Dulaney's girls and boys lacrosse teams doubled up on Towson yesterday, both winning close games over the visiting Generals to clinch berths in this week's Baltimore County championship games.
Cody Lehrer scored the game-winner with 2:48 left in double overtime to give the No. 10 Lions boys a 12-11 victory and a meeting with No. 14 Catonsville in the county final. The No. 12 girls received five goals from Ana Heneberry in a 10-8 win that clinches a date with Hereford in the title game.
Both the Towson and Dulaney boys were 4-0 in Baltimore County Division I East coming into the game. The Lions (12-2) acknowledged that they didn't play their best game.
"We definitely played sloppy, and I don't think we played one full, good quarter of lacrosse," Dulaney midfielder Brad Ruzicka (three goals) said. "It shows we have a lot of heart by getting this win."
Lehrer's strike from 12 yards out clinched the victory in a game that featured five ties, and neither team led by more than two goals.
"It wasn't a set play or anything. I was kind of actually out of position," Lehrer (three goals, four assists) said of the game-winner. "I guess I made the most of it."
Dulaney clung to an 11-9 lead late in the game. Towson's Tom Higinbothom blasted a shot into the top left corner of the net with 1:45 remaining to make it a one-goal game.
With just 13.7 seconds left, he unleashed from 10 yards out to force overtime. The senior attackman and captain had a game-high six goals and added an assist for the Generals (10-4 ).
Both teams had opportunities in the first overtime. Dulaney's Spencer Martin had an open shot in front of the net just 10 seconds into the extra period, but was stopped by Generals goalie Tim McDade.
Not to be outdone, Dulaney keeper Alex Williamson made a jumping save in heavy traffic with 1:25 left to keep the score tied.
The Dulaney girls team wore warm-up T-shirts with "Bring it Back" emblazoned across the back. The words remind the players that they want to recapture the intensity of two years ago, when they won the state Class 4A-3A championship.
The same goes for the county title race.
"We want to bring back that whole intensity and that whole support system we had our sophomore year," Heneberry said. "It applies to anything. Our whole speech about it was, if we're in a game where we're not doing well, bring it back to that practice where we really pushed it or bring it back to that time where you knew you had someone on your team who was there for you."
The victory avenges last season's triple-overtime loss to the Generals (8-4) and sends the Lions into this week's county title game against Hereford. Dulaney and Hereford finished undefeated in their respective divisions.
Against Towson, the Lions (10-3) never trailed, but they also never led by more than two until Cailin Colegrove and Heneberry scored two consecutive goals to push the margin to 10-7 with eight minutes left.
Towson (9-4) tied the score at 5 on Cathy Bachur's goal with 18:19 left in the game, but Colegrove and Heneberry also answered that with consecutive goals.
"With Towson, it seems it always comes down to one call, one goal, one thing that kind of puts you over the edge, and we weren't going to let it come down to one specific thing this year," said Heneberry, a senior.