Wootton boys' lacrosse defeats Churchill, 14-7
Wootton attackers Jeff Zifrony and Chris Doran knew other teams in the area sensed a certain vulnerability about the Patriots, considering that through four games they already had as many losses as the previous two years combined.
In Saturday's home matchup against undefeated Churchill, the duo set about erasing any doubt about which team is the one to beat in Montgomery County boys' lacrosse. Zifrony and Doran contributed eight goals as Wootton stormed past the Bulldogs, 14-7, to up its win streak against county competition to 54 games, dating from April 24, 2006.
"We're just as good or better than we've been the past couple of years," said Zifrony, a senior who finished with four goals and three assists. Wootton's three early losses came against public school power Severna Park and private schools Bullis and Gonzaga. "If you want to judge us by our record . . . I just don't think that's the way to go."
That was clear early and often against Churchill. After Zifrony opened the scoring with a nifty move from behind the Bulldogs' cage and Doran assisted on a goal by sophomore Chris Cornelius, the two teamed up for three consecutive scores as Wootton improved to 2-3.
First it was Doran, a junior, feeding Zifrony for a snipe from just inside the offensive circle. Then after a misplay by the Churchill defense, Doran found Zifrony again for an easy goal. The sequence culminated with Zifrony returning the favor on Doran's first goal of the game, giving the Patriots an early 5-1 lead.
"We definitely have a connection," Doran said with a smile. He had four goals and three assists.
Churchill (2-1) cut its deficit to three late in the second quarter after consecutive scores by midfielder Matt Risk (four goals), but Zifrony and Doran responded by teaming up for the fourth and final time just before halftime.
With Churchill flustered, the Patriots took over in a penalty-filled second half, scoring six of the first eight goals after halftime to put the contest out of reach.
"Yeah, we were 0-3, but we played some really good teams," said Zifrony. "This is definitely a statement win for us."
New position, no problem: Wootton senior Bobby Riso made the switch from midfielder to goalie this offseason. He had his best game to date Saturday, finishing with nine saves. Offensive revival: The Patriots mustered just 13 goals in their first three games, all losses. In their two wins since, they've scored 23.