Towson goalkeeper Jesse Markowitz played one of the best games of his career a year ago in Towson's state championship victory.
The junior produced a similar effort yesterday in Towson's 10-9 state Class 1A-2A semifinal overtime win against Kent at Howard High. Markowitz made 18 saves, many of them spectacular.
"Markowitz loves to board it up and did a great job," said Towson attackman Mike Griffin, who scored the game-winning goal with 1: 14 left in the first four-minute overtime period.
Griffin scored three goals, giving him 21 for the season. "On the winning goal, I slid open under their zone, and Joe Hicks [one goal, three assists] found me. I was right on top of the crease."
Kent rallied from a 9-5 deficit after three quarters to tie the game 9-9 on a goal by Davey Blake with 30 seconds left in regulation.
Kent (14-2) nearly won it in overtime on a point-blank shot by Teigen Hall, who scored three goals to bring his season total to 65. But Markowitz made one of his spectacular saves.
"I just told myself to hunker down," Markowitz said.
Towson's deliberate style stymied Kent's run-and-gun high scoring style.
"We wanted to possess the ball and eat the clock so they couldn't score," said Ben Berquist, Towson's first-year coach. "They had much more athletic ability than us, but the game of lacrosse is played between the ears."
Towson (13-4) put in five of its first eight shots.
"That gave us a mental edge," Berquist said. "You start believing. I saw flashes of panic in Kent, because they had never played from behind before. They are used to dominating from the first whistle."
The Generals defeated Loch Raven Thursday to win the regional title, and because of the short space between games Berquist thought his team's legs got a little tired in the fourth quarter, when Kent revved up the tempo. Towson had not allowed more than seven goals in a game this season.
It was Kent's third straight unsuccessful trip to the final four.
"They controlled more faceoffs than we expected. We missed too many inside set-ups and didn't have enough patience," Kent coach Gary Fellows said.
Towson has won eight state titles and had a 56-game winning streak from 1992 to 1994.
"When you put on the Towson uniform, you have a lot of pride in the tradition of excellence," Griffin said. "Kent was a tough team but hadn't really played anyone tough, while we were playing Dulaney, Catonsville and Hereford."
Pub Date: 5/16/98