Dulaney earns title-game spot

Lions to meet rival Severna Park in 4A-3A final

Dulaney 10 Westminster 9

Boys Lacrosse

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

The stage is set for the latest edition of what's fast becoming one of the area's top boys lacrosse rivalries.

Dulaney's Jeff Santo picked up a loose ball in front of the net and scored with 3:47 left, lifting the No. 10 Lions to a 10-9 win over Westminster in a Class 4A-3A state semifinal at Annapolis High yesterday, and setting up a clash with No. 8 Severna Park in the final.

It will mark the fifth time the teams have met in the final since 2000. Dulaney has won all four previous matchups - including two that went to double-overtime - by a combined five goals.

They will now meet again Wednesday at 8 at UMBC, with the Lions shooting for their sixth state title in the past seven years.

"I just hope it's exciting like it normally is," Lions coach Gary Schreiber said.

To advance, the Lions (16-3) had to outlast a Westminster team that rallied from a 9-6 deficit to tie the game with a pair of goals by Ryan Finch and another by Pat Smith, the last coming with 7:02 to play. Finch finished with a game-high four goals.

With the score tied at 9, Dulaney took the lead for good on a bizarre play with time winding down in the fourth quarter. As players fought for possession in front of Westminster's net after a shot on goal, the ball squirted right in front of the crease, where Santo simply picked it up and slammed it into the back of the net.

"They got a garbage goal at the end," Westminster coach Jeff Doolan said. "If you're going to lose, you want it to be a nice offensive play - not a ground ball that nobody sees."

Westminster(13-5) had two final chances to force overtime, but goalie Geoff Hebert blocked away Finch's bouncing shot with just over a minute left, then saved a hard shot from long range by Pat Smith with about 20 seconds left to seal the win.

Westminster has now been eliminated in the state tournament by either Dulaney or Severna Park each of the past four years.

"That game could have gone either way at any time," Doolan said. "These guys just left it all on the field."

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