South River junior forward Kacie Longo consistently scored goals in the regular season, contributing at least one in all but two of the team's 14 games.
In the Class 4A playoffs, where the No. 4 Seahawks (17-2) meet four-time defending champion Bethesda-Chevy Chase for the championship Friday night at UMBC, however, Longo has been on fire.
She scored four goals against North Point in a 7-2 victory in the 4A East regional semifinal. When the Seahawks trailed No. 6 Arundel, 2-0, in the regional championship, she tied the game with two scores in the second half and the team advanced with a 3-2 overtime win. In the state semifinal round, she poured in three more as the Seahawks beat Bowie, 4-0.
It all adds up to 27 goals this season for Longo, who also has six assists.
Having played soccer and lacrosse for as long as she can remember, Longo made a tough decision when she made a commitment to play lacrosse at Maryland. She maintains a 3.7 grade point average, is a member of the National Honor Society and also ran indoor track the past two years. One of Longo's most rewarding experiences at South River has been her involvement in the school's Team Success program, which raises money to support less fortunate people from other countries.
What's it going to take to win the state title?
We're going to have to work together, play our best and put it all out on the field. I feel like practicing every day, getting the touches in and working hard pays off so much. We're clicking really well and want to keep it going. We're at the peak of our season, we've been working up to this point and have to keep doing what we've been doing. And practicing really hard is what it's really all about.
What is the anticipation like for the team going into the state championship game?
It feels really good to get this far and it's nerve-racking having to wait all week. We're practicing and making sure to get the right training in, but not going too hard because we don't want to tire out. It's exciting. We know that no matter what happens, we've made it this far. Obviously, we're going to look to win big, but it's also just a great opportunity getting there.
What does it feel like when you're in such a good scoring groove?
I love scoring goals. It feels really good. But I don't care how the ball gets in the net as long as it gets there. Whoever does it, whatever it takes — just get it in there and that's fine. For me, it's my teammates getting me the ball I couldn't did it without them because they are all working really hard to get me the ball. And it's not just me — we have a lot of other scorers on the team, too.
What's the key to scoring goals?
It's just all about working together. Most of my goals are always just knowing exactly where to be and getting there. The last goal we scored in the Arundel game, Beka [Petty] crossed the ball right where I was, and I'm pretty sure anyone could have put that ball in. It was all in the cross, for real, I was just there to put it in.
What made you decide on playing lacrosse in college?
It was a very, very hard decision. I can't imagine not playing soccer, but I'll think about that later. Basically, the recruiting process for lacrosse is a lot quicker than the soccer process, so I knew I had to decide on one to get better at it and make sure I can be the best I can be in that one sport.
How comforting is it having your college decision aleady out of the way?
It does take a lot of pressure off you, but you also have to make sure to keep your grades up and keep working hard at what you want to do because you're not there yet. So it doesn't feel that much different because I know I still have to work hard and do exactly what I've been doing before.
How rewarding is it being part of the Success Team club?
It's about helping the world, basically. We raise money for the less fortunate. It feels really good to be able to help people. A lot of people at South River have it really good and you just have to realize that not everybody has it as good.