With Marriotts Ridge and Mt. Hebron facing off in Wednesday's 3A/2A South championship, Howard County was assured that at least one team would make the girls lacrosse state semifinals. But with its win in the 4A/3A North championship, Howard High will be joining in. The Lions defeated Linganore, 16-9. It is the school’s first regional title in girls lacrosse.
Marriotts Ridge defeated archrival Mt. Hebron, 11-8, to capture the 3A/2A South title. The Mustangs have been state semifinalists three of the last four years. The team won it all in 2011.
State semifinal games will be played Friday and Saturday at Franklin High School (Class 3A/2A) and Annapolis (Class 4A/3A). Marriotts Ridge will face Queen Anne’s High School and Howard will face Sherwood, specific dates and times to be announced.
Class 3A/2A South
For the fourth year in a row, Mt. Hebron faced Marriotts Ridge in the regional finals. While always a very good game, this time it wasn’t the usual suspenseful classic. Marriotts Ridge made sure of that.
“This is a big victory. Amazing,” said Marriotts Ridge’s Caroline Corbliss following her team’s 11-8 victory. “Last year we lost in the regional finals. This year we wanted to win. We were here to play and we played our game.”
The draw is so critical in girls lacrosse and behind midfielder Sam Brookhart, it is often Mt. Hebron’s speciality, but Corbliss proved equal to the Vikings’ challenge. She helped her team hold a 13-7 advantage on draw control.
“I take the draw a different way. It’s like a self draw,” she said.
Taylor Hensh put Marriotts Ridge on the scoreboard first, but Jordan Stevens, Jamie Schwartz and Jen Giles quickly answered for Mt. Hebron, giving the Vikings a 3-1 lead.
Marriotts Ridge’s offense then settled in and scored six unanswered goals to grab the game’s momentum.
Mt. Hebron tried to faceguard Marriotts Ridge’s top player, Zoe Stukenberg, but the maneuver was only partially successful. While Stukenberg was occupying the Vikings’ defense, her teammates went to work.
“It doesn’t matter who gets face-guarded on our team. If one person is not scoring then another person will step up and do it. And our whole team stepped up to do it today,” Hensh said.
Hensh had three goals as did Jenna Kerr and Marissa Davey.
The Marriotts Ridge defense was quite stingy. Keeper Rachel Ortell made 11 saves and the defenders in front of her — Alex McKay, Zadura, Stukenberg, Hensh, Brooke Sharbaugh, Katie Berdy and Amanda Miller — gave Mt. Hebron few uncontested looks.
“This was one of the best games our defense has played. We were compact, we slid early and we had each other’s backs,” McKay said. “It just felt good and it felt like we were clicking."
Yellow cards hampered Mt. Hebron. The team received five and had to play a player down the last 10:29 of the game. The last two minutes the Vikings were two-players down and had to try to double team to force the Mustangs to turn the ball over.
Marriotts Ridge was in the same position a year ago.
“We were down and had to double-team,” McKay said. “I completely understand and it sucks. We don’t have a shot clock and all you can do is run. I’ve been there and it’s not fun.”
Still, Mt. Hebron scored while a player down in the second half and actually narrowed the score to 10-8 not long after that. But that was as close as the Vikings would get.
“I don’t think we ever found our rhythm in the game and that really hurts you against a team like Marriotts Ridge,” said Mt. Hebron coach Trish Derwart.