Fallston's Sean Lewns proudly holds the championship… (MATT BUTTON AEGIS STAFF,…)
Defending state champion Fallston protected its turf in Tuesday's Class 2A-1A boys lacrosse championship.
Going against Harford County rival Patterson Mill, the No. 15 Cougars settled in with two quick goals and stayed in control to earn a comfortable 15-5 win over the Huskies at UMBC Stadium.
The Cougars' superior quickness and skill, along with their balance on attack became more and more apparent as the game wore on. Senior Marc Badger led the way with three goals and three assists; Wes Rumple added three goalsand nine different Cougars either recorded a goal or an assist. Fallston (16-4) tied its own state mark from last year for most combined goals in the tournament, once again finishing with 37 including its 22-5 semifinal win against Northwestern on Friday.
"We've been practicing really hard the past few weeks to get to this game — taking each game step by step," Badger said. "We're playing each minute hard and tough and look to the next minute and the next play. Our offense, we try to move the ball, find the open guy, keep passing it and find the shots …"
Badger and Rumple scored goals 42 seconds apart to provide the Cougars with a 2-0 lead with 7:30 to play in the first quarter.
The Huskies (10-10) were able to get one goal back when Josh Wilson (four goals, one assist) finished off a chance with 8:56 to play in the second quarter, but the Cougars — faster to the ball throughout the game — extended their advantage with a three-goal splurge soon after.
Taking a feed from Badger, Jeremy Scranton finished off a chance 40 seconds after Wilson's goal to make it 3-1. After winning the ensuing faceoff, the Cougars went up 4-1 on a goal from James Glezen and Rumple scored his second of the game with 6:19 to play to send the Cougars into the halftime break with a 5-1 lead.
Just like the first half, Badger scored off a nifty feed from Glezen less than two minutes into the third quarter for a 6-1 advantage. Glezen and Kyle D'Onorfio followed with goals shortly after to extend the lead to 8-1.
For a second straight year, the Cougars decisively separated themselves from the rest of the Class 2A-1A field to reach the title game. In claiming the East region title, they dominated Cambridge, 17-5, before the comfortable win over Northwestern in the state semifinals.
Fallston defeated Patterson Mill, 9-5, in the regular season meeting on April 23. The game was halted due to inclement weather with the score tied at 4 before the Cougars pulled away when the game picked up one week later. Patterson Mill coach Jason Bellamy said he believed his team had improved since the teams' first meeting. He added that Fallston simply improved that much more.
"They just got on us early and it was a tough hill to climb after that. I thought they did a really nice job out there, they're well coached and they exploited some weaknesses that we couldn't match up against at both ends of the field," he said.
Despite the loss, he was proud of his Huskies, who have reached the state tournament in each of the past four years. It was the second state title game in three years for the Huskies, who fell to Glenelg, 5-4, in 2011.
15 Fallston 15, Patterson Mill 5
Goals: F – Badger 3, Rumple 3, Scranton 2, Glezen 2, D'Onforio 2, Kisielnicki, Dunnigan, Wolf;
PM – Wilson 4, Caretti.
Assists: F – Ernst, Badger 3, Glezen, Scranton, D'Nnorfio
PM – Tallon, Wilson.
Saves: F – Wollenweber 7; PM – Urban 5.
Half: F, 5-1.