Tuscarora’s girls lacrosse team hung with defending Class 3A state champion Westminster for about four minutes on Wednesday in the Class 3A West championship game.
That’s when the Owls began doing what they do best — employing their speed and overwhelming offensive firepower to attack the goal.
Within a span of about seven minutes, Westminster jumped to a six-goal lead en route to a 17-7 win over the host Titans, ending Tuscarora’s year at 12-5.
“They’re just awfully, awfully good,” Tuscarora coach Bradley Gray said of the Owls. “The speed, skill and strategy they have is something that’s very difficult to replicate here in Frederick County.”
The fact 12 wins is a girls lacrosse program-best for Tuscarora took a lot of the sting out of Wednesday’s loss. Even when the Owls sent the game into running time with 7 minutes, 36 seconds to go in the first half, the Titans kept up their intensity, something they’ve done all season, even through losses.
“We never got down on ourselves today,” Gray said. “We never hung our heads. We played for each other, we competed, we played hard for 50 minutes.”
The Owls got on the scoreboard with 21:41 to go in the first half. Hannah Dintino rifled in a shot past Titans’ goalie Savannah Vance. Four minutes later, Alyssa Seckler scored the first of her five goals.
Lauren Saltz, who also had five goals on Wednesday, scored at the 16:33 mark. Seckler had Saltz each had a goal over the next two minutes. Westminster was on their way to another regional championship.
“It’s the speed, the way they attack, off the elbows, with those quick cuts and re-cuts,” Gray said. “Those balls are right on the stick. It’s not in their stick more than one or two seconds, then the ball is in the back of the net. It’s just impressive to watch them. They’re very talented.”
Chandler Stewart and Blake Clouser each had two goals for the Titans. Lauren Roberts had one goal with two assists. Gianni Blundell and Trinity Dugan each had one goal. Haley Barth and Rachel Nichols each had one assist.
“They extend out,” Gray said of Westminster’s stingy defense, “They didn’t want us to just sit and feed the ball. They were going to come out and push on things like that. We had some looks early, it’s just we didn’t change the level on our shots. If we had gotten some of those early shots to go, we could try to keep it close.”
Tuscarora senior goalie Savannah Vance turned back nine Westminster shots, keeping the game from being even more lopsided. She looks back on the last three years knowing the team has made much progress.
“We’ve grown up a lot, grown even more closer together as a team,” Vance said.