As a freshman, Century's Hannah Warther hasn't hesitated to take the big shots, and she hit the biggest one so far Friday night to give the No. 5 Knights a 10-9 double-overtime victory over No. 2 C. Milton Wright in a Class 3A-2A girls lacrosse state semifinal at Franklin.
After the defending state champs won the draw in sudden-death overtime, they settled the ball to look for the best shot. Senior Haley Bordner, who has 38 assists this spring, set up Warther for the game winner in the Knights' second straight comeback win over C. Milton Wright in the state semifinals.
"Throughout the game, we had been forcing it a little bit [on offense]," Bordner, a Florida-bound midfielder, said, "so when we got the draw, we knew we just needed to be patient, take our time and wait for that perfect shot. I saw Hannah and she got it."
It was Warther's fourth goal of the game and her 64th of the season.
"I knew this was our chance so I gave it all I've got," she said.
The Knights (16-2) will go after their seventh title in 10 years when they meet face Marriotts Ridge -- who beat Queen Anne's 13-5 -- in the state championship Tuesday or Wednesday night at UMBC.
Friday night's victory avenged an early-season loss to the Mustangs (16-2), who scored the first four goals and held on for an 11-7 victory on March 23. This time, C. Milton Wright took a 4-1 lead, but the Knights came back several times.
The Mustangs, who won their only state crown in 2004, led 8-5 on Kaitlan Moynihan's third goal of the game with 14:53 to go, but they would not score again in regulation.
"We hit pipes. We barely missed shots," Mustangs coach Brent Ritz said. "It wasn't that we weren't getting good opportunities and good looks, it's just they didn't fall for us. I felt we were still being successful offensively, we just weren't able to put the ball in the net."
Bordner led the comeback, feeding Alexa McGovern and scoring on a free position. She then made an interception that Warther converted to tie the game at 8 with 1:22 to go in regulation.
In the first overtime, six minutes played out, the Mustangs won the first draw and Lauren Haggerty gave them the lead in just 48 seconds. The Knights tied in on Marissa Donoghue's free-position goal with 17.7 seconds left.
The Mustangs had the momentum in the opening minutes of the game thanks in large part to a couple of saves by freshman goalie Katelyn Miller, who spent the season on the junior varsity but made some terrific point-blank stops among her nine saves.
Marriotts Ridge 13, Queen Anne’s 5: Most teams haven’t figured out a way to stop Zoe Stukenberg of Marriotts Ridge this season. Queen Anne’s couldn’t find the answer either on Friday night.
Stukenberg scored 33 seconds into the game and finished with five goals and three assists, leading No. 6 Marriotts Ridge to a 13-5 victory over Queen Anne’s in a Class 3A-2A state semifinal at Annapolis.
The Mustangs (17-1) now advance to the state final on Tuesday or Wednesday at UMBC. They’ll play No. 5 Century, who edged No. 2 C.M. Wright, 10-9, in the other state semifinal Friday.
No. 5 Century 10, No. 2 C. Milton Wright 9 (2OT)
Goals: CMW—Moynihan 3, Haggerty 2, Gallagher, Matthai, K.Burgee, Smucker; C—Warther 4, McGovern 2, Wolfe, Hall, Bordner, Donoghue. Assists: CMW—Williams, Smucker; C—Bordner 2. Saves: CMW—Miller 9; C—Al.Remenapp 7. Half: CMW, 4-2.