CHESTERTOWN, Md. — As nearly all of the South River field hockey players sprinted to mob each other in a huddle near their goal, Abbey Lawrence and Jennie Milligan stayed on the other end of the field and shared a more personal celebration.
The senior captains had played on the South River varsity for four outstanding seasons, so when they finally achieved their goal Saturday of winning the Maryland 4A championship, they needed an extra minute to savor it.
“I’m speechless,” Milligan said through tears. “It literally means everything to us. We’ve worked so hard to get here and everything we did paid off. It’s the best feeling in the entire world.”
Lawrence and Milligan each scored a goal, and sophomore forward Kayla White scored two as top-ranked South River (17-1-1) cruised to a 6-0 win over Catonsville (13-4) at Washington College.
The victory gave the Seahawks the fourth state championship in program history, and their first since 2006.
“We have our leading scorers but we always work as a team,” South River Coach Katie Corcoran said. “I tell them all the time they have to work together all 11, and they do.”
South River had won 14 consecutive games before the final, and the 4A East champions dominated from the start Saturday.
Lawrence opened the scoring on a pass from Milligan less than five minutes into the first half, then White scored twice and senior midfielder Alex Watson tacked on another to give South River a comfortable 4-0 cushion at halftime.
Lawrence made a long run down the middle and found Milligan as she made a parallel sprint down the right side for a beautiful diving one-time goal midway through the second half, and senior defender Taylor Bresnahan blasted home a rocket off a penalty corner to cap the scoring with less than three minutes to play.
The outcome was decided long before the final whistle, but the game’s official end ignited a tear-filled celebration.
“It’s literally a dream come true,” Lawrence said. “We’ve all wanted this for so long. It’s a dream come true, definitely.”