The No. 13 Howard boys lacrosse team, now 7-0, has experienced talent all over the field. But one area is particularly thriving: defense.
Just how good have the surging Lions been on defense?
They alread have three shutouts, including a 7-0 win over Marriotts Ridge earlier this week, and they've allowed just 12 goals all year.
Coach Jimmy Creighton said the starting point to the defense's success is familiarity. Close defenders Adam Friedman, a junior, and Peter Emery, a senior, have played with senior goalie Bryan Mauser for three season on varsity.
Junior Marshall McGlone, a two-year starter at close defense, has further strengthened the position, and senior Nick Demers and sophomore Josh Vetter have held their ground as long-pole midfielders.
"Our defense has done a pretty good job of limiting the shots and limiting good shots from teams, but any time there is a shot or they do get a good look, Bryan has been there to make the save," Creighton said. "He's making the saves he needs to make and he's making a couple that he shouldn't make -- he's just playing really well."
Preparation has been another key, as the group has made a commitment to film study to recognize opponents' tendencies. The Lions will face their most difficult task to date Friday when they host defending Howard County champion Glenelg. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m.
"They're a very complete team. But as far as their offense goes, they have a Division I attackman in Nick Forrest that can go at anybody. ... They've got another guy in [Tyler] Wasson -- a D-I kid, a big lefty midfielder, -- and they have other guys, too, that really support them and can stick the ball in the net," Creighton said. "They can definitely spin the ball around and make it difficult on a defense."