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Coach of the Year: South Carroll's Brigid Scanlon led Cavaliers to first girls lacrosse state championship

Coach of the Year: South Carroll's Brigid Scanlon led Cavaliers to first girls lacrosse state championship
Becky Martin, left, former McDaniel College women's basketball coach, stands with Coach of the Year Brigid Scanlon, who coaches lacrosse at South Carroll, during the Carroll County Times High School Athlete of the Year Awards banquet at Martin's Westminster. (Steve Ruark / For the Carroll County Times)

Brigid Scanlon certainly won’t forget the 2019 lacrosse season.

Scanlon, in her seventh year as the Cavaliers’ girls head coach, enjoyed a memorable spring season at the helm of the program. She earned Times Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Cavs — her alma mater — to a 16-1 record and a state championship.

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The Cavaliers returned four first-team all-countians from last year’s county championship squad— Paiton Abbott, Abbey Behn, Riley Evans, and Julia Weiss. Behn led the Cavs in scoring in 2018 and also led the county in assists, while Weiss anchored the team’s defense in goal with a .593 save percentage in her varsity debut.

This year’s roster fielded five seniors, Behn and Evans included. Evans helped lead the Cavaliers with 60 goals and seven assists en route to being named Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year. Evans also won 85 draw controls and scored four or more goals in 11 games for the Cavs.

Behn, who led SC with 30 goals and a county-best 51 assists this spring, joined Evans on the all-county first team along with Finch and Weiss.

Scanlon said her favorite part of this year’s journey came down to one thing — the girls.

“They honestly are such a good group of girls,” Scanlon said at the annual Times High School Athlete of the Year Awards banquet, June 24 at Martin’s Westminster. “You always have that unsung hero kind of award, a girl that does it all and every coach wants one player, but I really think this entire team was just a bunch of unsung heroes who just worked hard every single day.

“They were funny, you could joke with them but when you had to yell at them or be a little more serious, they clicked and just did exactly what we asked of them.”

The Cavs surely clicked, and at all the right moments.

SC won seven straight games before falling to county rival Century 16-6 on April 15. That one loss was all it took for the team to dial back in, and the Cavaliers were determined not to lose again.

The teams met again, in the first round of the 2A West playoffs for a second straight year, and the Cavaliers handed the Knights an early playoff exit with a 14-10 victory. They beat Winters Mill next to set up a regional final matchup at Middletown, and the Cavs rolled 8-2.

South Carroll head coach Brigid Scanlon, accepts the championship trophy from athletic director Jim Horn after the team's win over Hereford during the Class 2A girls lacrosse state championship game at Paint Branch High School on Tuesday, May 21.
South Carroll head coach Brigid Scanlon, accepts the championship trophy from athletic director Jim Horn after the team's win over Hereford during the Class 2A girls lacrosse state championship game at Paint Branch High School on Tuesday, May 21. (Brian Krista / Carroll County Times)

A 13-5 victory over Queen Anne’s in a state semifinal set up the team’s first state final appearance since 1993. That state championship victory didn’t come easily, however.

SC battled with perennial contender Hereford, state finalists a year ago, before defeating the unbeaten Bulls 10-9 in overtime. Shannon Finch, a midfielder, scored with 12 seconds remaining in the first OT period to get the win.

Scanlon said the team’s five seniors — Evans, Finch, Behn, Mia MacKenzie, and Jenna McDermott — contributed to the team’s success this spring because they helped to forge a solid bond.

“I think they're such good, positive role models and I think they’re phenomenal athletes and really good kids,” Scanlon said. “They all work really hard and they all got along and they all wanted the same common goal. They’re the kind of kids that you’d want to be around every day and the underclassmen really latched on to them and learned a lot from them and it made it really easy.”

The Cavaliers outscored their playoff opponents 55-31 and ended the season on a nine-game winning streak. SC should return a large group of girls in 2020 and Scanlon hopes the state championship will boost an interest in young athletes to join the program.

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“There are some big shoes to fill obviously with the senior class graduating,” Scanlon said. “But, the future looks bright for us.”

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