Hereford's 'ugly win' ends Severna Park's 23-game streak

No. 7 Bulls use balance on offense, hard work on ground balls to raise record to 6-0

April 04, 2011|By Glenn Graham, The Baltimore Sun

Going against defending Class 4A-3A state champion Severna Park on Monday, style points weren't a concern for the Hereford boys lacrosse team.

The Bulls, winners of the past three Class 3A-2A state titles, wanted only a win.

With eight saves from sophomore goalie Conor Cunningham, strong work on ground balls and defense, and just enough offense, No. 7 Hereford ground out a 6-4 home win over the No. 8 Falcons.

Joe Seider, Chuck Stafford and Tyler Dimes each finished with one goal and one assist. Vince DePaola scored to provide the game's first two-goal advantage early in the fourth quarter, and Morgan Pritchett iced the win with a goal in the final second.

The Bulls improve to 6-0 on the season, while the Falcons, who went 20-0 last season, fall to 3-1 — the loss ending a streak of 23 straight wins.

"I think we willed that one out," Hereford coach Brian King said. "We didn't play very sharp. After halftime, we did a much better job on ground balls, Connor Cunningham made a lot of saves, our defense time after time stepped up and we got enough goals to get out of here with an ugly win. But it's a win."

With the game tied at 3 after a half, the Bulls took the lead for good early in the second half, getting a man-advantage goal from Dimes with 10:37 left in the third quarter. Throughout most of the rest of the quarter, they had chances to increase their lead, only to see either Severna Park goalie Dylan Pasiuk (10 saves) make a stop or the shot go wide.

But 20 seconds into the fourth quarter, DePaola provided a 5-3 lead, which the Bulls protected until Joe Galdi scored his second goal of the game with 2:28 to play to pull the Falcons within 5-4.

The Falcons had possession in the final minute, but Matt Cutlip cranked a shot from up top that caromed off the post with 52 seconds to play. Severna Park wouldn't get another shot off before Pritchett sealed the win.

Even after the graduation of last year's Metro Player of the Year, Rustin Bryant, and most of the defense, the Bulls are maintaining their lofty status. Monday's win provided more proof.

"It gives us great confidence. We definitely stepped it up. When we played Fallston, that took us to the next level and this game definitely took us to another level. We just have to move on, keep playing and try to win another state championship," Seider said.

Severna Park coach Larry Kramer, whose Falcons also lost plenty of last year's starters to graduation, sees the setback as a valuable lesson for things to come.

"They made the plays, and we didn't," Kramer said. "I think we have a great team and we have a great opportunity to get better at lacrosse. This is a wake-up call for us. We're not going to walk onto the field and walk over teams. Hereford is a great opponent — that's why we wanted to play them."

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