Three county boys lacrosse programs hosted tournaments Saturday, and though only one team took home first-place honors, every participating school collected at least one victory on the day.
Howard was victorious in the Karl Wolf Memorial Tournament played at Rockburn Park. After defeating Leonardtown, 18-0, for the team's fourth shutout win, as well as its second-largest margin of victory all season, the Lions got a test from Patterson Mill.
At Cedar Lane Park, Mt. Hebron took down Old Mill, 9-1, before eventually falling to North Carroll for the tournament title.
Long Reach and Wilde Lake participated in the Wildecats' home tournament. The Lightning fell to Oakdale in the opening round, but rebounded to beat Glen Burnie for the team's first out-of-county win on the year.
Wilde Lake also beat the Gophers before falling to Oakdale for the championship.
For a complete recap of all games played in the county Saturday, see the story capsules and box scores below:
Fight for Five Tournament
For the sixth year, Mt. Hebron hosted the Fight for Five Tournament – which honors fallen Vikings lacrosse player Evan Nicholson, while raising money for a scholarship in his name and the Ulman Cancer Fund.
"It's a good day for lacrosse, with great competition, and the kids have fun," Mt. Hebron coach Mike McCarthy said.
With a 9 a.m. first whistle, McCarthy expected his guys to be a little slow out of the gates. Fortunately, according to the coach, the defense was able to extend Old Mill in the early game, while creating favorable one-on-one matchups.
With 12 saves in the opening-round contest, Casey Dubois was a cornerstone to his team's success. After allowing an early goal, the sophomore St. Paul's transfer was solid between the pipes for the remainder of the game.
"We love having him. He's a great goalie and a smart kid," McCarthy said. "He's putting everybody in the right spots, and telling them the strengths and weaknesses of the offensive players on the opposite team.
"Fortunately he's got a great defense behind him," the coach added.
Dubois echoed his coach, adding that the back line's ability to force shots creates lanes of vision which allow the goalie to make plays on the ball.
Said the sophomore: "I thought our defense played well. After that first goal, it really woke us up."
Unlike last year, when the Vikings were able to come away with the tournament victory, the North Carroll Panthers got the best of them in the championship round. Brian Demek's two goals in the second game gave him a team-leading four on the day.
Game One: Mt. Hebron 9, Old Mill 1
Goals: MH – Kyle Sutton (2), Brian Demek (2), Zach Stevens (2), Thomas Stone, Shane Brookhart.
The Howard Lions also honored a former player Saturday with the Karl Wolf Memorial Tournament. Wolf, who passed away from Hodgkin's disease in 1999, was the team's leading scorer during his senior season.
"It's a great opportunity for us to honor him, and a great opportunity for the local community to check out the boys and girls teams," Howard coach Jimmy Creighton said.
The Lions were coming off a big win against perennial county power Glenelg on April 11, and players like faceoff specialist John Travisano said that momentum carried over into the team's first game of the tournament. In an offensive explosion, the Lions took down Leonardtown , 18-0.
"We were moving the ball well as a team. We saw some great opportunities for dodges up top," Travisano said. "Our midfield really got after it in this game in transition."
Howard got off to a fast start – something Creighton said is stressed with his squad – and was able to put spurts of points on the board through short periods in the first and second quarters.
With the lead growing, players cycled through the lineup. Still, the defense remained stout to preserve the shutout. Travisano praised teammates Adam Friedman, Peter Emery and Marshall McGlone for their work overall.
Added Creighton: "Our defense stood tall in the beginning on a couple of long possessions, and got the transition game going," he said. "I felt like we had no let-up throughout the entire game, which is something that we're always talking about."
Following Howard's decisive first win, Patterson Mill proved to be a much more formidable opponent.
Though the Lions played their closest game of the year, Creighton, Travisano and co. collected the 6-4 victory, as well as the tournament championship.
Game one: Howard 18, Leonardtown 0
Goals: H – John Travisano (4) Cody Ford (3), Leo Sementilli (2), Eric Schroeder (2,3), Brad Zulick (2), Nolan Dunnigan (2,1), Josh Nicodemus (1,1), Andrew August, Nate Schiavone.
Assists: H – Schroeder (3), Dunnigan, Nicodemus, Tristen Kelehan, Ryan Land.
Saves: H – Bryan Mauser 3, Justin Overstreet 1.
Half: 11-0, Lions.
Championship: Howard 6, Patterson Mill 4
Goals: H – Brad Zulick, John Travisano, Leo Sementilli, Eric Schroeder.
Assists: H – Sementilli, Schroeder, Zulick.
Saves: H – Bryan Mauser 7.
Wilde Lake Tournament
Both Long Reach and host Wilde Lake tallied victories in the Cats' tournament Saturday. After losing to Oakdale, 19-5, in the opening round, the Lightning rallied for a 17-4 win in the consolation game.
Wilde Lake handed the Gophers a 14-5 loss in the opening round before battling Oakdale – a 2013 state semifinalist – for the tournament title.
Though the Cats fell, 11-8, coach Jon Robinson said there was a lot he liked in his team's performance that could carry over into county play.
"I told the boys that I was impressed with the effort they had today," Robinson said. "It's always tough when you come up a little bit short, but I think we're closing that gap with everyone else (in Howard County) as we move toward the playoffs."
Ball possession was the key for Wilde Lake, which often failed to establish a set offensive attack for parts of the second and third quarter – when Oakdale made a few of its most important runs of the game.
Long Reach collected its first non-county win Saturday, armed with a combination of hustle, faceoff success and backdoor moves to the cage.
"We got a lot of good movement on the crease, with lots of cuts working around the ball," said Thomas Valenza, who netted five goals in the team's win against the Gophers. "Overall, we just played better than we usually do."
Wilde Lake 14, Glen Burnie 5
Goals: WL – Jack Quinn (4), John Radcliffe (3), Ryan Tiffey (2), Siyon Lowe (2), Patrick Riley, Pierson Swanson.
Oakdale 19, Long Reach 5
Goals: LR – Konner Kick (2), Skylar Briscoe, Will Parham, Cristian Jerry.
Assists: LR – Thomas Valenza (2)
Saves: LR – Chris Peppe 8.
Consolation: Long Reach 17, Glen Burnie 4
Goals: LR –Thomas Valenza (5), Andy Belush (3), Konner Kick (2), Cristian Jerry (2), Will Parham (2), Skylar Briscoe (2), Kendall Cooper.
Assists: LR – Thomas Valenza (2), Skylar Briscoe (2), Will Parham, Andy Belush, Konner Kick.
Saves: LR – Anthony Valenza 15.
Half: 10-2, Lightning.
Championship: Oakdale 11, Wilde Lake 8
Goals: WL – John Radcliffe (3), Siyon Lowe (2), Pierson Swanson, Ryan Tiffey, Patrick Riley.