Maryland falls to N.Y. in lacrosse battle, 12-11


The smattering of fans that stayed around after the 30-minute lightning delay in last night's inaugural Upstate New York-Maryland High School Challenge at Towson State University saw Maryland's comeback effort fall short.

New York scored three goals in a 48-second span in the fourth quarter to secure a 12-11 victory.

"The Big Game" as it was billed, the main event of the second annual STX National Junior Lacrosse Association Festival, was suspended with 2:23 left in the third because of unsafe playing conditions.

Maryland, which had outscored the visitors 3-1 in the third quarter to reduce the margin to two, scored first in the fourth quarter when Broadneck's Gerry Case scored on a feed from Brian Kingsbury (St. Mary's) to close to within 9-8 with 11:36 remaining.

New York then countered with three unassisted goals.

"From the opening of the game throughout, they seemed to be steadier and we had our peaks and valleys," said Loyola coach Joe McFadden, head coach of Maryland's 25-member select team of high-school-eligible players. "What got us in the end there shouldn't have happened. I certainly felt like it was a winnable game, but if they can run past all-stars and stick it in the corner, then give them credit."

Maryland got away from the basics in the first half -- passing, cutting and setting picks -- and the result was numerous turnovers and low-percentage shots.

To make matters worse for Maryland, New York's squad looked as though it had been playing together all year. It went ahead 2-0 on the first of three first-half goals by Ronnie Brion of Ithaca.

Aaron Vercollone of Boys' Latin put Maryland on the scoreboard with an unassisted goal with 4:38 left in the first quarter, but New York tacked on two in the final two minutes of the quarter to take a 4-1 lead.

New York stretched the lead to five on goals by Brion and Jason Hard (Cicero-North Syracuse), before trading goals with Maryland in the final minutes of the first half.

Josh Simms (Severn) and Case each cut the lead to four on assists by Dave Cummings (Loyola) and Marcus LaChapelle (St. Mary's), respectively.

After hitting the post with a shot from five yards out, Case closed out the first-half scoring by beating a defender from behind the cage and faking out New York's goalie to make it 8-4.

"We felt much more comfortable in the second half, once we loosened up a little bit," said Case, an incoming senior who led all scorers with five goals. "Everyone was trying to be the hero in the first half, but once we got rolling and got the ball moving we started coming back."

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