Saturday, the Hammond girls lacrosse team started working on a new skill — how to win.
After 12 consecutive losses (going back into last season), the Golden Bears defeated Meade, 6-5, and Patapsco, 10-9, to win the inaugural Gay Petrlik Memorial Tournament.
The event is named in honor of Hammond’s first girls lacrosse coach Gay Petrlik, who passed away last May. Petrlik coached the team its first 12 years of existence.
Two other tournaments were played Saturday. Howard hosted the 13th annual Karl Wolf Memorial Tournament at Rockburn Park and Mt. Hebron hosted the Fight for Five at Cedar Lane. Both teams ended up second.
Gay Petrlik Memorial
If victories haven’t come frequently for the Hammond, the Golden Bears did know how to react when they won — rush the field and jump on the goalkeeper.
Goalie Ewurafua Asiedu did make a critical save in the final 20 seconds of the championship game when she stopped Patapsco’s Tessa Hom’s 8-meter free position, which was potentially a game-tying shot.
“My emotions were running high and I had to channel that into making the save,” Asiedu said.
Seconds later, Hom had a second attempt to knot the score on another 8-meter attempt but she missed the goal cage.
Patapsco got the ball back but ended up throwing it toward the sideline and Hammond got possession as the final buzzer sounded.
“I knew our defense could stop them,” said Hammond’s Zoe Pekins. “I’m glad that we were able to pull it out.”
Hammond did not score the last 16:05 of the game.
“We did the same thing in both games,” said Hammond coach Bill Smith. “We got a lead and then let them whittle away at it, but the character of this group showed. In the past (the win) would have gotten away from us and this group didn’t let that happen.”
The tournament kicked off with Gay Petrlik’s husband, George, and her son, Todd, a former coach of the team, speaking.
“You could feel the emotion from them and that carried over throughout the day,” said Hammond assistant coach Lindsay Kolesar, a 1997 graduate of the school who played for “Coach P.”
“We certainly were totally different in the way we presented ourselves coaching-wise but I think we both know how much we loved the kids, and we shared that. Gay is missed every day — just the wonderful things that she always said and did.”
Petrlik retired from teaching in 2010.
In honor of Petrlik, Hammond’s players wore brown and gold ribbons in their hair. Brown and gold were the school’s original colors, and the team’s first cheer was “For Coach P.”
“Even though they didn’t know her, you could tell that they were touched and that they cared enough about us to know how much she meant to us,” Kolesar said. “I know she had a hand in this today from the weather to the wins.”
Hammond 10, Patapsco 9