Cary Chasney remembers exactly when Notre Dame Prep's girls lacrosse team turned its season around - April 16 after a 20-7 loss to No. 1 Mount Hebron.
"After we got crushed by Mount Hebron, we decided we could give up then and we wouldn't deserve to win anything," said the senior attack wing. "But if we could bounce back from that, try hard and learn from our mistakes, we would deserve it."
Consider the Blazers deserving.
Last night, No. 10 NDP won its eighth straight game and completed a stunning turnaround with a 10-8 victory over No. 3 Roland Park in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference tournament final at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field. The title was the second in three years for the Blazers (10-7).
Chasney had two goals and three assists to lead a solid all-around Blazers effort that included a terrific defensive display anchored by Maggie Huether, Anne Barthelme, Bess Hanley, Kris Miller and goalie Megan Sneeringer (eight saves).
The Blazers, who upset No. 2 and previously unbeaten Maryvale in Thursday's semifinal, put a lot of pressure on the Reds (17-2), forcing 10 first-half turnovers. Sneeringer saved the first shot of the game to set the tone.
"They're always a dangerous team, because of the style that they play," said Reds coach Tara Kramer. "They're very fiesty, and they're all over the ball. With our turnovers, they capitalized on a couple of our mistakes early." NDP's defense did a good job of holding the Reds' big scorers - Allison Higgins and Kelsey Twist - to two goals each, with Katie Laschinger marking Higgins and Alli Nuzzi on Twist.
"They're very confident going to goal," Huether said. "They were the go-to girls. They were the ones we had to watch on the crease."
The Reds took their only lead, 3-2, on Twist's back-handed effort, but the Blazers answered with three straight goals. Carli Vogler scored first and Coco Stanwick added two late in the first half to run the edge to 5-3, a lead NDP never relinquished.
Twice the Reds cut the lead to one, but the Blazers strung together consecutive goals from Laschinger, Chasney and Hollis Pica to go up 9-5 with 10:40 left.
After the teams traded goals to 10-6, the Reds rallied behind Sarah Scalia's third goal of the game and a diving shot from Twist to pull to 10-8 with 2:23 left.
The Reds won the next draw, but Sneeringer snared Tammy Passano's shot with 1:35 left and the Blazers ran out the clock.
A well-deserved sense of accomplishment rang through the Blazers' boisterous post-game celebration.
"They could have packed it in any time," said NDP coach Mary Bartel. "It's a real tribute to the athletes that they are that they kept going. As a coach, that's exactly what you want to happen - they're better at the end of the season than they are at the beginning and everything comes together."