By Tom Worgo, firstname.lastname@example.org
7:59 PM EDT, May 13, 2012
Having lost in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference final the past three years, Friends' players had pretty much guaranteed that they wouldn't go down for a fourth time against Park Sunday afternoon at Stevenson University.
The pain would have been intolerable.
"I said, 'There's not chance of losing another championship,'" Friends senior midfielder Ella Cooper said. "This year, we had the right team, the golden team to do it."
The University of Virginia-bound Cooper showed how much she wanted the championship, scoring six goals and adding two assists to lead Friends to a convincing 16-7 victory in Owings Mills.
Cooper finished her season ranked among the metro areas leading scorers with 80 goals and 50 assists.
"There's no way we were going to lose it," she said. "I would have been furious."
Friends (15-1 overall, 15-1 league) was also helped by another hot player, Davidson University recruit Emma Sissman, who chipped in three goals and two assists.
The Quakers never trailed.
Cooper scored three of the first four goals. She capped that stretch by beating freshman goalie Lexi Kuntz (10 saves) with a high shot to the left corner with 6:35 remaining in the first half.
Park (12-6, 10-6) drew to within one goal, 4-3, when Jenna James (2 goals) scored.
The Quakers, however, closed the half with three unanswered goals to go ahead 7-3 at halftime.
"These girls have been looking forward to this game all season long," Friends second-year coach Mandy Hudson said. "The way they push each other at practice and the support they give each other on and off the field has been undying. Today, everybody had the best games of their life."
Cooper scored her fourth goal about two minutes into the second half to stake Friends to a 8-3 advantage.
Park worked its way back from the deficit to trim the margin to 8-5 with 20:17 left when Yen Baker found the back of the goal on a free position shot.
But Friends netted five straight goals to seize control. Cooper and Sissman accounted for four goals in that stretch.
Four other Quakers scored, including Abby Corkum (2 goals), Rachel Kehoe (2), Lucy Klein (1) and Sarah Wallack (1).
Friends sophomore keeper Rose Woolson stopped eight shots.
Sara Lessons (2), Hannah Sibel and Rachel Hettleman also scored for the Bruins, who had lost to Friends by two goals and five goals during the regular season.
"Getting here was a huge feather in our cap," said Park coach Robin Lowe, who fielded her youngest team in 16 years with only one senior on the roster. "I expected this to be a growing and learning year. But I very quickly changed our expectations and goals when I saw these girls on the field."