Senior attack Melissa Line gave Southern a one-goal lead midway through the first half of a 12-7 victory against Loch Raven in the Maryland 2A/1A state girls' lacrosse semifinals yesterday and the Bulldogs never looked back.
Line erased a two-goal deficit and added two more goals to make it 4-3 just 15 minutes into the game. Then the Loch Raven goalkeeper inadvertently dropped a ball into the Raiders' goal to make the score 5-3. The lead was extended to 7-3 by halftime.
Line, who has spent the season developing a crafty dodge for her offensive repertoire, finished with a season-high six goals to help the Bulldogs (10-6) advance to their third state final in four years. They will play Century at 4 p.m. Tuesday at UMBC.
"We've helped Line with a little confidence in her moves and making some fakes and today she just put us on her shoulders," Southern Coach Linda Kilpatrick said. "But that's the thing; we have had someone different coming out and picking up the slack."
Loch Raven (12-2) put forth a swift and impressive attack in the first 10 minutes with leading scorer Jen Stone (26 goals) and junior attack Megan Kyne each scoring to take a 2-0 lead. But then Line's relentless and evasive attack came and the senior co-captain scored four goals in seven minutes.
"I started the season slow but now I think I'm starting to get the hang of it," said Line, who has scored 11 goals in the Bulldogs' last two state tournament victories. "We worked hard out there so it was nice to have a comfortable lead."
In Defeat, Calvert Appreciates
When Calvert senior Joyce Haines arrived at Urbana for the Cavaliers' 3A/2A semifinal against Catonsville, she could not believe it. She asked a couple of teammates. They were similarly stunned. No team from the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference had played on this stage before.
For Calvert, a school that began playing lacrosse just four years ago, it took a while for the shock of its first state tournament appearance to fade.
Once it did, Calvert played very well, but fell to Catonsville, 10-9.
Haines, nevertheless, was able to step back and appreciate the remarkable strides the Cavaliers' program has made in her four years.
"When I came in as a freshman, a whole bunch of seniors quit," said Haines, who scored her 74th and 75th goals of the season, in addition to two assists. "Every game was like we didn't know if we'd win or lose. We never thought we'd be here. . . . Kids never played. Now, they say it's their favorite sport. They play all year, during the summer."
The Comets (15-3) will face top-ranked Mount Hebron in the 3A/2A title game at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Calvert spotted Catonsville a 4-0 lead less than seven minutes into the game. The Cavaliers scored seven of the game's next nine goals -- including two apiece from Haines junior Ashlyn Meerholz and sophomore Samantha Harrison -- to take its first lead, 7-6, and make for an exciting second half.
But as the play tightened, Calvert (15-2) was entering new territory; the Cavaliers have little experience playing close games. Their 15 victories were decided by a total of 150 goals as they swept through the SMAC for the third time in four seasons.
"They don't have experience against teams like this," Calvert Coach Bonnie Harrison said. "They know instinctively what to do, while we have to think about it. But the more they play, the more they'll get comfortable with it."
After a change of possession, Comets junior attack Maria Sweeney scored on a pass from Sandy Wasserbach with just over five minutes to play.
Catonsville held the ball for much of the remainder, but senior goaltender Claire Castle made her 13th save of the game with 90 seconds to play on Calvert's last strong chance.
Whitman Falls Short Again
The Whitman girls' lacrosse team lost in the semifinals of the 4A/3A state tournament for the fifth consecutive year, falling to Westminster, 13-5, at Annapolis High School. No Montgomery County girls' lacrosse team has ever won a state tournament game.
Whitman junior midfielder Ellen O'Brien scored four goals, and senior defender Susannah Harris added another, but Westminster sophomore attack Brittany Baer posted a game-high seven to lead the Owls in their first state tournament appearance.
Whitman (12-5), playing without standout senior midfielder Devon Dow (knee), lost another of its top players, junior attack Krissy Bentolila, midway through the first half because Whitman Coach Mary Pat Veihmeyer felt she was in danger of heat stroke.
"I thought we could have played them closer than we did," Veihmeyer said.
"But we didn't have Devon, and then we lost Krissy, and if we would have had them, I think the game would have been a lot closer."
Westminster (9-6) will play C. M. Wright in the 4A/3A final at 6 p.m. Wednesday at UMBC.
Staff writer Jon Gallo contributed to this report.