For much of his four years on the Friends School varsity, attackman Spencer Deering has been the go-to guy on offense.
Yesterday, against Archbishop Spalding, not much was different for the 6-foot-3 scorer. Only this time, he notched his 100th career goal in the process.
And his effort helped assure the Quakers of another trip to the league's title game.
Deering had four goals and three assists to lead host Friends to a 12-5 victory, clinching it a berth in the Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference final on May 21 at UMBC Stadium.
"I had no clue," said the senior of his scoring milestone. "I'm more excited that we won the game, but it's a nice accomplishment."
With Friends (8-1 overall, 6-0 league) leading 3-2 at halftime, Deering took over, scoring the first two goals of the half and figuring in four out of the Quakers' five in the third quarter, as they built an 8-3 lead.
Midfielders Max Everett and Adam Dougherty scored four and two goals, respectively, as they helped avenge the Quakers' sluggish performance in a 7-6 double-overtime win over Spalding (6-7, 2-4) earlier this season.
"[The Cavaliers] were in much better shape than us the first time around," said Friends coach Jon Garman. "At that time, we had only played full field once. We've really improved a lot in six weeks."
And they also improved from the first to the second half yesterday.
The Quakers looked sluggish early, losing ground balls and allowing the Cavaliers good shots on goal.
Spalding held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before Jonas Mikolayunas and Max Everett scored back-to-back late in the half to put Friends ahead for good at 3-2.
The Quakers then began to dominate, working their offense with crisp passes and outshooting Spalding, 20-10, in the second half.
"We played them tough in the first half, but they just started putting the ball away more," said Spalding coach Dave Kraft, whose team fell to Park twice this season after faltering late. "We just can't pick it up that extra step and get it done."
The loss eliminated the Cavaliers from postseason contention.
For Friends, three games remain in the regular season, and Garman said the defending MSA BB Conference champions won't be resting on their laurels.
He pointed to wins over North Harford and Park as turning points in the season, and as a barometer of how well his team will have to play to capture its second straight title.
"In both of those games, we really stepped it up to a new level," he said. "We always talk a great deal about what we can do better. For the rest of the season, we're going to work on it."