An emotionally drained South Carroll girls lacrosse team didn't have enough to cope with three-time defending state champion Severna Park last night.
The slow-starting Falcons (16-0) turned their game up in the second half and dominated South Carroll on the way to a 14-6 victory in the Class 3A-4A state championship game at Catonsville Community College.
Severna Park put on a clinic in the second half after overcoming two early leads for a 7-4 halftime advantage over the Cavaliers (10-6).
The third-ranked Falcons, with four straight state titles, showed superior stickwork, passing, checking and talent over the final 25 minutes.
South Carroll had pulled off three emotional upset wins in eight days and couldn't fashion another.
South Carroll became the first Carroll County girls team to make it to the state final four last Tuesday when it upset Westminster. Then the Cavaliers knocked off previously unbeaten C. Milton Wright in the 3A-4A semifinals, earning a spot in The Baltimore Sun's top 15 for the first time this week.
But there were no more miracles for coach Stacy Stem's team, which had won six straight after a 4-5 start.
"I was out of it most of the night," said South Carroll freshman scoring sensation Allison Cain, who had five goals in the win over C. Milton Wright. "They [Falcons] were tough, and I just couldn't get my mind in it after all I did in the semis."
Even Stem, who has a knack for firing her team up at halftime, could not find anything to get her team going last night.
"We never found a spark tonight," said Stem. "I kept telling the girls we were in the game but we let down in the second half, and once they got four goals ahead, we couldn't come back."
Stem said she tried to shut down all of Severna Park's primary weapons, but it was impossible.
"I put Julie Manley [Cavaliers' top defender] on No. 5 [Erin Wylde, Falcons' top scorer] and that worked a little, but then No. 24 [Stephanie Roberts] killed us," said Stem. "They're a good checking team and they have a lot of skills. That was the bottom line. They just had too many skills. Also, they took Tracie DiDio out of the game most of the time."
Wylde scored four goals to lead Severna Park. Roberts had two goals and one assist in addition to intimidating the Cavaliers with her size and speed, and Amy Carnaggio had three goals for the winners.
"Roberts was something else," said Stem. "When she had the ball, it was tough for us to do anything. I was disappointed that we didn't do a better job going after the ball and marking people, but we had a tremendous season."