The Dulaney Lions spent the bulk of their season dominating with defense, so after allowing seven goals to Fallston in the first half of last night's Class 3A-4A state semifinal, it was no secret what the Lions needed to do.
Said coach Gary Schreiber: "We had to put a little more pressure on them."
Dulaney then broke a 7-7 tie with six straight goals to start the second half, using their intense defense to shut out the Cougars for the first 18: 07 of the second half en route to a 13-8 win at Catonsville Community College.
The Lions (14-1), who have held opponents to an average of just four goals a game this season, advance to the state championship game Wednesday night at UMBC, where they will face the winner of tonight's game between South Carroll and Annapolis.
Early on, however, it seemed there might be a different outcome.
"We were playing too loose on defense," said Schreiber. "We just didn't play with enough emotion in the first half."
After halftime, the Lions (14-1) began playing more aggressively lTC on the defensive end, blanketing Fallston's attackmen and challenging for every ground ball.
"We knew we could play better than what we did in the first half, and we really picked it up," said Steve Will. "Even though it was tied at halftime, I knew we were going to win it because we were pumped up and we knew what we had to do."
Will scored two of his game-high four goals in the third quarter, adding an assist on Alex Nichols' effort that gave the Lions a lead they never relinquished.
Nichols finished with three goals, and Jon Heumann added two.
Fred Trentzch paced Fallston (15-4) with four goals, while Bob Evans added three assists.
Dulaney seemingly took command of the game in the early moments, building a 6-3 lead by midway through the second quarter. Fallston fought back, scoring four straight to briefly take a 7-6 lead with just over a minute to play in the first half.
Will's goal seven seconds before halftime tied the game at 7.
The second half, however, belonged to Dulaney. Fallston coach Joe Groszkowski said part of the reason may have been fatigue.
"We played last night, and I think it showed on our kids," Groszkowski said. "I think if we were fresh we would have been able to pick it up a little in the second half. The kids gave it all they had, but our legs weren't as strong as theirs."
Pub Date: 5/16/98