As the minutes quickly went by in a scoreless third quarter of Tuesday’s Class 1A boys lacrosse championship between Patterson Mill and Smithsburg, it appeared the next goal in the tightly contested game would be a big one.
The Leopards from Washington County got it to pull within a goal, but what soon followed turned out to be the difference.
Patterson Mill scored four goals in the next three minutes, the decisive stretch as the Huskies went on for an 18-8 win at Stevenson to claim the program’s first state championship.
In closing with a 14-6 mark, the Huskies showed plenty of firepower in the season’s biggest game. Senior attackman Blake Tallon (six goals), junior midfielder Kevin Dyke (four goals, one assist), junior attackman Chance Urban (two goals, five assists), junior midfielder Conner Madsen (three goals, two assists) and junior attackman Nick Repke (two goals, one assist) all did their share in overwhelming the Leopards, who became the first Washington County school to reach a boys lacrosse title game.
The Huskies, who were making their third state title game appearance, became the first boys team to win a state title since the school began playing varsity in 2009.
Coach Jason Bellamy, who recorded his 100th win in the semifinals in his 10th season, saw something special emerge in this year’s team. The Huskies had a breakthrough in the regular season, when they beat perennial state power and Harford County foe Fallston for the first time.
“We’ve had some good teams, been here four [previous] times to the state tournament — twice we lost in the semifinals and twice in the championship. They were all good teams and this team was real hungry. They kept their composure and they just competed every day,” Bellamy said.
A textbook pass and finish started the pivotal third-quarter stretch with Tallon cutting in front, taking a feed from Dyke and promptly scoring to make it 8-6 with 4:07 left in the third. Matt Gallagher scored in between two goals from Dyke to make it 11-6. They Huskies stayed in control the rest of the game to win going away.
Tallon, who tied a career-best with his six-goal performance and finished the season with 45 to go with 11 assists, was proud to be part of the program’s first boys state championship team.
“Seeing a couple state championship games [in other sports] — it’s tough to see the players — a lot of my friends — go home all upset with a loss, so it’s just nice to break the ice,” he said.
The Huskies got a goal from Tallon in the game’s first minute and never trailed in the first half, but every time they appeared ready to pull away, the Leopards stayed close.
Penalties proved costly for the Huskies in the first quarter. Twice, they pushed the lead to two goals, only to have Smithsburg get back within a goal on extra-man goals with the lead at 4-3 going into the second quarter.
The Huskies started fast in the second quarter, getting their own extra-man goal early when Tallon scored off a nifty assist from Chance Urban before Kevin Dyke made it 6-3 with 7:37 to play in the half.
Brown was quick to answer for Smithsburg, scoring consecutive goals less than two minutes apart to cut the Huskies’ lead to 6-5. Tallon scored his third goal of the half with 2:58 left to push the lead to 7-5 at the halftime break.
Goals: PM—Tallon 6, Madsen 3, Repke 2, Urban 2, Dyke 4, Gallagher; S—Keyser 2, Brown 4, Healy, Linn. Assists: PM—Madsen 2, Urban 5, Repke, Dyke, Gallagher; S—Ewing, Linn, Brown, Healy, Keyser. Saves: PM—Strawderman 6; S—Hood 9. Half: PM 7-5.