Texas native Charlotte North gave the South team an overtime victory over the North in the 12th annual Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Game on Saturday at Towson’s Johnny Unitas Stadium.
It was the first overtime game in the event’s history and McDonogh’s Andie Aldave (Notre Dame) came down with the opening draw to earn possession for the South team in the extra session.
The South team then cleared the way for North, who worked her way to the far edge of the 8-meter arc. She then sliced past two defenders to get in front of the cage and backhanded a shot toward the bottom right corner of the net to cement the 16-15 win.
The Duke-bound North (three goals, one assist) was named MVP and also helped the South team earn the win for just the fourth time after avenging last year’s tight two-goal loss.
“Just really cool,” Aldave said of North’s game-winner. “South has been behind in this series so we kind of wanted to get them going again. Just really excited for all of these girls, especially Charlotte who won MVP coming from Texas. I couldn’t be happier for her. She deserved it, obviously.”
Aldave, who took MVP honors in last year’s underclassmen tournament, was one of 15 representatives from Maryland in the game. She finished with a goal and two assists, while McDonogh teammate Catie May (Maryland) had a team-high three assists to go with a goal. Glenelg’s Courtney Renehan (Maryland) added a goal and an assist and Good Counsel’s Taylor McDaniels (North Carolina) netted a goal for the South team, while Catonsville’s Kayla Wood (North Carolina), who suited up for the North team, added a goal.
“Well, I certainly went out with a bang,” Wood said. “It was pretty awesome. I am so glad that I got to experience this. It was just a great experience all around. Mindset was just to go hard, give it everything you’ve got and most importantly just have fun.”
The North team never trailed in the outing, as North Carolina-bound Allison Mastroianni (three goals, two assists) opened up with the game’s first goal. She led her team with four points in the first half, but it was goalie Riley Hertford who was the catalyst for the North team. The USC-bound goalkeeper made nine stops in the first 30 minutes, which was one shy of tying the Under Armour All-America Game record. Hannah Van Middelem (Syracuse) stepped in net in the second half and added five saves. They combined for a game-record 14 stops.
However, it wasn’t enough to slow down the South team’s rally.
“It’s pretty awesome to get that W. I know we all wanted it,” Renehan said. “We got pumped in the locker room and I thought that was a big help because I knew they all wanted it, too. We definitely wanted to win and we didn’t stand for anything less than that.”
After the North team went on a 4-1 run, upping its cushion to 9-5 with six minutes left, Syracuse-bound Samantha Swart cut the deficit to three after capitalizing on a caused turnover by Garrison Forest’s Samantha Fiedler (Loyola) on the defensive end.
Molly Carter (Syracuse) quickly countered for the North team off the ensuing draw, and then added an assist to Jamie Ortega (North Carolina) with 44 seconds remaining in the half. Aldave assisted Scottie Rose Growney (North Carolina) before the Ortega goal to make the score 11-7 at the half.
Aldave acknowledged her team wasn’t playing their best lacrosse in the first half. But some wise words at the break from a fellow All-America Game MVP — coach Taylor Cummings (Maryland, McDonogh) — got her team refocused.
“In the beginning, we just weren’t having fun,” Aldave said. “But I think when [Cummings] was like, ‘Look, I played in this game, too. It was the most fun I ever had, so just go out and have fun.’ I think when we went out in the second half and cleared our minds … we all know how to play. Really good coaches, they’ve all been there, done that. So it was really great to have their experience on their sidelines today.”
The South team outscored the North, 5-1, in the first 14 minutes of the second half, getting goals from Renehan, May and Aldave before North tied the game at 12 with 16:18 left.
Wood broke the stalemate with a timely free-position goal, which spurred a 3-0 run for the North team.
“It was pretty awesome,” Wood said of the goal. “It kind of just came out of nowhere, just instinct, you know?”
But the South team rallied once again with May assisting Aldave to get their team within one.
Aldave then assisted Loyola Maryland-bound midfielder Liz Scott on a highlight-reel behind-the-back goal in transition with less than three minutes to go, tying the game at 15 and forcing overtime.