Raiders to play for 2A-1A crown

Loch Raven 12 Havre de Grace 6

Boys lacrosse

May 21, 2006|By JEFF SEIDEL | JEFF SEIDEL,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Loch Raven's Danny Hunter and Eric Friant showed Havre de Grace why they were the Raiders' top two scoring threats this season.

Hunter had five goals and one assist and Friant added five goals to help Loch Raven take a big early lead en route to a 12-6 victory over Havre de Grace in the Class 2A-1A state semifinal yesterday at South Carroll.

Loch Raven (12-4) reached its first state title game, which is Wednesday against defending champion Parkside at 4 p.m. at UMBC. This also was Havre de Grace's first appearance in the state final four.

Hunter and Friant were too much for Havre de Grace (14-5) to handle. They repeatedly found ways to get open, take high-percentage shots and score.

"We wanted to make a statement," said Friant, who has 46 goals and nine assists. "We wanted to get as many goals as we could."

Tim Homa scored off a pass from Hunter just 1:02 into the game. Thirty-five seconds later, Hunter (36 goals, 28 assists) made it 2-0. Hunter later intercepted a pass near midfield and scored on a breakaway to help Loch Raven to a 4-0 first-quarter lead.

Friant scored three times in the second period as the Raiders took an 8-2 halftime lead. Havre de Grace settled down and played much better in the second half, getting two goals from Zach Steelman and another strong effort from goalie Grant Steelman (15 saves).

"This team has the chemistry right now," Loch Raven coach Rob Persing said of his senior-dominated team. "We've been waiting a long time for this."

Havre de Grace coach Jason Alford thought the problems the Warriors had with ground balls in the first half proved costly.

"The difference was in the ground balls," he said. "They crushed us and got every ground ball in the first half. In the second half, we were competitive."

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