No. 8 Seahawks wear down Lions for first title since 2010; Vincent comes up big (VIDEO HERE!!)
by Nelson Coffin
Neither finalist in Tuesday’s Class 4A girls lacrosse state championship game had an easy road to reach the final at Stevenson University’s Mustang Stadium.
No. 18 Dulaney had to go through No. 20 Catonsville, Howard, Sherwood and Walt Whitman to advance while eighth-ranked South River’s final four encounters were against Severna Park twice, Annapolis and Broadneck on the way to the big game.
In other words, both teams were battle tested — and they played accordingly in the Seahawks’ 11-9 victory to hoist their first state banner since 2010 and second in program history.
“It was amazing, being with the team,” said South River sophomore goalie Jordan Vincent. “It was really a team effort and it’s such an incredible feeling.”
Junior attack Kathleen Sullivan had three goals and an assist for South River (18-2 overall), and Kelsey Winters, Madeline Cloyd and Lauren Zinkl each tallied twice. Casey O’Grady finished with a hat trick for Dulaney (12-5).
In the first 15 minutes of the contest, though, the Lions from Baltimore County appeared to be heading toward a fourth state crown by building a 5-2 advantage.
Sophomore midfielder Bridget Kelly got things rolling for Dulaney by converting a feed from senior midfielder Anna Griffith in the first minute for a 1-0 lead.
Freshman midfielder Sammy White finished a free position to make it 2-0 before Sullivan answered for the Seahawks.
O’Grady made it 3-1 for Dulaney before Cloyd fed sophomore midfielder Morgan Carter for a goal to cut the Anne Arundel County champs’ deficit to a single goal.
When Maggie Kelly scored on a free position, South River coach Caroline Cochran made the move that turned the game around with just under 13 minutes remaining in the first half by swapping senior goalie Carly Mansur for Vincent, who allowed another Kelly goal before everything changed for the Seahawks.
It wasn’t the number of saves Vincent made, it was the timing of them that helped South River settle down and go on a 6-0 run on single goals by Sullivan and Zinkl and two goals each by Cloyd and junior attacker Kelsey Winters over the next 15 minutes to bolt to an 8-5 lead early in the second half.
“We have three fantastic goalies and they all have their strengths and weaknesses,” Cochran said. “Carly has had an amazing season, but she wasn’t seeing the ball well tonight.”
By the time Dulaney finally responded, nearly 26 minutes had elapsed from the time of their last goal and Vincent had plenty to do with the drought, saving what looked like a sure goal with her glove on a shot by senior attacker Charlotte Lipstein just before the ball rolled over the goal line and then denying Maggie Kelly’s free position with 24 seconds to go.
“That goalie made some absolutely great saves,” O’Grady said.
“After the goalie switch, their goalie got really hot,” Maggie Kelly added.
Senior attacker Julia Strauch and Lipstein scored back-to-back goals to rally the Lions to within 8-7 midway through the period, but Sullivan and Zinkl countered for the Seahawks to restore the three-goal margin with just under six minutes left.
Still, Dulaney kept coming back and even had that Maggie Kelly free position with 24 seconds to go that Vincent stuffed.
“We had watched a lot of tape of them and we knew they liked to shoot low,” Vincent said. “They were shooting low the whole game.”
The Seahawks from Anne Arundel County had a stable of athletes who could match the Lions stride for stride, according to O’Grady.
“We’re a fast team,” she said. “But their defense was really athletic and could stay with us.”
“We left everything on the field,” Dulaney coach Lauren Iacoboni said. “We were just matched up against a great opponent.”
Cochran lauded her team for what she called its inner drive. Entering the season, the Seahawks believed they had the pieces for a championship run.
“They had no selfish play and had mental strength and stability,” Cochran said.
CLASS 4A GIRLS STATE LACROSSE CHAMPIONSHIP
AT STEVENSON UNIVERSITY
NO. 8 SOUTH RIVER 11, NO. 18 DULANEY 9
SR 6 5 — 9
D 5 4 — 11
Goals: SR-Kathleen Sullivan 3, Kelsey Winters 2, Madeline Cloyd 2, Lauren Zinkl 2, Alexis Grant, Morgan Carter; D-Maggie Kelly 2, Casey O’Grady 3, Sammy White, Charlotte Lipstein, Julia Strauch, Bridget Kelly.
Assists: SR-Madeline Cloyd, Kathleen Sullivan 2; D-Anna Griffith, Maggie Kelly, Charlotte Lipstein, Casey O’Grady.
Saves: SR-Jordan Vincent 5; PM-Jules Dotterweich 6.