Stunned, heartbroken and unimaginable are just a few ways to describe what happened to the Severna Park girls lacrosse team during the Class 3A state championship game at Ridley Athletic Complex on May 25.
Leading 10-7 against the Marriott’s Ridge Mustangs with less than five minutes left in the game, the Falcons allowed four unanswered goals, including the game-winner by Sofie Bender with less than a minute left, to lose 11-10. The win gave Marriott’s Ridge back-to-back state titles and their fifth in program history.
The championship game was far different from when these teams last played on March 29 when the Falcons won by 10 goals. Led by Alyssa Chung’s four goals, the Falcons looked to be headed toward their 15th state title. But some over-aggression on defense led to several Falcons players getting called for fouls, putting the Mustangs in a couple man-up advantages, including a two-player advantage on the free possession that Bender scored her game winning goal on.
Left to try and tie the game while down two players, the Falcons turned the ball over on their final possession, finishing off the collapse. While Bender had the finishing blow, the Mustangs were carried offensively by Maisy Clevenger and Hayley Lettinga, who scored four goals each.
Although the Falcons didn’t come away with the title, head coach Kaitlyn Hines felt that her team should still come away proud of the season they had.
“I’m just so proud of them,” Hines said. “We fought hard through a lot of adversity. A lot of people doubted us along the way, and we got here, and other teams didn’t and so I’m very proud of what we were able to accomplish this year. Marriott’s Ridge is a good team, great competition for us to play against. They have great players, and we knew that we would have to come in and play our best.”
The Lady Falcons finished with a record of 16-3, scoring 293 goals on the season. Chung led the team in scoring with 47 goals, along with 15 assists while Charlotte Diez, who scored in the final, was third in scoring with 26 goals. Both girls will be back next year as Chung is a sophomore while Diez is a junior. For the Falcons, it’ll be a long offseason as they look to bounce back from this loss and add yet another state championship title to their trophy case next season.