Bel Air rallies to beat Fallston, 11-10, in 3A-2A North regional semifinal

No. 15 Bobcats bounce back from two-goal deficit to top No. 9 Cougars in game resumed from Monday

May 17, 2011|By Glenn Graham, The Baltimore Sun

The Bel Air boys lacrosse team had nearly 20 hours to think about its playoff life and just over seven minutes of game clock to do something about it Tuesday afternoon.

Trailing Harford County rival Fallston by two goals when lightning suspended play with 7:11 remaining in Monday's Class 3A-2A North regional semifinal, the No. 15 Bobcats knew they would have to execute precisely when play resumed Tuesday.

When Jay Butler took a short pass from Joey Creaghan and bounced home the game-winner with 1:51 to play — the third unanswered goal since play had resumed — the host Bobcats (14-2) had done just that, earning a stunning 11-10 upset win over the No. 9 Cougars (15-3).

Parker Jones (four goals) scored consecutive goals — both off assists by Danny Rew — to tie the game and set the stage for Butler. Goalie Ben Richards, who missed the regular-season meeting against Fallston (a 21-6 loss) while serving a one-game suspension, also was a difference-maker with 13 saves.

"It was the greatest seven minutes of my life," said Butler, who scored five goals in the win. "Joey Creaghan had a great ground ball, and I was set up a little to the right of him. He gave me a great feed, and I was just like, 'I'm going to take it.' The shot was a bouncer, far hip side, and it hit the top corner."

The win sends Bel Air to three-time defending state champ Hereford on Wednesday in a rematch of last year's regional title game, which the Bulls won, 20-4.

"They outscored us by quite a bunch. But I think [Tuesday's win] is a big indication — we got a lot of confidence out of this — so we got to play hard and play our game," Bel Air coach Scoop Kelly said.

On Monday, two significant momentum swings had led to Fallston's claiming a 10-8 lead before play was halted in the fourth quarter.

With the Cougars leading 3-2 early in the second quarter, the Bobcats appeared to take control with six straight goals in a span of 12 minutes for an 8-3 advantage with 8:04 left in the third quarter. But Fallston responded, finally getting shots past Richards, and goals started to pour in, Brian White accounting for the last four. He scooped up a loose ball in front and finished off a chance to tie the score at 8 with 10:47 to play. White added two more in a span of two minutes to give the Cougars their 10-8 lead before the lightning arrived.

For the Cougars, the lightning proved to be the toughest momentum swing of all.

"It's tough. We were on a nice roll [Monday night], and then the lightning came and we had to wait," Fallston coach Matt Parks said. "You have to get on the bus again and try to motivate your kids, and they just didn't come ready and Bel Air did."

Goals: F—Thrasher 3, Badger 3, White 4; BA—Kalama, Butler 5, Creaghan, Jones 4.

Assists: F—White, Wolf, Lawrence, Badger; BA—Kalama 2, Gayo, Rew 3, Creaghan.

Saves: F—Abney 3; BA—Richards 13.

Half: BA, 5-3.

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