Late Goal Dashes Urbana's Hopes for 1st Title

Urbana's Brendan Oster, who scored twice, is under pressure from Dulaney's Alex Keifer.
Urbana's Brendan Oster, who scored twice, is under pressure from Dulaney's Alex Keifer. (By Mark Gail -- The Washington Post)
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By Dave Yanovitz
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, May 22, 2008

CATONSVILLE, Md., May 21 -- The Urbana boys' lacrosse team had its sights set on history Wednesday night, aiming to become the first Frederick County team to win a Maryland state championship in the tournament's 19-year history. Dulaney's Cody Lehrer and Brad Ruzicka had other ideas.

Lehrer, Dulaney's leading scorer with 56 goals and 20 assists, scored four goals, and Ruzicka's hard, straight-on shot from 12 yards found the back of the net with 1 minute 29 seconds to play as the Lions won the 4A/3A state title, 8-7, in a thrilling, tightly played game.

Just 30 seconds earlier, Urbana junior midfielder Blake Bing tied the game at 7 with a 15-yard bullet of his own, taking a pass from Matt Thomas and beating Dulaney goalie Alex Williamson.

Urbana, which reached the state title game in 2006 but lost to Mount Hebron, kept plugging away in the second half of a game that was tied at 2 after two quarters. The Hawks (17-1) fought back from a three-goal deficit in the third, and two one-goal margins in the fourth. They tied the game at 6 and again at 7, but never had the lead.

"We had some early looks that we should have canned," Urbana Coach Joe Conner said. "We put a lot of pressure on ourselves by not putting them in. I felt like we gave them extra opportunities. This was a game we were capable of winning."

Urbana senior Brendan Oster, whose 96 points (51 goals, 45 assists) led a potent offense that featured three 45-plus goal scorers, scored twice, as did Bing. Brian Patton, Ronjohn Dadd and Ryan Dutton-O'Hara each added one goal for the Hawks.

But it was Williamson (11 saves) who came up with several impressive stops. In the first quarter, Dutton-O'Hara took a feed from Oster in front of Williamson and tried to stuff home a goal but was snubbed; with 39 seconds left, Thomas tried to get the equalizer up high from eight yards out but was stopped.

Dulaney scored three goals in the opening 4:18 of the third quarter to go up 5-2, but Urbana's Patton and Bing scored 29 seconds apart late in the third to get the Hawks back in the game.

"If we had played this game as a best-of-seven, it would have been a dogfight for seven games," Conner said. "I think a one-goal game is how it would have turned out for all seven."

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