NORTH EAST — The North East boys' lacrosse team entered its 2A East Region playoff contest with the game plan of holding the ball for long stretches of time hoping to prevent visiting Fallston’s lethal offensive attack.
The top-seeded Indians could not get the possession it wanted as the No. 4 Cougars controlled the tempo throughout, ending North East's strong season with a 16-1 defeat Friday evening.
“Not to make excuses, but our faceoff guy was injured. We couldn’t get possession of the ball. I think the first defensive possession we had, we played well and made them hold the ball for two and a half minutes,” Indians head coach Chip Beverung said. “That’s okay. We get tired when we have those long defensive possessions. We were trying to shorten the game with long offensive possessions, keep them long and put it in the back of the net. We just didn’t do it.”
After Fallston (6-10) won the opening faceoff, North East did a good job keeping the Cougars out of the net, but the Harford County squad eventually broke through when a Matt White shot found the back of the net with 8:48 to play in the frame.
Ryan Langlotz made it 2-0 just 17 second later with a fast-break goal coming out of the faceoff. The Cougars then jumped out a 5-1 lead after the first quarter.
Eric Stout scored the Indians’ lone goal of the game with 56.7 left in the first quarter with a hard shot.
Fallston outscored North East 5-0 in the second quarter, and later pulled away with four third-quarter goals and two more in the final frame.
Even though the season ended with the loss, Beverung took a lot of positives from a year in which the Indians finished 10-5 — the program's best performance since 2014's run to the state semifinals.
“This season was an outstanding season. Some of the wins we had were really good,” Beverung said. “We’re improving, and we were looking at this year as a rebuilding year. I think we exceeded our expectations. We played some tough games, and we really worked hard and came together as a team, a little bit earlier than we thought we would.”
Langotz had four goals for Fallston, while Cal Wilcox and White each had a hat trick.