OWINGS MILLS — When Bel Air and Severna Park faced off in the Class 4A/3A state championship on Tuesday night at Stevenson University, both teams came into the game virtually untested. Both skated past the competition this season after losing in the third round of last year’s playoffs: The Falcons to Broadneck, and the Bobcats to Dulaney.
Ultimately, only one side could prevail, and with 11 seconds to go, Bel Air captain Julia Henry delivered the final dagger with the game-winning goal to lift the Bobcats over the Falcons, 11-10.
“We really couldn’t have won without the whole team,” Henry said. “I just made the last play of the game.”
Severna Park got its first goal from senior and Oregon commit Claire Domshick 1:40 into the game to make it 1-0. Bel Air then responded with a goal from Julia Henry to tie it at 1-1. The teams then traded goals back and forth with one another until the 2:17 mark in the first half to push it into a stalemate at 5-5.
Severna Park was finally able to break away with Sarah Elms’ third goal of the game to give the Falcons a 6-5 lead. The score remained the same heading into halftime.
Bel Air came out in the second half wanting to get redemption on the title loss they had suffered to the Falcons two years earlier and were able to do that right away with goals from juniors Elizabeth Hillman and Henry to retake the lead with 20:26 remaining. After that goal, the Bobcats went down a man for two minutes, but were able to keep their composure and not let anything slip past them.
Severna Park responded with a 3-1 run of its own with goals coming from Domshick and Sarah Elms to give the Falcons the 9-8 lead with under five minutes to go. Bel Air responded quickly with a goal from freshman Maggi Hall with under two minutes remaining.
After Severna Park goalkeeper Amanda Rumsey made a save on Henry, she attempted to get the ball out of her zone. She mishandled the ball with it falling out of her stick with Henry right there to scoop it up and fire it in for the winning goal as Rumsey sank to the ground.
After the game, all six Falcons players took to the podium, along with head coach Kaitlyn Hines as they discussed what this season was like.
“They put a lot of effort into the game, I am so proud of these girls they fought hard and battled back, I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said Severna Park coach Kaitlyn Hines, holding back tears.
Elms, who had five goals on the night, added what got kept her motivated during the game: “I just kind of figured, if no one else was gonna do it, then I was gonna step up and do it. Everyone getting intense, everyone getting focused, if one person takes a lead then everyone starts to follow and that clearly showed.”
Katie DeFeo, who is headed to the University of Southern California to play lacrosse, added this anecdote about the team: “The six [seniors] are really close and it’s a really cool bond and we all have something to offer that’s different.”
“I think we have set a really good foundation for this program and I think that the younger kids [who will be] coming back after tonight’s game will go off of what we’ve done and continue [down this path].”