After leading Montgomery County in scoring as a freshman, Churchill attackman Louis Dubick has been even better statistically this spring. Through 16 games, the University of Maryland commit leads the Washington area in points with 63 goals and 81 assists.
But until his team beat rival Wootton, 12-10, in Wednesday’s Maryland 4A/3A West final, Dubick would have had trouble calling this season a success. After holding off a late charge from the Patriots, the Bulldogs are headed back to the state tournament on Saturday for the second straight season where they’ll get a repeat matchup with unbeaten North region champ Westminster.
“The pressure was there, whether we wanted to admit it or not,” said Dubick, who had a goal and five assists on Wednesday. “Now it’s kind of all off. We’re just going to loosen up and hopefully go up there and play Westminster tough.”
Churchill (15-1) has the offensive firepower to stack up with the state’s best. The Bulldogs have scored at least 12 goals in every game this season thanks to an attack that features Dubick, senior Matt Leonard and junior Matt Moshyedi.
Dubick has stood out with his unselfish play, often using his dodges around the net to set up teammates. He has recorded at least four assists 12 times this season with a 10-assist effort in a 17-3 win over Springbrook. He became the Potomac school’s all-time leader in the category midway through the season.
Leonard, who will play at Towson, is atop the area leaderboard with 77 goals, including a team-record nine in a 16-2 win over Whitman on April 15. He found the net three more times against Wootton, scoring against his future college teammate and roommate, senior Matt Hoy.
Meantime, Moshyedi has 55 points this season, taking advantage when the defense devotes too much attention to the others. Against Wootton, sophomore Derek Altobello set a career high with four goals to pace the team.
“Offensively, we know we’re going to score, we’re going to get goals,” Coach Jeff Fritz said. “The question is: How well can we play defensively? Can we win faceoffs and get possession?”
Last year, Churchill went back-and-forth with Westminster before falling, 14-10. In their first state tournament appearance in a decade, the Bulldogs led at the half and tied the game at 10 early in the fourth quarter, only to run out of steam in the closing minutes. The Owls went on to score the first seven goals in the state final before South River rallied to claim the title.
This time, Churchill will aim for a more complete effort, which has been a struggle for the team against top competition this year.
The Bulldogs were upset by Quince Orchard in overtime on May 3 in a game they led by five goals at one point. On Wednesday, Fritz’s squad had a six-goal lead in the first half trimmed to one in the final minutes.
“We’ve got to keep the energy up for the whole game,” said Leonard, the school’s all-time leading scorer. “Once we get up by six goals or whatever, we can’t let up. We’ve got to keep pounding on the other team.”