MIDDLETOWN — True to her good-natured self, Brigette Remsburg trotted over for a postgame chat with a smile on her face, and it didn’t seem forced at all.
The redness in her face, produced by a few tears, indicated there was some weight to the moment, nonetheless.
“This is my last game of lacrosse,” the senior goalie for Middletown’s girls lacrosse team said. “I am not playing lacrosse in college that I know of.”
In the spring of 2018, Remsburg was a hockey goalie who showed up for the first day of lacrosse practice after deciding to give the sport a try. And Wednesday’s 8-2 loss to South Carroll in the Class 2A West regional final marked the end of a remarkable two-year run for her and the Knights.
“I got a lot more out of lacrosse than I expected to, and I am grateful for all of it,” said Remsburg, who plans to play club ice hockey on a boys team at Salisbury University.
In Remsburg’s time as Middletown’s lacrosse goalie, the Knights won 25 of 34 games and played in two regional championship games. This season, they claimed their first Central Maryland Conference title.
“We accomplished a lot this season,” she said after the Knights finished 14-4.
Middletown just happens to play in one of the toughest — if not the toughest — region in the state for girls lacrosse. And it simply ran into a better team.
The Knights’ high-powered offense, which was averaging roughly 19 goals per game, was held in check by South Carroll’s stingy defense that relies heavily on pressuring the ball and double-teams.
“Our defensive approach is that we play as an absolute unit,” South Carroll coach Brigid Scanlon said. “We trust each other. We rely on each other. If you make a mistake, that’s fine. You might get beat. But we have six other defenders and [goalie] Julia [Weiss] to help you out.
“You just have to bust your butt to get back in there and get to where you need to be.”
The Cavaliers (14-1) rode Weiss and that defense all season to its first regional championship since 1993.
Middletown was held to its lowest scoring output on its home field all season. The Knights’ previous low was seven in a midseason win over Oakdale on April 11. Those marked the only two games they were held under 15 at home all season.
“Their goalie, she played outstanding,” Middletown coach Tyler White said.
After South Carroll scored first, Middletown sophomore Alyssa Daley tied the game with about 11 minutes to play in the first half on a free-position shot.
The Cavaliers pushed the lead to 3-1 before Middletown sophomore Brynn Hoffman took a beautiful feed from behind the net by sophomore Isabella Ewine, the leading scorer in Frederick County by a wide margin, and flipped a quick shot past Weiss to cut the Knights’ deficit to one with 14 seconds left before halftime.
But Middletown struggled to generate any good offensive looks the rest of the way.
The Knights had a goal wiped off the board right before the halftime buzzer because the officials said Daley was fouled prior to releasing a shot that went into the South Carroll goal.
“Sometimes, the ball doesn’t fall your way,” White said.
Remsburg was one of five seniors on Middletown’s team. So, the Knights will take aim at another regional title next season with mostly the same cast.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these girls,” White said. “I love them to death. They have worked so hard and care about each other so much. Man, what a run [this season]. What a ride.”