Latham helps Lions rebound for tight win

He has 5 points as 7-1 Liberty overcomes early deficit on road

Liberty 9 Winters Mill 8

Boys lacrosse

April 21, 2006|By RICH SCHERR | RICH SCHERR,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Despite his team's sluggish start, Liberty's Matt Latham knew the inevitable would only take a matter of time last night in a key Carroll County boys lacrosse game at Winters Mill.

"Once we start clicking ... once we settle it down, we can play and get what we're looking for," Latham said. "That's when we get the shots."

Latham took his share, scoring three goals to go along with two assists to help the Lions rally from two early deficits to grind out a 9-8 win.

The game was the first for the Lions (7-1 overall, 3-0 county) since a one-goal loss to South River in the final of their tournament last weekend.

"Coming out and getting a win away, in a playoff kind of atmosphere - it was a good way to follow that up," Liberty coach Andy Cunningham said.

Trailing 3-2, Liberty began to take control, scoring four of five goals over the next 16 minutes, with Latham getting a goal and two assists during the span.

The Lions also held Winters Mill scoreless during a minute-long stretch early in the second quarter, despite the Falcons' two-man advantage.

"We were a little more focused," Cunningham said. "All night long we were having problems with unforced errors, but we managed to limit that during that time."

Falcons coach Sal Picataggi saw it differently.

"They killed us on faceoffs. They killed us on ground balls," Picataggi said. "They just were beating us to all those loose balls, and that was huge."

Still, paced by attackmen Sean Smithson (four goals) and Jimmy Daily (four assists), the Falcons (5-3, 3-2) stayed close, rallying from a three-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to pull within one on Smithson's short-handed goal with 1:18 left.

Winters Mill's Nick Leech, Garret Hill and Smithson then all narrowly missed shots in the final 21 seconds that would have forced overtime.

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