The wait is over for the Sparrows Point girls soccer team.
After reaching the state tournament for a 10th time since 1999 and making their fifth title game appearance, the No. 12 Pointers used a gritty performance and two late goals against Smithsburg to score a dramatic 2-1 win in the Class 1A final at UMBC Stadium.
It took tying goal from sophomore Lindsea Webb with seven minutes left and then an epic winning goal from freshman Kasie Lambert with 2:16 to play to beat the Leopards from Washington County.
After Webb worked her way in to score the game-tying goal, Lambert pounced on a rebound chance in front after Mackenzie Smythe's original shot from the right side was turned away by Smithsburg goalie Corinne Burk. Minutes later, the long-awaited celebration spilled out onto the field.
"I saw the ball hit off the keeper and just hit it in," Lambert said. "I knew we just really needed to get that to get the win.,"
The Pointers (14-3) lost 11 seniors to graduation from last year and were mostly comprised of underclassmen, but expectations grew as they stacked up well against some of the perennial Baltimore County powers during the regular season. They knocked off defending state champion Manchester Valley, 2-1, in the state semifinals and outplayed Smithsburg in the first half of the title game.
But no goals came despite that hard work and it was the Leopards (12-7-1) who were able to get the game's first goal when Vanesa Cuevas scored with 31:24 to play. It would have been easy for the Pointers to hang their heads.
"I knew our girls were going to fight tooth and nail no matter what," said Sparrows Point coach Caitlin Brennan. "And they proved to the very end that they weren't going to give up."
Webb, who battled over a defender in the penalty area to get the ball back before finishing from 10 yards, got it started.
"I missed that first shot, that breakaway [in the first half] and felt like I needed to pick the team up … and score the first goal," she said. "I needed to set the tone. That definitely brought up our energy and Kasie scoring that second goal just sent it over the top for us."
Class 1A final
12 Sparrows Point 2, Smithsburg 1
Goals: SP – Webb, Lambert; SM -- Cuevas
Assists: SP -- Amthe
Saves: SP – Peterson 2; SM – Burk 4
Half: 0-0Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun