Calvert Hall's Mike Lance likes to lead by example. That's part of the reason coach Bill Karpovich selected the senior forward as one of his tri-captains this season.
So after the seventh-ranked Cardinals opened their schedule with a disappointing tie against C. Milton Wright earlier this month, Lance took it upon himself to help his team step it up a notch.
Yesterday, against No. 2 Severna Park, he showed them how.
Lance hustled for three assists and the host Cardinals rolled to a 3-1
win over the Falcons, extending their unbeaten streak to 37 games.
"We had to pick up our game a little bit after the tie," said Lance. "I just tried to get them together. I guess we proved today that we're doing pretty well."
In his two games since the tie, both wins, the forward has a goal and five assists to help the struggling offense get back on track.
But, as Karpovich will attest, the offense still needs to improve if Calvert Hall (2-0-1) expects to capture its fourth straight Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference title, and 12th in the past 14 years.
"We're still not blowing people away, and, with our abilities, we should be doing that," said Karpovich. "Our front line just isn't playing good yet. Goals are hard to come by, and we can't afford to give up opportunities like we did today."
Despite outshooting the Falcons, 28-20, Calvert Hall couldn't put the game out of reach until Jeff Link's goal made it 3-0 with 12:19 to play.
But missed opportunites hurt both teams.
Severna Park (0-1) had two golden opportunities to get back into thegame midway through the second half but let them go astray.
Ben Copithorn had the first chance, picking up a ricochet off the chest of Cardinals keeper Scott Simmons and putting it high and wide over the empty net with 17:33 left. Two minutes later, teammate John Rich deposited his unmolested shot wide right.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals built a 3-0 lead, with Trevor Woodward, Leigh Jocelyn and Link scoring off assists from Lance.
"They're a good team. They hustled and they deserved to win, but we also missed a lot of opportunites," Severna Park coach Don Gregg said.