Trailing by a goal midway through the second half of Saturday's Class 1A field hockey final, North Carroll coach Denean Koontz called a timeout to remind her players of all they had overcome.
The list included three previous overtime games, and a semifinal win on penalty strokes.
"We said, `You know what? You've persevered all year long,'" Koontz said. "`Let's just persevere a little bit longer.'"
The Panthers (14-3) did just that, winning when freshman Meghan Harmon scored off a rebound 5:15 into sudden-death overtime. It gave them their first title since 1977, in their first appearance in the finals since 1987.
The play began when Emily Harrison sent a corner out front to Megan Heindel. The senior took the shot, which rebounded off goalie Patterson Mill Maddie Hedrick to the waiting Harmon.
"I heard someone shot the ball, and it was there, so I just finished," said Harmon, who finished with two goals.
North Carroll withstood another dazzling effort by Patterson Mill junior Linnea Gonzales, who finished with a goal and an assist. In overtime, however, Gonzales was unable to convert on three straight corners, despite dodging three or four defenders each time.
"Next year we definitely want to make it happen again," Gonzales said. "We lost in regionals last year, and we came out this year fired up about that. Hopefully, next year we can come out the same way."
The Huskies finished 13-5-1.
North Carroll 3, Patterson Mill 2 (OT)
Goals: PM-Patidar, Gonzales; NC-Harmon 2, Harrison. Assists: PM-Gonzales, Jourdan; NC-Harrison. Saves: PM-Hedrick 7; NC-Martin 8. Half: Patterson Mill, 2-1.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun