In a normal year, the Fallston-C. Milton Wright boys lacrosse game is likely to be a one- or two-goal game.
Thursday night at CMW, it was all Mustangs in this abnormal year. The Mustangs (7-0) put together a complete game, thumping visiting Fallston, 17-3, in an Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference game.
CMW hasn’t had any trouble scoring goals and that trend continued, but the defense really stepped up as well.
The Mustangs scored multiple goals in every quarter, while the defense limited the Cougars (3-1) to single goals in three of four quarters. CMW led 8-2 at half and 14-3 through three quarters.
Fallston won 15 of 23 faceoffs, but between self-inflicted offensive miscues and the Mustangs defense, the possession advantage meant nothing.
“The defense is the part that really stepped up. We’ve played good offense all year, really strong, scoring a lot of goals, but I’m starting two freshman on defense,” Mustangs coach Andrew Gerard said. “Kids had never seen, not only a high school game, but a varsity game no less. We went to a zone, which we haven’t played a whole lot of and our kids responded really well to that, but our kids, our freshman really stepped up and played big tonight.”
The freshman defenders are Hayden Goscinski and Brandon Stepp.
Fallston had possession from the start, but few shots and no goals came from it. The Mustangs scored first when John Garst converted a feed from Blane Dail (four assists) with 4:33 to play in the opening quarter.
Fallston countered a minute later with Jacob MacMillan netting an unassisted goal.
The Mustangs scored the next two to begin to pull away. Dail, with an assist from Nick Domzalski, broke the 1-1 tie, and Domzalski scored off a pass from Brennan Lorence with just 13.6 seconds left in the quarter.
In quarter two, the Mustangs reeled off three more before Fallston netted another.
Quinnten Hatfield’s lone goal opened the next quarter’s scoring and Brennan Lorence followed with maybe the nicest goal of the evening. Lorence knocked down a pass from a Fallston defender and quickly scooped up the ball. Lorence then raced toward the Cougars goal and fired a shot past keeper Jack Emmett.
“It just gets me excited, gives me hypes. I love riding like that and I love stealing the ball from the defense, and scoring off that makes it 10-times better,” Lorence said.
Domzalski added his second goal a minute later and Fallston stopped the run with its second goal. Remy Harding scored with an assist from Peter Bucker with 51.6 second left in the half.
Brennan Lorence scored a pair of goals in the final 38 seconds, one assisted by brother Bryce Lorence and the other by Hatfield.
“I love playing with my brother. It’s the greatest thing in the world and I didn’t get a chance last year, so this year just trying to make the best out of it and it just made me feel real good that he was able to get an assist with me and take part in that goal,” Brennan Lorence said.
Out of the halftime break, it was all CMW. The Mustangs scored six in the quarter, all before the Cougars scored one. Brennan Lorence scored his fourth and fifth goals, while Dail and Garst each added second goals. Kevin Morris and Reid Stauffer also scored in the quarter.
Garst and Dail both scored third goals in the final quarter and the last goal was scored by Benjamin Fitzpatrick, with an assist from Tyler Burkins.
“Obviously we were bummed last year we didn’t get to ride with some of our seniors and we’re doing this a little bit for them, a little bit for our coaches who didn’t get to have last year,” Hatfield said. “For the freshmen, who are playing defense, we’ve got to show them how to work this year, even though it’s going to be a short year. We just want to keep scoring goals and winning games.”
CMW goalie John Saulsbury had seven saves, before giving way to Tyler Mann, who made three more.
Emmett finished with eight saves for the Cougars.
“In all honesty, we’ve been hit pretty hard with COVID and we’ve had two separate shutdown things, where, we just haven’t had a lot of practice,” Cougars coach Pat Mull said. “I think it finally caught up to us. We kind of got by with some smoke and mirrors early in the season. Just a lot things stacked up against us for this game and that’s a really good team and they ran a zone the whole game. We haven’t seen that very much and it hurt us.”