The Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community High School boys varsity lacrosse team won their first-ever championship on May 25.
The Beth Tfiloh Warriors scored a thrilling 9-8 victory over the Indian Creek School Eagles in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference title game at Johns Hopkins University. The Warriors had lost in the MIAA C Conference title game the past three years – twice to Indian Creek – and this game featured a late 93-minute weather delay which came right after Beth Tfiloh tied the score.
The Warriors were required to play the last part of this season — as they do every year — without seniors on their annual trip to Israel.
Despite all of this, Beth Tfiloh came away with lacrosse championship number one.
“That’s redemption and confirmation,” said Beth Tfiloh Coach Bob Bieschke. “Now, it’s the culmination of the total of four years of trying to get a championship. They have never had a championship in lacrosse before.”
Scott Tepper made big plays throughout the game and finished with a team-best five goals. His last two goals proved to be the biggest.
Tepper tied the game at 8-8 with 3:31 left on the clock before officials stopped play due to weather issues. After waiting the 93 minutes, the Warriors were ready to go. Tepper scored again with 2:12 remaining, and Beth Tfiloh was able to hold on and take home the trophy.
“We kind of got the monkey off our back,” said assistant coach Gary Pedroni. “All credit to the guys. They showed a lot of heart and determination. They did everything we said, and they proved they could win in pressure situations.”
The Warriors were able to find help from plenty of their players in this game as their offense put pressure on Indian Creek throughout the game. Justin Tepper went 10-for-10 in face-offs in the first half as Beth Tfiloh finished the game with a decided 14-4 edge in that area, crucial in any lacrosse contest.
Ryan Ross scored three first-half goals as the Warriors held a 5-4 halftime lead, but they could not break away from a stubborn Indian Creek team despite out-shooting them 47-22. Still, the Warriors kept battling as Scott Tepper played strong in the second half as did Kameron Glazer on defense.
“It was great to watch, to see the kids play with such character,” said Beth Tfiloh Athletic Director Jeff Clarke. “It’s just very, very impressive. It was a great win for the school.”
Clarke remembered being asked to start a lacrosse program several years ago at Beth Tfiloh. He began one in the middle school that grew into a high school program, which has now won a championship.
Bieschke said the middle school program is a big part of this success since that feeds the high school group. He will go to the eighth graders and run their practices at times so they can see what the varsity does and the things they will be experiencing.
The coach took over the program in 2014 with barely enough players to field a team. This year, they had about 26 and beat the Jemicy and Key schools in the first two rounds of the playoffs before seeing Indian Creek again, a team that beat the Warriors during the season.
And this game belonged the Beth Tfiloh (15-2). The Warriors endured everything — no seniors, losing in the finals three years in a row, trailing late, a long weather delay in the fourth quarter – and still came out on top for the very first time.
“I have to challenge them,” Bieschke said. “I said that you used to be the patsies many years ago, now you’re the threats.”
They also are the champions.
Jeff Seidel is a Baltimore-based freelance writer.
Top photo: (Left to right) Beth Tfiloh Assistant Coach Gary Pedroni, Head Coach Bob Bieschke, and players Jacob Troy, Scott Tepper, Andrew Kasner and Kameron Glazer. (Photo courtesy of Beth Tfiloh)
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