Last May, the Churchill boys’ lacrosse team stood toe-to-toe with Westminster well into the fourth quarter of a state semifinal. With their first ever Maryland 4A/3A final berth within reach, the Bulldogs ceded four unanswered goals down the stretch in a season-ending 14-10 loss.
“Last year, we were winning, and we just ran out of gas,” senior Matt Leonard said. “It kind of got away from us.”
Those Bulldogs had never before played in the state tournament, earning the opportunity after winning the Potomac school’s first region title in 10 years. Boosted by a lineup that has stayed mostly intact in several key areas, the team enters the spring with more big-game experience and high hopes for another deep postseason run.
“We have the same mindset,” said sophomore Louis Dubick, who led the county with 98 points last season as a ninth grader. “We have a title on our back and kind of one more thing to live up to, but really, we go about our business the same.”
Churchill (3-0) boasts perhaps the area’s most potent group of attackmen among public school teams in Dubick, Leonard and junior Matt Moshyedi.
The offense runs through Dubick, who orally committed to Maryland last summer. After a breakout freshman campaign, he has 12 goals and 12 assists in three games.
Leonard, who will play at Towson, became the school’s all-time leading scorer in a 20-1 win over Blake on March 23. With his 171st point, he broke the mark set by 2005 grad Brant Fischer, who went on to play at Lehigh. He has 16 goals so far.
Moshyedi missed about a month after back surgery but returned with two goals in Tuesday’s 16-10 win over Sherwood, which was a rematch of last season’s Maryland 4A/3A West final.
The Bulldogs also have senior Peter Hurd back in net off the team that ended Wootton’s run of six straight region titles, though they did lose midfielder Cameron Moshyedi, face-off specialist Spencer Ralph (Colorado College) and three of their top four defenders.
The newcomers who stepped in those spots got a trial by fire as Coach Jeff Fritz further challenged the group with scrimmages against five teams that played in the state tournament last season.
Last year “just gives us a little bit of confidence,” Coach Jeff Fritz said. “We’ve been there before. We know what it’s about. We know we can compete with anybody in the state.”
Top-ranked Gonzaga knocked off McDonogh (Baltimore), 7-5, on Tuesday, avenging their lone loss from last season. The Eagles host No. 4 Georgetown Prep and No. 2 Landon in their next two games. . . .With Tuesday’s victory over Good Counsel, Prep has won six straight games in a nine-day span. . . . South River, last spring’s Maryland 4A/3A champ, had its 21-game winning streak stopped with a 9-8 loss to St. Mary’s Ryken on Saturday and then fell again on Tuesday to Boys’ Latin, the consensus No. 1 team in the nation.
1. Gonzaga (8-2) LW: 1
2. Landon (4-4) LW: 2
3. Paul VI (7-1) LW: 3
4. Georgetown Prep (8-3) LW: 6
5. St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (4-3) LW: 4
6. St. Mary’s-Annapolis (3-2) LW: 9
7. Spalding (5-2) LW: NR
8. St. Mary’s Ryken (5-2) LW: NR
9. South River (2-2) LW: 5
10. Severna Park (2-1) LW: 10
Dropped out: Severn (5-2), Bullis (3-4)
Bubble: Arundel (4-0), Madison (3-0), Churchill (3-0)
Records through Tuesday