For months, Sherwood senior Maddie Doan trained her focus on the Maryland 4A/3A West girls’ lacrosse final. After three straight season-ending losses in the game, the midfielder wanted one last chance to flip the script and deliver the school’s first region title.
Sherwood handled the pressure to clear that hurdle Wednesday, and three days later, the suddenly loose team made more history.
Doan scored a season-high eight goals as the Warriors beat Howard, 17-14, in Saturday’s Maryland 4A/3A state semifinal at Annapolis, becoming the first Montgomery County girls’ lacrosse team to win a state tournament game. They advance to play No. 9 Broadneck, which dropped Catonsville 15-5 in the other semi, in the final on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at UMBC.
“It’s the best way to end my high school career. . . ” Doan said. “We needed to win [the region final]. Then this on top of it, it’s just so crazy.”
Also making its first state tournament appearance, Howard (12-6) scored the game’s first two goals but spent most of the afternoon playing catch-up once Doan and junior Emily Kenul settled in.
Coming off a five-goal effort in the 17-8 region final win over Blake, Doan scored five times in the opening half on Saturday. The Lions had trouble contending with the Virginia Tech recruit’s speed when she chose to attack the net.
Meantime, Kenul, a Johns Hopkins commit, gave Sherwood (16-0) possession time and again with her strong play at the draw circle. She added three goals and three assists.
Montgomery County squads have rarely been able to keep up on the state stage, but junior Natalie Sebeck’s free position goal to close a seven-minute possession gave Sherwood an 8-6 lead with 14 seconds left before halftime. The Warriors scored the first three goals of the second half and extended the advantage to 17-10 on Doan’s final tally with 8 minutes 16 seconds remaining.
“I think the girls got a taste of something, and they wanted more,” said Coach Kelly Hughes, a former Sherwood player. “I didn’t have to do a whole lot of pepping them up. They were ready for this.”
The youngster can depend on the University of Maryland recruit for advice and encouragement, and when opposing defenses devote too much attention Chisolm’s way, the Seahawks have looked to Senft to take advantage.
The arrangement continued to pay dividends in Saturday’s 15-6 win over Howard in a Maryland 4A/3A state semifinal at Annapolis. Senft scored five goals and Chisolm added four goals and three assists as the defending state champions booked a return trip to the final.
South River will meet Westminster, a 23-9 winner over Churchill, on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at UMBC. The Seahawks came back from seven goals down to beat the Owls for the state title last spring.
“It’s great showing what I can do,” Senft said. “The team’s working with me. The coaches trust me. Just getting in there and getting my goals.”
On Saturday, South River (17-3) took the lead for good with three goals in the final 26 seconds of the opening quarter, which included a close-range finish by Senft. Sophomore Andrew Thomas won back-to-back chances to fuel the quick-strike offense.
The Seahawks, who will be making their fourth final appearance in five years at the state’s largest classification, pulled away after halftime, wearing down Howard (16-3) with a relentless attack.
Chisolm, a senior, has a knack for scoring even when he’s covered thanks to a powerful shot. Most often, Senft created his goals simply by being in the right place at the right time. When given an open look at the net, the first-year starter wasted few opportunities.
“He battles for his size,” Coach Paul Noone said. “Pound-for-pound, he just works his butt off. That’s all we can ask for him to do.”
Sophomore Cody Ford scored three goals to lead Howard in its first trip to the state semifinals.