For the second year in a row, Howard came up short of winning the girls portion of the Karl Wolf Tournament. This year, though, that margin of victory was razor thin.
Last year, Kent Island defeated Howard, 16-15, to win the championship. This year Worcester Prep, of Berlin, Md., won, 9-8, in dramatic fashion.
The winning goal came after the final horn had sounded and with no time on the clock, when the Worcester’s Lilly DiNardo scored on an 8-meter free position.
“All I was thinking was getting the ball in the goal,” said DiNardo. It was her fifth score of the game.
“If there’s anyone on the team that we would want to have the ball in that situation, it’s Lilly,” said Mallards coach Paige Watts. “She’s got speed and so much determination and she does really good under pressure.”
The officials allowed DiNardo’s free position because the game clock had run the last two minutes of play when it should not have.
“It is what it is,” said Howard coach Alleesha Davidson.
With the score tied, 8-all, Howard had the ball with less than a minute to play and twice Katie Schluederberg was awarded 8-meter free positions. She didn’t attempt a shot on the first one. On the second, Worcester Prep goalie Maddie Pilchard came up with the save, one of eight she made in the half.
That possession eventually led to the winning goal.
For the most part, it was a back-and-forth game. The score was tied five times.
“I feel like we were dead even. It was a really good game and that’s really exciting,” Davidson said. “We didn’t make a lot of shots that we should have made. That’s what I’m irritated about. At the end you’ve got to finish.”
Schluederberg (three) and Kristen Woolschlager (two) led Howard’s scoring.
DiNardo and Howard’s Cassidy Burns received the Karl Wolf Award. This was the 12th annual Karl Wolf Tournament. Wolf was the leading scorer on the 1984 Howard team that reached the state championship game. He passed away in 1999 after a lengthy battle with Hodgkin’s disease. This year’s tournament was played at Rockburn Branch Park.
Howard reached the championship game by defeating Wilde Lake, 19-5; Worcester Prep defeated Reservoir, 20-11.
Wilde Lake won the consolation game, 18-12, over Reservoir.
Wilde Lake’s Grayson Corbett put her team on the scoreboard first, but the Wildecats coughed up five straight goals.
During a timeout, Wilde Lake coach Davia Procida told her team, “You’re not playing well, you need to start playing together.”
Trailing by four, Wilde Lake, paced primarily by Corbett and Kate Glaros , scored six goals to take the lead.
Reservoir tied the score, but Wilde Lake went on a four-goal run and maintained its advantage the rest of the game.
Corbett had a tremendous day. She scored nine of her 11 goals against Reservoir and came up with 13 draw controls.