everything will come down to the MACS tournament in mid-May.

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