On an afternoon where the 143rd Preakness stakes took place roughly 45 miles away, the Patterson Mill Huskies boys lacrosse team stampeded through the McDonough Rams, 17-4, in their class 1A state semifinal matchup at James R. Harris Stadium in Havre de Grace.
The win advances the Huskies (13-6) to the 1A state championship game for the third time in seven years and the first time since 2013. The Huskies will meet Smithsburg in the state final, Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Stevenson University.
It was a team effort for the Huskies offensively, as 11 of their players scored at least once. Chance Urban, Tom Nicosia, Nick Repke and Blake Tallon all tallied multiple goals for Patterson Mill, with Urban and Repke each picking up hat tricks. This also marked the fifth consecutive game (dating back to their regular season finale against Perry Hall) in which Patterson Mill scored at least 10 goals.
After allowing just one goal in their quarterfinal tilt with Largo, the Rams looked overwhelmed by the Huskies’ relentless attack. Patterson Mill spent the majority of the first quarter—and the game—on the attacking end of the field. Whenever the Huskies scored, they quickly snatched another possession either via a faceoff win or a faulty pass by McDonough.
Patterson Mill’s constant offensive pressure made for a light day for the defense, but they still made sure to bridle McDonough’s scoring opportunities throughout the afternoon. The Rams didn’t record a shot on goal until late in the second period. Most of McDonough’s limited scoring chances were either snuffed out by the Huskies defense or swallowed up by junior goalkeeper Justin Strawderman.
“Coming into the game, we knew we had to play good, solid man-to-man defense,” Huskies senior defender Jakob Lowery said. “We weren’t going to show too many zones and we thought we played pretty well.”
The Huskies opened things up a mere two minutes into the game with a Repke goal at the 9:57 mark. They would get two more goals over the next minute and the trend continued for the rest of the quarter. Patterson Mill would score a goal, win the faceoff and pass the ball around until one of them found the optimal shot. It resembled a hockey team enjoying a power play advantage, biding their time until a hole in the defense opened up for a scoring chance.
“We have so many weapons on the outside that can shoot and get their hands free,” Urban said. “We’re just challenging to defend and with that our offense is so successful.”
Things more or less remained the same in the second period. McDonough got a rare scoring chance early, but the shot bounced well short of the net. Patterson Mill promptly blitzed down the field and scored on Tallon’s second goal of the game. The score got so out of hand that the scorekeeper ran the clock at the start of the second half to speed up the game.
Sophomore midfielder Brady Ferriter provided one of the only bright spots for the Rams in a gloomy, mucky game only matched by the showers and overcast above the field. Ferriter played with great heart throughout the game, as he constantly rushed into the dark abyss that was the Patterson Mill defense in an effort to get his team back in the game. He scored the Rams’ first goal of the game at the three minute mark of the second quarter, though by that point Patterson Mill was ahead by 11. He finished with two goals. His midfield mate, senior Seth Yates, also played well, racking up a pair of goals as well for the Rams.
Patterson Mill hopes to keep their momentum going in the title game, as they look to secure the first state lacrosse championship in school history.
“Our guys have worked hard all season long,” Huskies head coach Jason Bellamy said. “A word we used earlier in the season is battle tested and I think they’re prepared for the playoff matchups that we have.”