A Maryland graduate and senior attacker from last season, Alex Aust was on one sideline coaching the South. Across from her was the North coach Kara Cannizarro, who led North Carolina with four goals in the 13-12 triple-overtime thriller over Aust and the Terps in May.
And it was Cannizarro's group who came away victorious again as the North defeated the South, 18-16 in the high school showcase of girls lacrosse players. But after the game, Aust could only smile knowing that six players from the field would be continuing their careers at College Park.
Maryland was the most represented program in the game.
"It's awesome trying to tell these guys they're about to have the best four years of their lives," Aust said.
The North scored eight unanswered goals to go up 17-11 midway through the second half in a flurry led by game MVP and North Carolina-bound Cortney Fortunado, whose eight points (four goals, four assists) tied for the most in the game's eight-year history.
Despite going on a two-minute run of its own to bring the game to within one, the South was unable to defend the match it won last year for the first time in four years.
Those from the losing side had no problem disregarding the scoreboard.
"I found out who my roommate is a couple seconds ago," said future Terp Zoe Stukenberg, beaming as she looked to Emily Kift, who played goalie for the North. "We came into this weekend just to have a good time. We didn't get the win, but we met a lot of people and that's what matters."
Stukenberg, a two-time All-Metro selection out of Marriotts Ridge, finished with a goal and an assist. Future teammate and Catonsville graduate Deborah Milani also added a goal.
North Carolina-bound Sydney Holman led the South with four goals while McDonogh graduate and Florida bound Sammi Burgess added two goals.
After Burgess' freelance shot, coming after spinning between two defenders, the south finished the first half with three straight goals to hold an 8-7 lead.
"It's a game. Somebody's gotta lose at some point," Burgess said. "It was more about the fun and the experience more than anything."
Her former teammate and Duke-bound attacker Casey Black led the team with two assists. Maggie Preas and Posey Valis, headed to Virginia, also played their last game together with their McDonogh teammates.
The loss was the first of their high school careers as the nationally top-ranked program hasn't lost in 91 games.
"We always have so much fun together," Burgess said. "It's been four years for us, so it's gonna be hard to move on. But I think we're ready to go."
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