Tenth-ranked Notre Dame Prep spoiled No. 2 Maryvale's hopes for a perfect season with a 10-9 upset victory in yesterday's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference girls lacrosse semifinal.
Carli Vogler scored the game-winner, giving the visiting Blazers a 10-7 lead with about six minutes left. Katie Chrest scored two goals to rally the Lions within one, but the Blazers won the last draw and held possession for the final 3:55 of the game.
In the title game at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field, the Blazers will meet No. 3 Roland Park, a 10-9 winner over No. 4 Bryn Mawr in four overtimes in yesterday's other semifinal.
At Maryvale (15-1), the Blazers (9-7) got five goals from Cary Chasney, three from Vogler, and two from Hollis Pica, as well as a solid defensive effort.
"They did a great job of pressuring," said Lions rookie coach Meghan McLaughlin, whose team won an 8-7 regular-season decision. "Toward the end, when the pressure mounted, we didn't make good decisions with the ball."
Chrest led the Lions with five goals, and goalie Megan Huether made 14 saves.
At Roland Park, though every possession had been plotted carefully, senior Allison Higgins saw a slight opening in the final overtime and improvised. Her sudden-death goal - after 60 minutes, 43 seconds of intense, evenly played lacrosse - was all that separated the Reds (17-1) from the defending champion Mawrtians (16-3-2).
Higgins, who had three goals and two assists to lead the Reds' attack, couldn't find a better way to celebrate her 19th birthday.
"I ran the ball down the field and was going to slow it down and work the clock, like we'd been doing, but I saw the defender hesitate, so I took the extra step and got the shot off," she said.
The Reds spent most of the second half protecting a lead that never got bigger than two goals by maintaining possession. But consecutive goals from Bryn Mawr's Margaret Yellett - the second with 2:27 left in regulation - tied the score at 8 and forced overtime.
The Mawrtains took their first lead of the game on Molly Gilbert's second goal of the game just 24 seconds into the second three-minute overtime, before the sudden-death rule kicked in. But the Reds got the equalizer less than a minute later, when Sarah Scalia scooped a loose ball in front and quickly finished.
Bryn Mawr sophomore goalie Angela Trusty (10 saves) made two point-blank saves in the third overtime session, the first under sudden-death pressure, before Higgins was able to finish with 1:17 left in the fourth overtime.
Senior attack Alex Thomas scored three times for the Reds, who also got a strong game from senior Kelsey Twist at midfield and two goals and an assist from junior Kinsey Morrison.
"Our seniors were awesome," said Roland Park coach Tara Kramer. "They have an awful lot of heart, and there was a lot on the line for them - that's what carries you through overtime. The girls were ready to go, however long it took."