Girls lacrosse teams from C. Milton Wright and Fallston each won region titles Wednesday to advance to state semifinal play set for today (Friday) and Saturday.
CMW won its fourth straight region title, edging visiting North Harford, 15-14, in Class 2A-3A North, while Fallston, the defending 1A-2A state champion, pulled away from visiting Havre de Grace in the second half en route to an 18-8 win in 1A-2A South.
Both teams will be action this weekend. CMW will face Century tonight (Friday) at 6 p.m. at Franklin High School, while Fallston will play on familiar turf at Bel Air, facing Easton on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
State final games will be played Tuesday and Wednesday at UMBC. Game times will be known at the conclusion of all state semifinals in all three classifications.
In CMW's win the Mustangs (14-1), who trailed 4-1 in the game's first 10 minutes, rebounded with a 7-1 run to close the half with an 8-5 lead.
The two teams traded a pair of goals to open the second half, before North Harford scored three unanswered goals to tie the game at 10.
North Harford (13-2) retook the lead, 12-11, on Leah Monticello's third goal with 9:11 to play, but CMW rallied for three straight to lead 14-12 at the 4:53 mark.
Maddy Dolinar's back-to-back goals retied the game 14-14, setting up CMW senior Abby Smucker's game-winning goal. Later that evening, Smucker was named the female winner of the $5,000 Al Cesky Scholarship.
Smucker, who scored her team's final three goals all unassisted, forced a turnover off the stick of Hawks goalie Michaela Welsh away from the goal. Smucker worked back to her left, to the front of the goal then tossed the ball into the open net.
CMW, which won the ensuing draw, ran out most of the 2:36 that remained. North Harford did get possession in the final 20 seconds but a desperation throw toward midfield was broken up as the clock moved to zeros.
"I think we definitely won the draws when they were absolutely necessary to win them," CMW head coach Brent Ritz said. "I think we kind of did it as a group."
He noted a number of players stood out on both teams.
"It really was a group effort," he said.
Kaitlan Moynihan led CMW with four goals and two assists, while Smucker and Maggie Gallagher had three goals each. Brooke Williams and Katie Burgee had two goals each and Haley Alexander added one goal. Haley Matthai also had one assist.
Monticello (two assists) and Dolinar led North Harford with three goals each, while Katie Clark, Emily Clark and Sophie Crowther scored two goals apiece. Bailey Saneman and Jen Doering also scored for the Hawks and Morgan Knox dished out four assists. Emily Clark also had one assist.
CMW played two goalies, with Alexis Strouse and Katelyn Miller each making one save. Haley Ensor was in goal for the Hawks in the first half with four saves and Walsh played in the second with one save.
"As far as my girls, I'm very pleased with the way they played. They came out with a lot of heart and hustle, they worked hard, they were composed on offense and defense. All around they played exceptional," Hawks head coach Tara Buecker said.
Cougars pull away
Fallston, the defending 1A-2A state champion, won its second straight region title Wednesday over visiting Havre de Grace, 18-8.
Despite the final outcome, the Cougars (10-7) found themselves in a tight battle at the half, as the upset-minded Warriors (8-7) played the Cougars to a 7-7 first half tie.
Caroline English scored four goals to lead the Cougars, while Ashley Mozingo, Kayla Reilly, Rachel Barile and Megan Shock netted three goals apiece. Lindsay Summers and Logan Gasior also scored for Fallston.
Gasior and Megan Reilly had assists for the Cougars.
The Warriors (8-7) were led by Colleen McCormick, Margaret Stump and Haley Dean, who scored two goals and added one assist each. Carly Thompson and Katie Thompson added single goals.
Taylor Johnson was credited with one assist.
Fallston goalie Erika Wright had two saves and Havre de Grace goalie Abbie Blessing made 17 saves.