South Carroll boys lacrosse coach Brad Widner has been somewhat annoyed by his team's slow starts this season.
"We have played the majority of our games from behind," Widner said.
It happened again against visiting Century in a Class 2A-1A West Section 1 final Monday night at Parker Field.
The Cavaliers fell behind by three goals early, but Widner loves his team's strong finishes. South Carroll played well the rest of the way to secure a 10-8 victory as senior attackman Kyle Worsley totaled four goals and teammate Sam Crossman had three.
The Cavaliers move on to play Largo of Prince George's County on Wednesday in the regional final. Largo, the top seed in the bracket, defeated Gwynn Park 4-1 in the other section final.
Before South Carroll (10-5) could advance, the Cavaliers had to hold off Century.
South Carroll had a five-goal lead entering the fourth quarter, but the Knights scored three straight goals to cut the lead to 10-8. Alex Klein started the flurry less than two minutes into the period and Jalen Stanton finished it with a man-advantage goal with 6:51 remaining.
Century's problem for the rest of the game? The Knights (9-7) didn't score again and managed only one shot.
South Carroll goalie Evan Hock stopped Harrison Kluge's attempt with 3:28 left, and the Cavaliers possessed the ball for about three minutes down the stretch to help run out the clock.
"Our offense was just turning the ball over," Widner said of the fourth quarter. "But I told them, 'Stay focused and we can do this.'"
South Carroll took its biggest lead in the third quarter.
After Century's Brett Kropinski scored an unassisted goal 1:31 into the period, the Cavaliers ran off four unanswered goals to take a 10-5 lead. Crossman had two goals during that stretch.
"We started moving the ball a lot better," Worsley said.
The first half was a different story for the winners. Century jumped on South Carroll for three goals in the first 1:56.
Colin Welch sprinted from behind the goal and beat goalkeeper Evan Hock with a low shot. Carter Truby scored exactly a minute later to make it 2-0.
Then Alex Kristian boosted the Knights lead to 3-0.
That run of goals forced Widner to call a timeout.
It seemed to work because Worsley scored an unassisted goal 55 seconds after the break.
South Carroll kept up the pressure on the visitors as Kyle Dizon hit a post, and the Cavaliers trimmed the advantage to 3-2 when Worsley scored his second goal on a feed from Crossman.
Welch finished the first-quarter scoring with an unassisted goal.
South Carroll got off to a better start in the second quarter. Crossman placed a low shot past goalie Chris Yanchoris as fell to the ground about a minute into play. The Cavaliers outscored the Knights 4-0 in the period to give South Carroll a 6-4 lead — the halftime score.
Worsley had four goals in the first half. Century failed to score in the second quarter despite eight shots. Kropinski and Welch led the Knights with two goals each.
Goals: SC-Kyle Worsley 4, Sam Crossman 3, Adam McCarty, Jake MacKenzie, Kyle Dizon; C-Colin Welch 2, Brett Kropinski 2, Jalen Stanton, Carter Truby, Alex Kristian, Alex Klein.
Assists: SC-Crossman 2, Jacob Snell, Jacob Klein, Dizon; C-Welch.
Saves: SC-13 (Evan Hock); C-9 (Chris Yanchoris).
Halftime: SC, 6-4.