One goal. One overtime goal.
That's all that separated the Leonardtown boys' lacrosse team from a historic triumph Wednesday at home against Northeast of Anne Arundel County in the Maryland 3A/2A East Region final. With a victory, Leonardtown would have become the first Southern Maryland team to win a boys' lacrosse region title and advance to the state semifinals.
The Raiders performed valiantly, scoring three goals in the closing minutes of regulation, including junior midfielder Neal McKinney's equalizer with just 19 seconds left. But they surrendered the game-winner in overtime and lost, 13-12.
"It was a heartbreaker," said Leonardtown Coach Mike Loughran. "No doubt about it."
McKinney and Brendon Cummings each had three goals for the Raiders; David Stamm had two goals and two assists; and Brian Verbic added two goals and one assist. But in the end, it was not enough. It was the second overtime game the teams had played this season. On April 3, Leonardtown came out on top, 14-13.
"We had a good season, and somebody had to win that ballgame," Loughran said. "We took them to overtime in the regular season and won. We took them to overtime again, and they won. It was back and forth, both goalies made great saves. . . . It was unfortunate that we did lose, but I'm very proud of the effort put forth by the players this year."
The Raiders finished 12-6 in Loughran's second season as head coach. Three of Leonardtown's losses came by three goals or less, including two by one goal. Though the Raiders will lose six senior starters to graduation -- including Stamm, their leading scorer -- they will return a strong contingent of underclassmen, including McKinney and junior goalie Steven Boas.