For the first 10 minutes of its Maryland 4A/3A semifinal against Catonsville on Friday, the Severna Park girls’ lacrosse team struggled to find the form that has produced four state titles in the past five seasons. After that, the Falcons looked like a bunch that’s eager to add an 11th state championship trophy to the Anne Arundel County school’s collection.
Junior Morgan Torggler scored all of her team-high four goals during the decisive run that helped Severna Park cruise into another state final with a 15-10 win over the Comets at Franklin High in Reisterstown. This time, the Falcons (17-2) will meet the winner of Saturday’s semifinal between Churchill and Westminster for the title next week at UMBC.
“That’s how we’re supposed to play,” Torggler said. “We get possession, keep it relaxed [and] don’t force anything. You could see they started to get stressed.”
Catonsville (17-2) led, 4-2, midway through the first half before Severna Park scored nine of the next 10 goals to take control. Torggler, a Maryland recruit, got the run started with her first tally of the night.
By the time senior Ally Adams scored four minutes into the second half, the Falcons led by six goals.
Severna Park’s lead dwindled to 12-9 with about nine minutes left, but the East region champs scored the next three goals and dominated possession down the stretch.
“I think we just focused,” said Adams, who had three goals and an assist. “Our shots in the beginning weren’t what we wanted. When we started to look for space and find our shots, everything came together.”
Mount Hebron relied on its tried and true formula of deliberate offense and relentless defense to fluster Queen Anne’s through the opening 30 minutes of its 3A/2A semifinal in Annapolis.
But when the Lions’ frustration boiled over in the second half, Mount Hebron failed to capitalize. With a late scoring surge and a pair of stellar saves in the final seconds, Queen Anne’s rallied for a 6-5 victory to extinguish the Vikings’ surprising state tournament run. The Lions will face Century in next week’s final.
“We knew what we had to do, and we knew we had to stay patient,” Vikings midfielder Samantha Brookhart said. “But when they started getting chaotic, we started getting chaotic and we just weren’t able to respond.”Two nights after stunning unbeaten Marriotts Ridge in the East region final, the Vikings used Brookhart’s strength on the draw to hoard possession for long stretches of the first half. Seven minutes in, Brookhart flung a pin-point pass to a cutting Haley Sutton , who fired it home to open the scoring. Two minutes later, Sutton was on the receiving end of a Jamie Schwartz pass to double the lead.
After the Lions cut the deficit in half, Schwartz spun her way through the defense for a pair of sharp-angled goals to give Mount Hebron a 4-1 lead at the half.
The pace took a visible toll on the Lions (17-1-1), who resorted to more physical play in a desperate attempt to pick up the tempo. Instead, leading scorer Mollie Stevens was shown a yellow card for arguing a call, and moments after Brookhart pushed the lead to 5-1, Queen Anne’s senior Jess Crew joined her teammate on the sideline.
But only nine seconds after her release, Stevens scored, triggering a string of four unanswered goals for the Lions — three coming on free position shots. And even after Stevens was ejected for earning a second yellow, her team kept pushing.
“We started to get a little anxious, and we started mirroring their play and their tone,” Mount Hebron coach Trish Derwart-Sullivan said.
With the scored knotted and just over two minutes remaining, Abby O’Donnell squirmed her way to the inside post and scored the go-ahead goal. Mount Hebron (15-3) had two more clean looks in the final minute, but goalie Ashley Arena (9 saves) got her stick on both to help Queen Anne’s hold on for the win.
The Vikings, who have won a record 15 state titles but none since 2007, graduate only two seniors and return 11 starters to a team that surpassed expectations.
“This was a big learning experience, and we all know what this feels like,” Brookhart said. “But next year, teams better be ready because we’re coming out to get them — every single one of them.”
Detweiler reported from Reisterstown.