As the Blair boys’ lacrosse team tried to extend its lead in Monday evening’s Maryland 4A/3A North region semifinal, it repeatedly rattled shots off the goal post or misfired from close range. Visiting Magruder remained within striking distance thanks only to a few inches of metal.
With their season teetering on the brink of elimination, the Colonels turned to Josh Ferentinos. The senior attackman scored three unanswered goals in the fourth quarter to give Magruder a lead it did not relinquish in an 8-4 comeback victory.
“I got really scared. I really didn’t want to lose that game, so I got my chances and took them,” Ferentinos said. “Our defense carried us for a while. Our offense had an awful game, but we finished strong in the fourth quarter when it mattered.”
Blair took a 4-3 lead into the fourth quarter before Ferentinos drove down the left wing with a defender draped over him and tied the game with eight minutes remaining. The Colonels took the lead when Ferentinos buried a side-arm shot on extra-man. Brimming with confidence, the senior completed his hat trick with a laser from 15 yards with four minutes to play.
“I scored the two before, so I thought I’d have a third,” Ferentinos said.
Blair overpowered Magruder (12-5) in the midfield to generate the majority of the first-half scoring chances. In one possession, the Blazers (7-9) hit two pipes and missed high from point-blank range; their 3-2 halftime lead could have been much larger. In the second half, Magruder began to pick up more loose balls and momentum slowly swayed toward the visitors.
Junior Jimmy Hasemann and senior attackman Ryan Martindell both added two goals. The Colonels will face Howard in Wednesday’s region final.
“In the beginning we were lazy with clears and riding. In order to get the ball to our scorers, we had to pick it up,” Hasemann said.
When Magruder’s Kendall Cassidy cradles the ball, she has two things on her mind — scoring or finding senior Kelly Foster. Monday evening at Blair, the sophomore midfielder did plenty of both as the duo supplied the offense for the Colonels’ 16-13 victory in a Maryland 4A/3A North region semifinal.
“We’ve always been kind of like a pair. It’s me and Kendall out there,” Foster said. “The whole time we see each other and we see opportunities. We find each other, and we make goals.”
Cassidy and Foster each finished with six goals. The Colonels outran Blair (8-5) in transition to build a 10-5 lead with two minutes remaining in the first half. The Blazers slowed the pace and came back to tie the game at 11 midway through the second half.
That’s when Magruder’s dynamic duo decided enough was enough.
“Me and Kendall went up to each other and were like, ‘We can’t lose this game,’ ” Foster said. “We needed to just take it into our own hands. We needed to make sure we had control for the team and ourselves, so we went to the goal and we just finished it.”
Blair senior Maddie Boyer finished with seven goals. Magruder (8-6) advances to Wednesday’s region final against Howard, which knocked off Westminster in the other semifinal, 12-10.
“This is the first year we’ve won a single playoff game, so this is a big deal for us,” Foster said. “I’m so excited to be able to do this for Magruder t before I leave — it feels so great.”
● HOWARD 6, WESTMINSTER 5 (3OT): In the other Maryland 3A/4A North region semifinal, senior Tristan Kelehan scored the game-winner.
● CHURCHILL 9, WOOTTON 4: In 3A/4A West region action, the Bulldogs took an 8-2 halftime lead before cruising to victory.
Churchill will face Urbana, which topped Quince Orchard, 13-8, in Wednesday’s region final.
● SEVERNA PARK 14, BROADNECK 1: The Falcons shut out the Bruins in the second half to advance to the 4A/3A East final against Annapolis, which defeated South River, 16-7.
● CHURCHILL 10, WHITMAN 6: The Bulldogs topped the Vikings for the second time this season to advance to the 4A/3A West final against Urbana, which edged Quince Orchard, 10-9.
● BROADNECK 12, SEVERNA PARK 11: The Bruins led 10-3 at halftime and held on to knock off the defending state champions to advance to the 4A/3A East final against Leonardtown. The Raiders notched a 16-9 victory over South River to reach the region final.