May 21, 2018

Boys lax: Fallston leans on experience to take 1A/2A state crown over Liberty

The experience that Fallston head coach Matt Parks has under his belt, 15 years at the helm to be exact, is invaluable to a championship caliber lacrosse team.

When player’s routine seems a tad out of place on gameday’s, Parks knows the little tweaks he needs to make to get his team back focused to what they need to do.

Championships especially, add a few extra jitters. A team can easily put themselves behind before even stepping foot on the field if nerves aren’t tamed. For the Cougars boys lacrosse team, mental lapses come rarely.

“Through the years, I’ve learned a lot about not only how to prepare, but getting on the bus, getting off the bus,” Parks said, who picked up his 208th win and fifth state championship on Wednesday. “Staying as calm as possible for the team. Because they’re going to be amped up. … Everything we do is the same we’ve done all year long.”

Fallston (14-5) carried on their dominance built up through prior games in the 2016 season to go on and capture the Class 1A/2A state championship, defeating Liberty 12-5

The Cougars dominated the time of possession early to set the tone that Liberty could not match. Out of their 12 goals, seven were scored by different players. Their sharp ball-movement and fundamentally sound offense provides chances all over the field for just about every Cougar offensive player.

“They bought into it,” Parks said. “They really enjoy moving the ball around.”

Parks acknowledged his teams work ethic and will to develop the tight-knit chemistry over countless hours of practice and repetitions.

Ben Claffee notched a game-high of six points on four goals and two assists. He finishes his junior season with 38 goals and 23 assists.

“We were hyped up and just kept on rolling,” Claffee said.

Samson Gold picked up a hat trick in the state championship performance. Dylan Wolf, Matt Wollenweber, Andy Stump, Justin Williams, and Cameron Linger all picked up one goal for the Cougars.

Fallston outshot Liberty, 42-36. Hood commit Liam Wilcox recorded 12 saves for the Cougars.

Mark Conway paced Libery with two goals.

About Kyle McFadden 416 Articles
Kyle McFadden is a graduate from Linganore High School's Class of 2014, a sports junkie and general news-hound. He got his start as a sports writer in January 2014 for Linganore's student-run newspaper The Lance, where he wrote 13 articles. McFadden then launched his own blog in October 2014 called The Beltway Dispatch covering collegiate, local high school and professional sports. Formally known as The Beltway Dispatch, McFadden and Evan Engelhard merged respective platforms in June 2015 to make what is now Maryland Sports Access. With baseball, basketball and golf experience, McFadden brings ample knowledge to the helm of MSA. McFadden covers a wide variety of sports in football, baseball, basketball, golf, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and specializes in the collegiate and high school levels. McFadden volunteers his time at Damascus Road Community Church -- serving as a mentor to the youth, basketball coach at the varsity and junior varsity levels, and leads a small group of high school sophomores every Wednesday night. Although he's only been around journalism since January 2014, he's a high school sports reporter for The Baltimore Sun and freelancer for The Frederick News-Post. McFadden's work has also appeared in DMV newspapers The Aegis, The Capital Gazette, The Daily Times (Delmarva Now), The Hometown Observer, Howard County Times, Germantown Pulse and The Towson Times. He's also won two Mike Powell Excellence in Journalism awards and has appeared on The Best of SNO, which showcases top student work of high school and college journalists. McFadden currently studies at Frederick Community College and plans to transfer to the University of Maryland in the fall of 2018 to work on a bachelor's degree in journalism with aspirations to be a national college basketball writer.
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