A year ago, Century's Angela Flister and Alice Mercer left UMBC after the state championship lacrosse game with plenty of regrets. Tuesday night, they did not.
The No. 3 Knights' only two senior starters combined for five goals and junior Hayley Bordner added five more in a 12-9 victory against Queen Anne's in the Class 3A-2A final for Century's sixth state title and the third for the Class of 2012.
"Last year, Alice and I regretted every second," said Flister of the 8-4 state final loss to Marriotts Ridge. "This year in the beginning of the year, we were like we have to get it back. [Coach Becky Groves'] husband gave us the statement for the team or our motto, 'Back Where We Belong.'"
Tuesday night, the Knights (18-1) got off to a slow start against a talented Queen Anne's team looking to become the first girls team from the Eastern Shore to win a lacrosse title.
The Lions (16-2-1) took a 5-3 lead on back-to-back goals from Mollie Stevens with eight minutes left in the first half. After that, the Knights took control.
Flister brought the Knights within one, attacking from behind the goal and finding just the right angle. Mercer then tied the game on a feed from Sky Hyatt with 3:41 to go. Flister scored the go-ahead goal and Bordner fed Kailey Wolfe and then bounced in a free-position goal with 19.9 seconds left in the half.
Bordner said that as important as the five-goal scoring run was, a big defensive stand as time ran down in the half was more important. After the Lions won the last draw, the young Knights defense forced a turnover as it attacked from the top and then in the final three seconds, forced a wide shot.
"Coming out of the first half, I think it's important in all games to try come out with the momentum, because it gets you more pumped up going into the second half," Bordner said. "We … said, 'Do not let them score off of this play' because if they do they're going to have the momentum coming into the second half.The fact that we could stop them on that run was huge for us. That definitely gave us the momentum."
Another solid defensive stand held off the Lions in the opening minutes of the second half and Mercer made it 9-5 with 21:12 to go.
The Lions, who drew four yellow cards in the second half and had to play man-down late in the game, pulled within three goals three times, but could not get closer. The yellow cards, combined with having a handful of key players sidelined with injury, made it difficult for the Lions to come back.
For the two Knights seniors, it was the perfect ending to their high school careers.
"We wanted to win it so much this year especially for Alice and I, because we're seniors," Flister said, "and we made it (to the state final) for basketball — we totally didn't know that that was going to happen — but making it for lacrosse is so sweet and winning it is even better."
Goals: QA—Stevens 4, Ab.O'Donnell 2, Crew, An.O'Donnell, Moulis; C—Bordner 5, A.Mercer 3, Flister 2, Wolfe, Hyatt. Assists: C—Hyatt, Bordner, Wolfe; Saves: QA—Wilson 5, Antonelli 5; C—Al.Remenapp 5. Half: C, 8-5.