Most high school sports seasons feature a healthy mix of drama, excitement, twists and turns, and the occasional Houdini act.
On Friday in the 3A state semifinals, the Severna Park girls lacrosse team rolled it all into one night, capping it with maybe the greatest escape of them all.
Having trailed for 44 straight minutes and still behind with half a minute remaining, the Falcons ripped off a rally worthy of the moment, stunning Westminster with two goals in the final 27 seconds to tie the game and later adding the golden goal for a 13-12 overtime victory.
Senior attacker Charlotte Diez netted all three of the goals in the Falcons’ frantic rally, which finished in a flourish but took more than half the game to build after Westminster produced an 8-3 lead late in the first half.
At that point the Owls were dominating the draws and possession, and were using the clock to their advantage. Still, Severna Park played the long game.
“The panic could have set in, but we believe that the players mimic what comes from the bench, so we were keeping their spirits up,” said Severna Park coach Annie Houghton. “At halftime, we reminded them, 25 minutes is a long time. We were still in it.”
Diez and Regan McDonnell both scored four goals in total to pace the Falcons, while Alyssa Chung scored twice. Sophia Miller, Maria Bragg, and Stella Bordone each added a goal.
Despite not much going their way — Westminster’s early dominance and subsequent clock work, a stymied offense early in the game, and Bragg sitting out the remainder of the game for a second yellow-card offense midway through the second half — the Falcons relied on their skill and experience to navigate the chaos until things started clicking.
“You have to keep positive; there’s nothing else you can do,” Diez said. “I lost my freshman year to COVID. Sophomore year we lost to (state champion) Broadneck when we were 4A. Last year we lost a heartbreaker (in the championship game). It wasn't ending like this.”
Diez made sure it wouldn’t, starting the frantic finish by netting with 27.2 seconds to go. Then the Falcons secured a must-win draw, but their first shot went out of bounds with 11 seconds remaining. Bordone was closest to the ball, though, and she quickly flicked a pass to Diez, whose defender had fallen down. She raced to the side of the goal and stuffed in the equalizer with 5.5 seconds left. Seventy-three seconds into overtime, Diez ended it on a similar sequence and was mobbed by her jubilant teammates.
“This is a testament to the depth of our team and the trust the girls have in themselves and each other,” Houghton said. “And Charlotte is one of the fastest attacking players I’ve ever seen.”
The Falcons led for a total of one minute, 57 seconds.
Severna Park (16-3) returns to the state championship game for the second successive season. The Falcons will play next week at Stevenson University against the winner of Saturday’s other semifinal between Linganore and Towson.
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