State lacrosse finals


Class 1A/2A boys

Towson (13-4) vs. No. 13 Centennial (14-1)

When: Tonight, 8 p.m.

Where: UMBC Stadium

Outlook: The defending 1A-2A state champion Generals are coming off an overtime semifinal win over a powerful Kent squad that entered at 14-1. Centennial, coached by Mike Siegert, has won 14 straight since a season-opening loss to Annapolis. Centennial is coming off Saturday's 13-6 rout of Hereford, a team Towson edged, 7-6. Towson has won a state-record eight championships overall, three of which came under the state-regional format before the MPSSAA made it an official state tournament in 1990. Since '90, the Generals have won five of Baltimore County's six state titles. Centennial won consecutive state-region crowns in 1980 and '81. Towson coach Ben Berquist replaced Randy Dase, who stepped down after 20 seasons and a 242-26 career record. The Generals have won seven straight games, and G Jesse Markowitz has allowed on average four goals. Centennial averages 17 goals a game behind M P.J. Paolisso, who, over the past three games, has 12 goals and eight assists, 26 ground balls and has won 31 of 40 faceoffs.

Class 3A/4A boys

No. 14 Dulaney (15-1) vs. No. 10 Annapolis (14-2)

When: Tomorrow, 6 p.m.

Where: UMBC Stadium

Outlook: Dulaney won consecutive state titles in 1990 and '91, but since then, Anne Arundel County teams have won the past six. Dulaney, making its seventh final four appearance of the decade, returned only two starters from last year's state semifinal loser to Mount Hebron. The Lions head into this Class 3A-4A state title game anchored by an all-junior defense led by Josh Tracy. The Lions of coach Gary Schreiber are coming off a semifinal win that ended an eight-game winning streak by Harford County champ, Fallston. Annapolis, coached by Dan Hart, is 53-7 over the past four years, including a 16-0 record for the state title in '94. Steve Briannas (attack), M Brad Downer and M Pete Ludlam are among the Panthers' six four-year starters.

Class 1A/2A girls

No. 5 Towson (16-1) vs. No. 6 Mount Hebron (15-3)

When: Tonight, 6 p.m.

Where: UMBC Stadium

Outlook: This title-game showdown features a clash of defending state champs. Towson won its first championship last year in Class 1A/2A. The Vikings won their third in Class 3A/4A and their fifth in the last six years. Tonight's final also presents a clash of styles pitting Towson's more traditional game against the Vikings aggressive, high-pressure defense. Generals coach Jill Altshuler said how quickly her team adjusts to the Vikings' unrelenting pressure all over the field could be the key to the game. The Generals average 15 goals, behind Lindsay Buchanan (57 goals, 35 assists), Katie Dolan (35, 20) and Eva Claire Synkowski (58, 11). Their defense allows just 5.2 goals per game. Buchanan and Jaimee Reynolds were second-team All-Metro defenders last year while sophomore goalie Claire Hoeckel averages 9.3 saves per game. The Vikings average 19 goals per game paced by Tracey Bounds (51, 49), Lauren Kickham (53, 19), Polly Purcell (32, 23) and Katie Nordhoff (34, 12). Their defense allows just 5.2, backed by senior goalie Kristen Foster, who set a record with 12 saves in the last year's final win over Severna Park.

Class 3A/4A girls

No. 9 C. Milton Wright (16-1) vs. No. 7 Annapolis (19-1)

When: Tomorrow, 8 p.m.

Where: UMBC Stadium

Outlook: C. Milton Wright coach Paul Snyder considers this final "the Lilliputians against the gargantuans." Both teams have similar tournament histories with four appearances, but Annapolis has the only title, in 1996. The Mustangs reached the final in 1995 but lost to Mount Hebron, 20-5. This year, the Mustangs will be underdogs again considering that they lost to Annapolis 23-1 in a preseason scrimmage. They are young, with four sophomores and afreshman starting, and that could be a problem against the tournament-tested Panthers, who play a tougher schedule. For the Mustangs to win, they must take better care of the ball and not try to force passes, said Snyder. The Panthers, whose only loss was to Mount Hebron, have balanced scoring led by two-time All-Metro attacker Kelly Dirks (77 goals, 52 assists), Brooke Wagner (37, 59), Kristy Dirks (48, 12) and Christy McNew (45, 15). The Mustangs, who lost only to No. 3 St. Mary's, average 14 goals led by senior attack wing Jamie Gerhart (84, 32) with Page Heath (40, 25) and Rachel Sappington (34, 12).

Pub Date: 5/19/98

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