Four-time defending state champion Hereford became the first Baltimore County public school in recent memory to beat a rival from the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference, stunning St. Paul's, 11-10, with 49 seconds remaining in overtime Tuesday night in Parkton.
Junior attackman Joe Seider finished a feed from sophomore attackman Jason Ashwood on a fast break started by senior defenseman Austin Brown, who had intercepted a pass just outside the St. Paul's box and hustled across midfield.
Brown's pass to Ashwood was quickly redirected to Seider, who fired a rocket past St. Paul's sophomore goalie Hunter Perl.
"I missed a couple earlier, so I was pretty happy that I buried it," Seider said.
Perl had denied Seider earlier in overtime, snuffing a point-blank shot after the Towson University recruit rolled inside his defender. Perl made two other saves in overtime and 11 in the game.
Brown said he "got lucky" on the pickoff, then "was off to the races."
The Bulls were running themselves, overcoming a 9-5 deficit with 2:29 remaining in the third quarter to secure the victory.
But Seider pointed out that things could still have gone St. Paul's way, considering that senior attackman Spencer Parks' sizzling shot in overtime skipped off the left post instead of going into the net.
"They made the plays when they needed them," said St. Paul's coach Rick Brocato, whose team has three one-goal wins this spring. "But it should never have gone into overtime. We made some mistakes."
The Crusaders (3-3) bolted to a 3-0 lead, yet had a difficult time shaking free from the turnover-hampered Bulls, who, behind senior faceoff specialist Ted Demiris, were able to grab enough possessions to keep the score close before rallying.
Junior attackman Casey Larkin led St. Paul's with a pair of first-quarter goals while sophomore BJ Mattheiss added one.
The Bulls fought back on an extra-man goal by Seider near the end of the period and crept closer early in the second quarter when Ashwood converted a pretty inside feed by junior midfielder Jack Adams.
St. Paul's responded with back-to-back unassisted goals by junior attackman Andrew Nelson and senior Spencer Parks before Hereford sophomore midfielder Adam Ceribelli made it 5-3 at the half.
Mattheiss sandwiched goals around one by Hereford senior midfielder Morgan Pritchett before Seider made it 7-5 late in the third.
Parks and Larkin then built the margin to 9-5 before Ashwood started a 5-1 closing run in regulation that Adams concluded by finishing a long run to beat Perl on the doorstep with 25 seconds to go.
"It was a great lacrosse game, but it's March," Hereford coach Brian King said. "This game can't be our main focus. We still want to win a state championship, and St. Paul's still wants to win an MIAA championship."
Goals: H—Ashwood 3, Pritchett 2, Ceribelli 1, Seider 3, Adams 1, Bryant 1; SP—Parks 2, Nelson 1, Mattheiss 3, Larkin 4.
Assists: H—Adams 2, Ceribelli 1, Greene 1, Seider 1, Ashwood 1; SP—Parks 2, Louzan 1.
Saves: SP—Perl 11; H—Cunningham 1, Turnbaugh 1.
Half: SP, 5-3Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun