North Harford girls make breakthrough



The North Harford girls lacrosse team did something that no one has done in a long time in Harford County -it defeated C. Milton Wright.

Corey Donohoe had five goals and one assist as North Harford ended C. Milton Wright's 60-game county winning streak with a 10-9 victory on Friday. The Hawks had to work for it, hanging on for the victory after jumping out to an 8-1 halftime lead.

North Harford coach Greg Murrell, whose team improved to 4-0 with the win, said it's the kind of victory the Hawks have been looking for over the past few years.

"What it means for us is that we've tried for the last four years to win that big game," Murrell said. "This team's found a way to get over the hump, to win the big game. That will be good for us."

Donohoe, the county Player of the Year in basketball this past winter, had 15 goals and eight assists in the team's first four games.

Laura Lesnick added two goals, one assist and five ground balls in the victory.

Emily Gibson and Meagan Linkous each added a goal and an assist, and Marley Welsh scored a goal. The two teams are scheduled to meet again at North Harford on April 25 at 7 p.m.

A time to change

New coach Ryan Arist certainly has changed things around for the Joppatowne boys lacrosse team.

The Mariners didn't have a lot of fun last year, losing all 13 games. But when Arist moved up from junior varsity to take over the varsity program, changes began to happen quickly.

Joppatowne returned just three players from last year. However, the Mariners won their first three games before falling to Aberdeen on Friday. The Mariners have played strong defense in the first four games and been consistent throughout.

Their biggest win in the early season was a 4-3 road victory over Havre de Grace, last year's surprise team, a regional finalist with most of its players back.

"We're playing well ... things have changed," Arist said. "We are young and inexperienced, so to come up with a few wins early in the season was very exciting."

Arist's team beat Meade, Harford Tech and Havre de Grace for a surprising 3-0 start. The Mariners scored an 11-2 victory over Meade and also topped Harford Tech. Then came the Havre de Grace victory last Wednesday.

Mark Hagley (seven goals for the season) had three goals and an assist in the Havre de Grace win, and Antoine Brown (four goals, four assists) added one assist.

The early-season streak ended when Aberdeen pulled out a 7-4 victory on Friday. Still, the Mariners have outscored opponents 29-18 in four games and grown into a much better team than last year.

Goalie Chris Feathers and defenseman David Miller have played well, too.

Spring vacation trip

The John Carroll rugby team will be taking a different kind of trip during spring break.

The Patriots are going to Argentina for an 11-day trip on which they'll play some rugby and see the country. Nineteen players, 16 supporters and three coaches will leave April 13 for Buenos Aires, where the team is scheduled to play twice.

The team then will go to Mar del Plata, about 200 miles south. The Patriots are scheduled to play teams from Centro Naval (the Argentine navy's youth team), St. Brendan's College (a Buenos Aires high school) and Holy Trinity College (a Mar del Plata high school) while also getting in some sightseeing.

The Patriots have grown into a strong team. Now in its fifth season of competition, John Carroll has won titles in the Potomac Rugby Union High School league in each of the past three seasons.

Dry fields

The recent dry spell has made several local fields very dry and dusty. But the county is hoping things will get better shortly.

Forest Wiest, the county's supervisor of high school physical education and athletics, said some schools have a watering system for the fields - but that it's underground and the facilities department didn't turn them on until Saturday.

This is the policy because cold temperatures could cause the underground pipes to freeze and break, which could flood the fields. The pipes are kept turned off throughout the winter.

The scoreboard end of the field at Bel Air was so dry during last week's girls lacrosse game with Fallston that it resembled a dust bowl at times, and even the game officials were having trouble seeing from only a few yards away.

There is an easy solution, but one that only Mother Nature can help with.

"We really need some rain," Wiest said.

Fast start

Fallston's Jess Dunn has been consistent in the first part of this season.

She scored five goals to help the Cougars to a 13-10 victory over Bel Air last Thursday - the third time this spring Dunn has gotten at least five goals in one game.

Dunn scored six goals against John Carroll and five against Hereford in addition to her performance in the Bel Air game. One of several Fallston players who can score from all over the field, she is a big reason the Cougars started 4-1.

Four other players scored twice in the game for Fallston, which used its tremendous speed to create scoring chances. The Cougars' speed is going to be tough for opponents to deal with.

Their biggest problem will be draws - they lost most of them against Bel Air and had problems getting possession at times.

"When we get the ball, we can score," Fallston coach Michael McTeague said. "Jess has been great for us."

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