C. Milton Wright's boys lacrosse team won its first regional playoff game ever with a rain-shortened 14-6 victory over Bel Air Friday night in a Class 3A/4A Region I semifinal.
Carl Greenberg's squad had been to the regional playoffs four times before without a win. Wednesday night it will go for two in a row, playing host to either second-seeded Centennial or third-seeded South Carroll. The winner moves on to the state final four.
Officials called Friday night's game at C. Milton Wright with two minutes remaining because of lightning. A three-minute downpour already had flooded the field.
Earlier in the season, the Bobcats had lost to C. Milton Wright, 12-5, and Bel Air coach Bruce Riley knew his squad had to control the ball and take the Mustangs' attack out of the game if they were to have any chance of upsetting the top-seeded Mustangs. But the Mustangs (15-1) wasted no time showcasing their offense by running up a 7-0 first-quarter lead.
"They're explosive," Riley said. "But the thing I really like about them is they're unselfish. They have a lot of assists."
The Mustangs recorded assists on 11 of their goals. They dominated the ground balls with excellent performances from their midfielders.
They outshot Bel Air, 15-3, in the first quarter. They had five goals and 11 shots before the fourth-seeded Bobcats (3-9) took their first shot of the game.
Joe Milano scored the Mustangs' first goal, an extra-man goal from Scott Panowitz. The Mustangs then scored four goals in one minute midway in the quarter.
Brian Moen scored one and had two assists while Chris Lloyd added two goals and Mark Umbarger one. Middie Jesse Sostrin also had an assist in the rally. Jay Tharpe and Moen added goals later in the quarter, both on assists from middie Umbarger.
Lloyd's third goal gave the Mustangs an 8-0 lead early in the second quarter. Bel Air mounted a brief rally on back-to-back goals from left-handed middie Corey McLauglin to pull within 6.
The Bobcats had their best chance to get back in the game with 4:35 to go before halftime. The Mustangs had two men in the box for nearly 20 seconds on consecutive slashes, but the Bobcats couldn't capitalize.
Lloyd led the Mustangs with five goals and two assists, while Moen finished with four goals and two assists. Goalie Andy Wishart had seven saves.
Bel Air got two goals in the fourth quarter from Greg Martin.