As officials instructed Georgetown Visitation and Holton-Arms to clear the field because of a severe weather warning Monday, Visitation players and coaches didn’t hide their frustration.
The Independent Schools League AA lacrosse tournament championship they coveted for so long was suspended at halftime until Wednesday.
“This really hurts us,” Coach Katie McMahon said, recognizing the opposing Panthers would have extra time to scout the game plan the Cubs used to open a six-goal lead.
“But we were supposed to win the championship today,” a player cried as the teams trudged off the field at Stone Ridge in Bethesda.
Come Wednesday, though, McMahon had relaxed and the players smiled because their quest for a first ISL AA tournament championship ended in a 13-9 victory.
“We knew it was our time,” midfielder Jill Gollob said. “We weren’t going to do anything different, just play 25 more minutes.”
Gollob, a senior playing in her fourth league final, and junior midfielder Katie Castiello each scored four goals to help Georgetown Visitation become the first team other than St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes to win the tournament title since the league began keeping records 22 years ago.
Holton-Arms had executed what Coach Janet McCormick called a “monumental” upset in the semifinals, beating the Saints by a goal.
Georgetown Visitation, which won the ISL regular season crown in 2012 but suffered season-ending defeats to St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes every year since 2008, dominated the first half Monday. The Cubs built an early 6-0 lead and led 9-3 at halftime.
Then came the tornado warning.
“We had it on Monday,” Castiello said. “That was our day, and then all of the sudden, we had to wait.”
Holton-Arms countered by outscoring Georgetown Visitation 6-4 on Wednesday and twice cutting the deficit to three.
The Panthers managed a 4-0 run midway through the period and frustrated the Cubs with three successful calls for a stick check by the referees, one of which wiped off a Georgetown Visitation goal.
But the Cubs settled in down the stretch, a reflection of their relaxation on Tuesday, when they spent most of practice playing with water balloons and having a “Taco Tuesday” team dinner. After the final horn sounded, they finally posed for pictures with their first tournament championship banner.
After two seasons in the ISL AA division, Bullis reclassified to the A division this season and picked up where it had left off in 2015 — with a championship. In a game that also started Monday and resumed Wednesday because of severe weather, the Bulldogs beat Sidwell Friends, 20-4, to earn the title.
Junior Julia Gilbert (five goals, two assists) and senior Starr Howard (four goals, three assists) each had seven points, while Coach Kathleen Lloyd highlighted senior defender Maqui Carrillo for a standout effort against Sidwell’s top scorers. The teams had cleared Bullis’s field in Potomac with 9:50 remaining in the first half Monday and the Bulldogs leading 9-0.
“We’ve gone 10 straight days with games and practices,” Lloyd said. “I’m so proud of them for pushing through and staying in the right state of mind and working hard.”