The Class 4A-3A boys lacrosse championship between defending champion South River and Westminster was suspended Wednesday night due to lightning at UMBC.
The game was slated to pick up where it left off on Thursday, with the South River leading, 8-7, and just over a minute remaining in the first half.
The first sight of lightning prompted an automatic 30-minute delay. Just as the players returned to the field and play was expected to continue, lightning was again seen in the area, forcing the suspension.
Unlike the South River’s 10-8 come-from-behind win in last year's final, when the Owls jumped out to a 7-0 advantage, it was the Seahawks who started at a faster pace to take early control.
After Blake Ruby gave the Owls a 1-0 lead in the game's opening minute, the Seahawks answered with six straight goals — Matt Gaskins and C.J. Pendleton accounting for two each — for a 6-1 lead with 1:12 left in the first quarter.
Just like the Seahawks last year, the unbeaten Owls methodically worked their way back in the game behind Ryan Drenner. The senior attackman, who came into the game with 66 goals and 60 assists, scored twice and assisted on two other second-quarter goals to cut the Seahawks' lead to 8-7 with 2:04 left before the half.
Winters Mill wins
Up to a point, Winters Mill was content to sit back and play Easton's methodical style of offense in the Class 2A-1A girls lacrosse state championship game on May 21.
When the Falcons began to press the issue, though, momentum changed just in time for them to pull out an 8-7 victory over the Warriors from Talbot County and secure their fourth title since 2008.
But on a summer-like afternoon at UMBC, Winters Mill coach Courtney Vaughn timed her decision perfectly.
With the heat taking its toll on Easton, the coach urged her defense to challenge the Warriors.
"We talked about it at the half," Vaughn said. "We decided not to just let them sit back there and feed. And we didn't think they'd be able to handle our pressure."
Prior to the move to be more aggressive on the defensive end, the Falcons were on the short end of a 5-4 score.
After that, the level of play picked up on both sides of the field for Winters Mill.
Goals by freshman attacker Coeli Love, sophomore attacker Erin McGuire, and senior midfielder Sydney Trentszch gave the Falcons a 7-5 advantage with 12:19 remaining.
Still, after Easton rallied, it took McGuire's goal with 2:38 left to snap a 7-7 deadlock and wrap up the championship.
How do the Falcons win so often?
According to Vaughn and her players, hard work — not indigenous talent — is the key.
"I was never the most gifted athlete," Vaughn said. "So I know what it takes.
Added senior defender Maddie Bodden, "We don't get the same talent walking through the door as some of the other schools."
"Knowing you're the underdog, makes you work harder," Vanderbilt-bound Trentzsch said.
County rival Century worked just as hard in the 3A-2A final against Marriotts Ridge, but was unable to earn its fifth championship since 2005.
The Knights fell behind, 7-2, at the half and lost, 15-5, to the Mustangs.
Senior attacker Morgan Marrale led Century with two goals while freshman attacker Hannah Warther, sophomore midfielder Maddie Hall and senior attacker Alexa McGovern each scored a goal.
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