Park junior midfielder Sara Lessans said the Bruins used their time wisely while waiting for a severe thunderstorm to pass over the Gerstell Academy field on Saturday afternoon in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference final.
The top-seeded Bruins led, 10-9, with 19:29 remaining in the second half when officials cleared the field and stands for nearly two hours as the storm rumbled through the Finskburg area in Carroll County. They would finish on a 5-3 run to prevail, 15-12, and avenge a loss in last year's championship game to the Quakers.
"We talked about what we were doing right and what we were doing wrong," she said. "Then we visualized what we needed to do — and went out and did it."
Lessans had already done enough damage before the storm, scoring five of her game-high six goals and dishing out an assist as well to lead Park to its conference-best fifth crown under coach Robin Cardin Lowe.
Just to top off her game in style, the Pikesville resident notched her final goal with 10 minutes remaining to give the Bruins (13-2) a commanding 14-10 advantage.
Lessans' feints and dodges were working throughout the game, as she weaved her way through the Quaker defense. Only one of her goals came on a free position against Friends junior goalie Rose Woolson (6 saves).
"We usually play more of a team game," said Lessans, who also had as slew of draw controls in a fierce game-long battle in the circle with talented Quaker sophomore Rachel Kehoe. "But I thought that one-on-ones were available today."
Yet, when it came time to not force the issue, Lessans had a nice feel for that aspect of her game as well.
"That comes from how she's maturing," Cardin Lowe said. "She's becoming more of a complete player. But when she saw her shot, she didn't miss much."
There were some other fine offensive performances from her teammates, including senior midfielder Rachel Hettelman (4 goals, 1 assist) and sophomore midfielders Sabina Diaz-Rimal (3 goals) and Natalie Rudin (2).
Senior attacker Yen Baker chipped in with three assists.
On the other side, Friends (13-4) was able to keep pace with Lessans and her mates behind junior midfielder Abby Corkum and Kehoe, both of whom scored five goals. Kehoe added a pair of assists to her résumé.
In fact, the second seeds rallied from an 8-5 deficit to draw even at halftime on two goals by Corkum and one by freshman attacker Marli Caplan.
Considering Friends was blown out, 16-4, by the Bruins in early April, the last two efforts by the Quakers — a 10-8 loss on April 25 — have been much more competitive.
"That first game, we just didn't show up," said Friends coach Mandy Hudson. "Since then. we concentrated on going from being good to great. I thought we played great today."