When Katie Kerrigan arrived at Madison, the girls’ lacrosse team had never won a state title. After Saturday’s 12-7 win over rival Langley in the state final, the Warhawks have now claimed two championship trophies in Kerrigan’s three varsity seasons.

Madison junior Katie Kerrigan celebrates a second-half goal with senior Erin Callahan. (Richard A. Lipski/For the Washington Post) Madison junior Katie Kerrigan (left) celebrates a second-half goal she assisted to senior Erin Callahan. (Richard A. Lipski/For the Washington Post)

For the junior midfielder, the year in between the two title celebrations provided perspective on the accomplishment. Last spring, the team’s postseason run ended with a loss to eventual state champ Oakton in the Northern Region semifinals.

“Because I’m older, this one is a little bit more special, I guess,” said Kerrigan, who is orally committed to Ohio State. “I know all the hard work that we had to put into it for a whole year to make it happen, and we did it. You have to earn it.”

That lesson bodes well for a team that should return largely intact next year.

Madison’s roster featured just three seniors this season, including California-Davis recruit Melissa Kellan. The team’s third-leading scorer did not play in the state semifinal or final. (The other two, attackers Erin Callahan and Carly Frederick, scored against the Saxons in their final high school game.)

On Saturday, Kerrigan provided the spark with a goal and two assists on the team’s first three goals.

A catalyst on both ends, the honorable mention All-Met midfielder finished with two goals and three assists in the team’s fourth victory of the season over Langley, punctuating her final assist late in the game with a flying chest bump for Callahan, the goal scorer. She closed the season with a team-high 101 points in 21 games.

In the summer, Kerrigan plays on a 2014 club team under Coach Amanda Counts through Cardinal Lacrosse Club that also features classmates Alex Condon, Samantha Babbitt and Rachel Brennan.

“I’m going to miss my teammates so much tomorrow,” Kerrigan said after accepting her second state championship medal. “It’s great to end it on a win, but I don’t know what I’m going to do for the rest of the school year.”

After leading the team with 66 goals, sophomore Kierra Sweeney has two seasons left at the Vienna school, and Condon, a Penn recruit, should be a fourth-year starter at the draw circle in 2014.

Paced by those dynamic offensive pieces, the Warhawks averaged 19.8 goals per game this season, blitzing opponents on an unbeaten run against local competition. The entire defense also is expected to return, a solid unit backstopped by sophomore goalie Sigourney Heerink, who has started in net since joining the team last year.

“Ideally, this will be our starting point for next season,” said Counts, the All-Met Coach of the Year. “We won’t have to backtrack at all. We really do only have two or three people that we have to incorporate into our starting lineup, and they definitely already exist on our bench. It will be a matter of fine-tuning things.”