Even the elements seem to work in Loch Raven's favor when it comes to the Baltimore County girls lacrosse championship.
In a lightning-shortened game yesterday, the No. 2 Raiders won their sixth straight title, beating Perry Hall, 17-6. For the host Raiders (14-0), the victory marked their 18th title in the 21-year history of the school.
Officials called the game with Girls lacrosse
7:38 remaining after several lightning bolts were spotted above the nearby trees.
The game stands as official because at least 15 minutes of the 25-minute second half was completed.
By that time, the Raiders, who had beaten Perry Hall, 21-5, early in the season, had the game well in hand. They rebounded from a 4-4 tie midway through the first half to outscore Perry Hall 10-1 over the next 25 1/2 minutes.
The Gators (11-2) simply didn't have the depth to stay with the Raiders the whole game.
"When we get tired, that's when the onslaught happens," said Perry Hall coach Wendy Samuels, whose team was unbeaten in county Class 4A-3A competition. "They have a bench -- not that I don't, but I can't shift kids in and out as freely as she can."
Shelley Klaes and Michele DeJuliis gave the Raiders a quick 2-0 lead, but the Gators refused to let Loch Raven break away early.
The Gators outhustled Loch Raven to the free balls and took advantage of turnovers to bounce back to 4-all. Perry Hall tied it with its only back-to-back goals of the game -- Kerri Johnson, who scored the first two Gators goals, fed Karen Bradley and Keri Folley rolled the crease.
Raiders coach Wendy Galinn then called a timeout, and the Raiders responded with the next two goals.
"We're always slow starting," said Galinn. "We don't get into a groove until the latter part of the first half or the second half."
Amber Marcum fed DeJuliis and nine seconds later, Heather Kormanik fed Misty Doonis for a 6-4 Raiders lead.
Klaes added two more to put the Raiders up 8-4 at the break.
But it wasn't just the attack that got the Raiders rolling. First-year keeper Bettina Guevara, who had eight saves, made three excellent stops in the final 5:40 of the half.
She stopped three low shots by Johnson, including a couple of free positions. The third came with just 10 seconds to go in the half when Johnson came running in trying to slide another shot low, but Guevara blocked it, too.
Johnson, who led the Gators with four goals, scored first in the second half on a free-position shot that Guevara nearly stopped.
But after that, Loch Raven scored six unanswered goals to pull ahead 14-5.
Klaes led the Raiders with five goals and three assists and DeJuliis, Lauren Volk, Robyn Disney and Allison Jones had two goals each. Doonis, Christina Bhanos, Kristi LaVardera and Kim Allen added single goals.