BURTONSVILLE — South Carroll waited 26 years to play in another girls lacrosse state championship game, so why not add some overtime to the scenario?
The Cavaliers fought off Hereford all night in Tuesday’s Class 2A final at Paint Branch High School, and didn’t grab their first lead until less than 2 minutes remained. The Bulls drew even in the final seconds, though, and OT was needed.
Almost all of it, in fact — SC senior midfielder Shannon Finch scored with 12 seconds to go with a nifty move through the crease, and the Cavaliers prevailed 10-9 to capture their program’s first state title.
“I can’t believe it,” said junior goalie Julia Weiss. “It’s just so cool to win this.”
Riley Evans netted four goals and Finch had two, none bigger than the one she converted with the game on the line. South Carroll (16-1) came up big on defense, too, with several drawn charges, backed by eight saves from Weiss.
She stopped Hereford’s Lindsay Clarke from close range with 3:30 remaining in regulation and the game tied at 8-8, which led to Evans scoring off an assist from fellow senior Abbey Behn at the 1:56 mark.
The Cavs had their first lead at 9-8, but the Bulls (17-1) weren’t out of it. They intercepted a pass with time running out and senior midfielder Libby May darted down field to put away the equalizer with 23 seconds to go.
Hereford seemed to have the momentum, but South Carroll came up with the opening draw in overtime and held possession first. Behn then had a free-position look one minute into the extra session.
The ball came loose from her stick as Behn went for a shot, and Hereford gathered the ground ball. But the Bulls came up empty on their ensuring trip down the field, and SC secured the ball after a bad pass near Weiss in the crease.
Cavs coach Brigid Scanlon called a timeout with 55 seconds to play in overtime and set up a potential final play. Whatever it was, the play worked — Finch eventually got the ball near the top of the circle, worked her way inside Hereford’s defense and dropped a shot past Bulls goalie Lindsay Posner to set off quite the celebration.
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The Cavaliers, back in a state final for the first time since 1993, ended the year with a victory. The Bulls, meanwhile, suffered their first loss of the season and were going for their first state crown since 2003.
South Carroll couldn’t find any rhythm early on, and Hereford capitalized.
The Bulls played a patient first 20 minutes and built a 4-0 lead, with a pair of goals from May. The Cavaliers regrouped, however, and netted four goals over the final 4:39. Evans converted two free-position shots, the second of which came with 1:21 remaining and tied the score at 4-4.
Weiss kept the Cavs close with four saves in the half, and SC benefited from three Hereford yellow cards.
May finished with three goals while Isabella Peterson and Lindsay Clarke each scored twice for the Bulls.
Hereford led 8-6 with 13:22 remaining.
“This group of girls that we have, they’re just so great,” Scanlon said. “We just keep fighting.”