Lackey 5, Northern 2

Lackey senior striker Matt Bourdeau completed a hat trick when he knocked in the Chargers' final goal in a 5-2 victory against No. 10 Northern last night. Just minutes later, his coach thanked him.

Bourdeau has blossomed into a prolific goal-scorer recently, after Coach Gary Lesko decided to move him to striker from center midfield, the only position Bourdeau had played during his varsity career.

"He had actually played center midfielder for us this season, and I decided to put him up top because we needed him to score," Lesko said. "He made me look like a genius tonight."

Bourdeau has scored four game-winning goals this season, including one in a 3-2 overtime victory against Calvert last Friday.

Last night's matchup was perhaps the most anticipated regular season game in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference this year. Northern (8-2-2, 5-2-1) came in atop the SMAC standings; Lackey, with its entire starting lineup back from last fall, took over the top spot with the win, improving to 8-2, 6-2.

Fifteen minutes into the contest, after Bourdeau and senior striker Wes Dyson combined for four goals, the Chargers seemed to be making a statement.

"All of us were psyched about this game, and we saw Northern play last night [in a 3-0 victory against Thomas Stone] and we knew what had to do tonight," said Dyson, who finished with two goals and an assist. "We've always felt like from the beginning of the season that we should be the SMAC favorites, we just needed things to click, and that happened for us tonight."

Northern had given up six goals in 10 games prior to last night while overwhelming opposing defenses with 30 goals.

But as soon as the Chargers built a 4-0 lead with Dyson's 15th-minute goal off an assist by senior midfielder Ryan Gonzalez, Lackey protected its lead by moving second-team All-Met senior A.J. DeLaGarza from midfield to defense.

The Patriots cut the lead in half when in senior striker Mike Mitchell's pair of goals in the 21st and 35th minutes remaining.

Brett Bikowski, right, and Northern's Max Clark maneuver to control the ball. Matt Bourdeau had three goals for Lackey.