With 12:56 left in the first half and her team trailing Dulaney by two goals, South River coach Caroline Cochran went to her backup goalie, Jordan Vincent, to give the No. 10 Seahawks a little spark in Tuesday night’s Class 4A girls lacrosse state championship.
Vincent stopped the only shot Dulaney put on goal for the rest of the half to help turn the momentum and spark a six-goal Seahawks run that gave them the lead for good en route to an 11-9 victory for their second state championship at Stevenson’s Mustang Stadium in Owings Mills.
Cochran said that while starter Carly Mansur had been “a rock” for the Seahawks (18-2) all season, she wasn’t seeing the ball well, so she decided to switch to Vincent.
“It was amazing, being with the team,” Vincent said. “It was really a team effort and it’s such an unbelievable feeling.”
The sophomore finished with just five saves, but each one came at a timely moment when the Lions (12-5) could have rallied.
From her knees, Vincent stopped one shot just before it rolled over the goal line with about 12 minutes left and the Seahawks clinging to a one-goal lead. She made a terrific low save on Maggie Kelly’s free-position shot with 24 seconds to go and the Seahawks up by two. Had the speedy Lions scored then and won the next draw control, they would have had time to tie it.
“That goalie, she was making some really amazing stops, like those low shots,” said Dulaney attacker Casey O’Grady, who led her team with three goals.
“Big goalie saves are always momentum shifters. It gets teams more into it and she just made some absolutely great saves. Their defense was athletic. They could stay with us. We’re an athletic team, too, and we pride ourselves on that and they could stick right with us. Great job to them for doing that and I think that the goalie was a standout player and was the one who changed the momentum for them.”
Each time, Vincent stopped a Dulaney shot, the Seahawks’ offense seemed to respond. After her first save, South River scored four straight goals to finish off the half — free-position goals from Kathleen Sullivan and Madeline Cloyd and two shots by Kelsey Winters inside the near post that Lions goalie Jules Dotterweich had not chance to stop.
After the break, they added two more, from Cloyd and Lauren Zinkl, to push the lead to 8-5. The Lions rallied on goals from Julia Strauch and Charlotte Lipstein to cut the lead to one before Vincent made the save from her knees and Sullivan and Zinkl answered with consecutive goals.
Sullivan, who had three goals and two assists, said the attack breathed a sigh of relief when Vincent stopped those shots, especially the last one.
“One goal on their side can be a whole momentum changer,” Sullivan said, “and they can keep coming down. Even at the end when they started winning draws, we kept our composure and then we got [the ball] back and when she makes those big save, as an attacker, it’s like, ‘Whew!’ because you know you get the chance to hold it or convert it into another goal.”
This season, the Seahawks lost only to No. 5 Marriotts Ridge and to No. 13 Severna Park. They avenged the regular-season loss to Severna Park in the county championship and then again in the East regional final.
The Lions, had won eight straight games after rebounded from consecutive losses to Bryn Mawr, Towson and Catonsville with a win over Franklin and then a win over over No. 12 and eventual Baltimore County champion Hereford for interim coach Lauren Iacobani, who filled in while Kristi Korrow was on maternity leave.
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Goals: SR—Sullivan 3, Winters 2, Cloyd 2, Zinkl 2, Carter, Grant; D—M.Kelly 2, O’Grady 2, B.Kelly, White, Ju.Strauch, Lipstein. Assists: SR—Ju.Strauch, Sullivan 2. D—Griffith, Hill. Saves: SR—Mansur 0, Vincent 5; D—Dotterweich 6. Half: SR, 6-5