State title victory is worth the wait for Drenner and Westminster boys lacrosse

Westminster standout attackman Ryan Drenner had an extra day to think about his yearlong obsession.

That turned out to be just fine.

After lightning suspended play in Wednesday's Class 4A-3A state final against defending champion South River, Drenner and the No. 8 Owls had to sit through another brief weather delay on Thursday before playing their best lacrosse of the season.

Drenner scored four times, dished out five assists and the Owls claimed a 13-10 win over the No. 9 Seahawks to avenge a loss in last year's final, bring home the program's first state title and complete a perfect 19-0 season.

"Oh my gosh — it's the biggest relief," he said. "It's been sitting on all of our shoulders since the end of last year's game, so it's just a huge relief."

The game resumed at UMBC on Thursday with 1:11 remaining in the first half and the Seahawks (17-4) leading, 8-7. The Owls, who trailed 6-1 at one point on Wednesday, picked up right where they left off with the Towson-bound Drenner the catalyst.

His wraparound goal with 6:07 to play gave the Owls the lead for good at 11-10. Ryan Hurley added an insurance goal with 4:44 left, and Drenner closed out the scoring with a number of fakes in front of the South River cage before going high past goalie Jake Gavin (11 saves) with 2:46 to play.

After play picked up on Thursday, Drenner scored two goals and two assists to finish the season with 69 goals and 68 assists. Earlier in the season, he said he used last year's 10-8 loss in the final as motivation during every practice, every game and every workout. Although he said he had trouble falling asleep Wednesday night and a tough time focusing in the classroom Thursday, he had a positive spin to the odd two-day title game.

"It's crazy. We were blessed that we got another chance to play," he said. "As a band of brothers, we just came together and had another day to play together, so it was a great time."

Westminster dominated play Thursday with defenseman Chad Patterson and goalie Ryan Aler (10 saves) leading the defense. CJ Nichols finished with three goals, Jesse Uhlman had two goals and an assist, and Nick McDonough added two goals in the win.

"From being here last year, we set a goal early with all our captains that we wanted to get back here and we weren't going to lose a game getting back here," said Ryan Hursey, a junior midfielder. "It's amazing."

For South River, Matt Gaskins, Dylan Mansur and CJ Pendleton all finished with two goals and one assist.

"It just kind of all fell apart in the second half — that's all you can say," said Seahawks defenseman and captain Stephen Hincks. "We had a good year, but just came up short."

Boys lacrosse

Class 4A-3A

No. 10 Westminster 13, No. 8 South River 10

Goals: SR – Gaskins 2, Mansur 2, Pendleton 2, Davis, Senft, Schimolar, Maloof;

W – McDonough 2, Drenner 4, H. Davis, Nichols 3, Uhlman 2; Hursey.

Assists: SR – Gaskins, Pendleton, Mansur;

W – Drenner 5, Uhlman, Hursey.

Saves: SR – Gavin 11;

W – Aler 10.

Half: SR, 8-7

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