Just because it has set its sights on bigger targets doesn’t mean the Middletown girls lacrosse team doesn’t appreciate the smaller yet significant steps along the way.
On Saturday afternoon at Hood College, the Knights celebrated their first Central Maryland Conference championship after rolling over Tuscarora 17-4 in the league title game.
“It’s a big accomplishment to us,” said senior midfielder Kate McLister, who led a balanced scoring effort with four goals. “It’s something we have been going after for a while.”
Middletown’s speed and skill were simply too much for Tuscarora, even more so than a 15-10 home win the Knights earned over the Titans on April 25.
In a testament to Middletown’s depth and balance, eight different players scored goals on the way to raising the CMC trophy.
The Knights, champions of the Gambrill Division, improved to 12-1 this season, while the Titans, champions of the Spires Division, fell to 10-3.
“You play teams like that to get better,” said Tuscarora coach Bradley Gray, who led his team to the CMC championship game for the second consecutive season.
“There is no way you can replicate that speed [in practice]. They’ve got speed. They’ve got skill. They are well-coached. They know what they are doing. And, quite simply, we need to get to that level. We are not there right now, but we are progressing.”
Aside from McLister, junior attack Shanna Dextradeur finished with three goals and two assists. Sophomore attack Isabella Ewine, the county’s leading scorer by far, had two goals and two assists. Junior Karly Liebendorfer and sophomores Jade Catlin and Bailey Broadbent each scored two goals.
The Knights led 10-1 before the game was 17 minutes old.
“If you look at our stats, Izzy clearly leads the way [with 96 points this season]. But we have eight girls with almost 30 points,” Knights coach Tyler White said. “I think any of our offensive middies can score.”
The Knights, who have taken a step-by-step approach to the season, hope that translates in the playoffs, as they take dead aim at their first state title in girls lacrosse.
Middletown plays in one of the toughest, if not the toughest region (Class 2A West) in the state, where they will have to deal with the likes of Oakdale, the standard bearer for girls lacrosse in Frederick County over the past five years, and eight-time state champion Century.
The Knights earned a 7-6 home win over Oakdale on April 11 and fell at Century, 22-15, on April 30.
“There’s an excitement [for the playoffs],” White said. “I have high expectations for this team. I want to play fast and aggressive and see where it takes us.”
For Tuscarora, junior attack Abigail Hampson and Lauren Roberts and seniors Chandler Stewart and Haley Barth all scored goals.
The Titans, who fell to Oakdale 23-9 in last season’s CMC championship game, will compete in the slightly more forgiving 3A West region in the playoffs.