Centennial junior attack Alex Ashcroft needed just seven seconds to get a feel for how his lacrosse team would fare in its Maryland 3A/2A semifinal against Urbana last night in Ijamsville.
That's how long it took for Ashcroft to score the first of what would be a game-high four goals to lead the Eagles to a 15-3 victory and make Urbana's first state tournament appearance a short one. Centennial (15-3) advanced into the state final against today's Towson-Northeast winner at UMBC at 8 p.m. Wednesday, when it will try to win its second state title in the past three years.
"I think scoring that quick definitely set the tone for the game, and it was a huge goal," Ashcroft said. "We wanted to come out here early and take control of the game."
Freshman attack Jonathan Stumpf scored three goals, and his brother, junior attack Sam Stumpf, and senior midfielder Eric Meekins each added two goals for Centennial.
Urbana ended the season 13-3.
Conway, Glenelg Boys Win
Glenelg junior Shea Conway did not have high aspirations for the shot that clinched the Gladiators' 8-6 win in a Maryland 2A/1A boys' semifinal at Southern.
With 57 seconds left in a tie game, Conway bounced through five defenders and unloaded a shot he hoped was heading for the cage. The ball sailed into the upper left side of the net to give the Gladiators the lead, and after another goal with one second left, Glenelg had won.
"I was just trying to get whatever shot I could get, with all those defenders on me," Conway said. "I just was hoping it was going in."
The Gladiators (15-1) took a 3-2 lead with 8 minutes 44 seconds left in the second quarter before hitting a dry spell over the next 20 minutes. While Glenelg took two shots in the first nine minutes of the second quarter, the Lions (12-5) took a 5-3 lead.
But sparked by seniors Matt Nicola (four goals) and Joe Derwent (one goal, three assists), Glenelg fought back to take a 6-5 lead late.
Liberty junior Peyton Zeher tied the game at 6 with 3:28 left, but with Conway's goal Glenelg was able to break the deadlock and hold off Liberty.
JV Call-Ups Lift Vikings
Mount Hebron sophomores Alexandra Mengel, Sarah Cates and Karen Nicolaus each thought she had played her final lacrosse game of the year when the junior varsity season concluded two weeks ago. But then Mount Hebron varsity coach Brooke Kuhl-McClelland told them what they had longed to hear: You're coming up to the varsity.
"It was so amazing that I had butterflies in my stomach because I knew I was going to be on the varsity team for the playoffs," said Mengel, a midfielder. "I had worked my hardest all season to get the coaches to notice me."
The newest threesome to the join the defending Maryland 3A/2A champions made the most of its opportunity in the top-ranked Vikings' 24-2 victory over North Carroll in a 3A/2A semifinal at Urbana High School.
Mengel capped the scoring with the first goal of her career, Cates impressed her teammates with her crisp passing, and Nicolaus made the first save of her career during a game in which all 32 Vikings played.
Mount Hebron (17-0) will look to win its eighth consecutive state title Tuesday night at 8, when it plays the winner of today's Calvert-Catonsville game at UMBC in what will be the Vikings' 13th consecutive appearance in the state final.
Mount Hebron, which has a state-record 11 state titles, had no problem extending its winning streak to 59 games against North Carroll (10-6), which was making its first state tournament appearance in 13 years.
South River Loses, 13-10
With just more than a minute to play in a Maryland 4A/3A girls' lacrosse semifinal at Annapolis High, a South River player had a point-blank shot stuffed by C.M. Wright goalkeeper Amanda Barnes. The Mustangs' keeper then stopped the Seahawks' rebound attempt, but South River senior Jen May fought for the ensuing ground ball and finally beat Barnes with a third try.
It would be the final goal in the fifth-ranked Seahawks' 13-10 loss to the Harford County power, but it was typical of a game in which South River refused to give up.
The Mustangs (15-1) held South River, which entered the game averaging 17 goals per game, scoreless for nearly 20 minutes in the first half and went up 7-0. But the Seahawks (16-3) scored four straight before halftime to cut the Mustangs' lead to three. Then, after C.M. Wright went up 13-7 in the second half, the Seahawks scored three before running out of time.
Frannie Sullivan led South River with three goals, May and Kim Konston added two each, and goalie Jen Heup made 12 saves.
C.M. Wright will face the winner of today's game between Whitman and Westminster in next week's state final.
Glenelg Girls Fall
Glenelg had no answer for Century senior Kelly Kasper, who scored eight goals to lead the Knights to an 18-10 victory in a Maryland 2A/1A girls' semifinal at Southern High in Harwood.
Glenelg (13-5), which was making its fifth consecutive state tournament appearance, stayed close to defending state runner-up Century (16-2) for much of the game before succumbing to Kasper's star performance as well as five goals from junior midfielder Megan McGuire.
Junior Terri Coover and freshman Julianne Nicola had three goals apiece for Glenelg.
Special correspondent Jake Schaller contributed to this report.