The numbers are becoming more impressive for C. Milton Wright's girls lacrosse team: 15 wins in as many games, an average of just six goals allowed, and the second trip to the state tournament in three seasons.
The latter became reality yesterday after the ninth-ranked Mustangs nipped No. 12 Fallston, 13-12, for the Class 3A-4A North region championship.
Wright plays Parkville at 6 p.m. today in a state semifinal at at Catonsville Community College.
"Our assistant coach, Carl Greenberg, said the sign of a good team is that it can play [badly] but still win," said defender Kristen Joel. "We didn't play our best game, but we still pulled it together and still managed to win."
Wright (now 15-1) won yesterday in much the same way it has throughout the season. Leading scorer Jamie Gerhart had four goals, including what proved to be the game-winner with 5: 09 left. That goal put the Mustangs ahead 13-8.
Although goalie Jen McHugh wasn't in top form in the second half, her 13th save with two seconds left finished off the Cougars.
"Our team has a lot of composure," McHugh said. "I didn't play well late in the game, and it got a little scary there at the end. But the girls in front of me made up for my mistakes."
McHugh's first-half play proved critical, though, when Fallston nearly rallied to tie in the final six minutes after being five goals down.
McHugh made eight saves, several from close range, in the opening half and held Fallston to just two goals on its last 11 shots as the Mustangs built a 9-5 lead at halftime.
Defense has served Wright well this season, but it nearly became the Mustangs' undoing late in the game.
Fallston didn't get serious until the final 4: 20, when a goal by Nicole McNeill brought Fallston (13-2) to 13-9 and started a four-goal run. The Cougars won the next two draws, leading to goals by Gina Lattanzi and Jamie Neumann, before Chrissy Peregoy beat McHugh with a low shot that pulled Fallston within 13-12 with 30 seconds remaining.
"We were lagging and maybe doubting yourselves when we fell behind by five goals," said Fallston coach Gina Hormes. "Until we realized we still had a chance to win the game, we started getting the ground balls and scoring goals. But it was just a little too late at the end."
Wright essentially took control midway through the second half with a 9-7 lead.
Fallston boys win, 6-3
Matt Bosse had a hat trick as Fallston (15-3) downed visiting C. Milton Wright, 6-3, for the Class 3A-4A North region title.
Fallston faces Dulaney at Catonsville Community College in a state semifinal at 8 tonight.
Pub Date: 5/15/98