Junior Matt Leonard had already found the net four times in Monday night’s Maryland 4A/3A West region semifinal against rival Wootton, but suddenly the Churchill boys’ lacrosse team needed its top attackman more than ever.
After an unlikely score by goalie Matt Hoy drew the Patriots within one in the final minutes, the Towson recruit seized the momentum right back for the home team.
Leonard’s fifth goal — a mid-range rip off a pass from from freshman Louis Dubick in a two-man up situation — provided needed breathing room, and Churchill held on for a 9-6 win in Potomac. The Bulldogs stopped Wootton’s run of six consecutive region titles and advance to host Wednesday’s region final against Sherwood, which beat Walter Johnson in double overtime, 6-5.
“My heart kind of stopped,” Leonard said of his final goal. “All the sudden it began to hit me, ‘Wow, we might be about to win this game.’ ”