Anne Arundel County teams had won the last six straight Class 3A-4A boys lacrosse state titles entering last night's championship game at UMBC.
Having gotten out of its East region with a win over county neighbor Broadneck, winner of four of the last six crowns, Annapolis carried the mantle against Dulaney, the last Baltimore County school to win the crown back-to-back, in 1990 and 1991.
The 10th-ranked Panthers (15-2) proved worthy of the task in a 12-7 rout of the No. 14 Lions (15-2), getting five goals from Craig Rentch.
He got plenty of help from teammates Brad Downer, who had four assists; Danny Marcellus, with four goals; Pete Ludlum (two goals, one assist) and Dustin McConnaughhy (one, one).
Dulaney's Steve Will entered the game with 87 points, but scored his only goal with 3: 53 remaining to play, thanks to a Panthers defense anchored by Mike Donlin and goalie Jeff Childs (nine saves).
"We denied him [Will] the ball and let the offense take control of the game," said Donlin, one of seven four-year starters for Annapolis. "Once that happened, we took over."
The title was the second for the Panthers under 10-year coach Dan Hart, whose record improved to 67-9 over the past five seasons.
With the Annapolis girls' win over C. Milton Wright last night, Annapolis High became the second school to capture girls and boys' lacrosse titles in the same year. Towson was first, last spring.
"We knew we may have had an advantage in both of the games, that the potential was there," said Annapolis Principal Joyce Smith. "The kids and the coaches have worked pretty hard, and they've had a fantastic year. This is just pretty phenomenal."
After killing a two-man advantage situation for the Lions early in the second period, Annapolis -- trailing, 3-2, at the time -- scored two goals 10 seconds apart to start a 4-0 run.
Then, with the Lions closing to 7-5, Annapolis engineered a 3-0 run for a 10-5 lead with 1: 32 left in the half. Ludlam and Josh Lesko keyed an 11-4 advantage in faceoffs during the first half.
Dulaney's freshman goalie Phil Reed -- replaced by junior Nick Mowbray (nine saves) after a 10-6 halftime deficit -- had eight saves. That meant only two of the Panthers' 20 first-half shots were wide of the mark.
"We played with heart. Our shot selection was great," said Rentch, who scored nine goals in the Panthers' last two games. "We got a little run going in the middle and got permanent momentum."
Dulaney's defense of juniors Scott Williams, Josh Tracy and Tim Barzik entered the game allowing less than three goals on average. And the Lions' offense, led by Alex Nichols (four goals), John Heumann (two assists) and Brandon Malstrom (one, one), had averaged 20 goals.
"They were good. They were very good," said Tracy, who scored a goal goal to make it 2-2 in the first period. "But we just didn't have it today."
Pub Date: 5/21/98