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High School sports

Southern boys lacrosse rolls past No. 15 Fallston, 14-7, in Class 1A final to win second state championship

The fans for Southern boys lacrosse wore T-shirts to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association Class 1A title game against Fallston with the word “Redemption” emblazoned across the front and “In It To Win It” on the back.

After losing to Smithsburg in the state semifinals last season, the Bulldogs felt they had some unfinished business.

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Southern got off to a fast start and never looked back in a 14-7 victory over the No. 15 Cougars on Tuesday night at Loyola Maryland’s Ridley Athletic Complex. Ryan Gregoire and Garrett Simi had four goals apiece, while Carter Moon scored three goals for the Bulldogs.

It’s the second state title for Southern, which also won in 2017.

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“A lot of us felt we should have been here last year,” Gregoire said.

The Bulldogs’ defense, led by Jack Schiavone, Jackson Germann, Jackson Seymour, Cody Hitchcock, along with goalie Brady Gauntner (11 saves), gave Fallston little breathing room and created crucial turnovers.

Aiden Dixon won 21 of 24 faceoffs for the Cougars, who won the state title last year.

Southern (14-5) dominated the early part of the game and maintained possession for almost all of the opening six minutes of the first quarter. Moon, Gregoire and Simi gave the Bulldogs an early 3-0 lead.

Fallston (15-4) finally responded with a goal by Brendon Mudd with 4:28 left.

However, Moon beat his defender and scored his second goal of the game with a bouncing shot past Fallston goalie Landon Mills, and Tyler Wedick scored less than a minute later to extend the lead to 5-1.

“We wanted to set the tone early,” Southern coach Brendan Brace said. “We knew that having seen them a couple of different times [on tape] that if we had the ball on the offensive end, we would definitely give ourselves opportunities to score.”

Fallston’s Michael Estremsky scored and cut the lead to three with 10:36 left in the half. However, Simi answered for Southern just two minutes later on an assist from Moon that provided a 6-2 lead.

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Gauntner had a couple of key stops to thwart Fallston’s attack, which started to get into a rhythm by sharing the ball.

Gregoire stole the ball and then scored a breakaway goal, increasing the margin to 7-2 with just under six minutes left in the half.

“That was a big momentum shift for us,” Gregoire said. “We had to keep it on the gas after the first quarter and couldn’t let up. … We knew that if they made a mistake, we would capitalize on it.”

Jacob MacMillan and Quinn McLaughlin were able to stem the tide with goals three minutes apart.

However, Southern had an answer once again as Gregoire and Simi completed their hat tricks with 2:14 left, pushing the lead to 9-4 at the half.

“We just had to figure when they were zone or man [defense] and took our matchups when we had them,” Simi said.

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The Bulldogs continued to pull away in the second half and goals by Cody Hitchcock and Moon, who gave them a seven-goal cushion.

Lucas Hurlburt scored for Fallston’s fifth goal midway through the third quarter, but Wedick answered for Southern, which led 12-5. The Cougars controlled most of the possession, but they could not get any good looks on goal. Fallston also struggled with some unforced turnovers.

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Gregoire’s fourth goal gave Southern a 13-5 lead with 10 minutes left in the game.

Luke Wolff and Charlie Perri added goals for Fallston.

Simi earned his fourth goal with 3:55 remaining.

Goals: S — Gregoire 4, Simi 4, Moon 3, Wedick 2, Hitchcock; F — Mudd, Estremsky, MacMillan, McLaughlin, Hurlburt, Wolff, Perri.

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Assists: S — McGivern 3, Moon 2, Wedick 2, Seymour, Gregoire, Wheeler; F — MacMillan 2, Hurlbutt.

Saves: S — Gauntner 11; F — Mills 9

Half: 9-4, S


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