Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence

Lions show moxie on Washington Col­lege’s fast turf sur­face in reach­ing re­gion cham­pi­onship

Record Observer - - Sports - By CHRIS KNAUSS ck­

Q. Anne’s 13 — Kent 6

CHESTERTOWN — The Lions’ first dance on the ar­ti­fi­cial turf at Washington Col­lege’s Roy Kirby Jr. Sta­dium was a re­sound­ing suc­cess Tues­day evening, thus earn­ing the priv­i­lege of tonight’s en­core.

Mckenna Blick scored four goals and Kai­ley Boomer and Pay­ton Batchelder each net­ted three as Queen Anne’s County High’s girls’ lacrosse team topped Kent County, 136, in the Sec­tion II fi­nal of the 2A/1A East Re­gion play­offs.

The Lions never trailed, tak­ing a 7-1 lead in the first half, and re­bounded from a streak of Kent County goals mid­way through the game.

With the vic­tory, the Lions (10-5) have a chance to de­fend their re­gional cham­pi­onship as they meet South­ern of Anne Arun­del tonight at Washington Col­lege at 5 p.m. The Bull­dogs de­feated Patux­ent 16-3 in the Sec­tion I fi­nal.

Bri Hem­stet­ter and Au­drey Helfen­bein each scored a pair of goals for Kent County. Goalie Ali­son Rameika made nine saves and Mag­gie Jones scooped five ground balls.

Emily D’Or­sa­neo col­lected three ground balls for the Lions.

Blick opened the scor­ing when she slung in a low un­der­handed shot on a free pos­ses­sion 4 min­utes into the game. She col­lected the ground ball off the en­su­ing draw and her team­mates scored mo­ments later. Boomer pumped in an over­head shot from 8 yards out, off an as­sist from Re­becca Clay, to make it 2-0 with 20:27 left in the first half.

Kent County (10-4) coun­tered with 16:06 left. Hem­stet­ter col­lected a pass just in front of the out­stretched stick of Lions goalie Emily Kar­baum (seven saves) and scored with an over­hand shot into an open goal to cut the deficit to 2-1.

But the Lions an­swered 39 sec­onds later to be­gin a streak of five straight goals. Cal­lie Crawford reached up for a pass and sent a quick shot down and into the net to make it 3-1. Twenty-four sec­onds later, af­ter Abby Folker (two goals) scooped a ground ball, Blick tal­lied off an as­sist from Tay­lor Shep­pard for a 4-1 lead.

With 8:40 left in the half, Batchelder fired in a sidearm shot, low to the left side of the net, off an as­sist from Shep­pard for a 5-1 lead. Blick bounced in a right-han­der, off a feed from Batchelder, and Boomer fired across her left shoul­der for a goal, off a pass from Shep­pard, to make it 7-1.

De­spite their large deficit, the Tro­jans bat­tled back with a pair of goals in the fi­nal minute of the first half, and scored four of the next five goals, to gain some life. Kate Bartholomew passed to

Helfen­bein open in the crease and she spun and scored high with a right-han­der with 41 sec­onds left in the half. Bartholomew spun in the goal area and scored low with a left-han­der with 16 sec­onds left.

Queen Anne’s Tara Kenna tal­lied early in the sec­ond half to put the Lions up 8-3 be­fore the Tro­jans got an­other goal from Helfen­bein and an­other one from Hem­stet­ter to make it 8-5. But the Lions then took com­plete con­trol with five unan­swered goals for a 13-5 lead with 2:31 re­main­ing.

“Our mid­dies really stepped up tonight, tak­ing some good shots from the top,” Lions head coach Pene­lope San­tos Bates said. “Their goalie, I thought, had a great game. She made some really tough saves. They [the Tro­jans] def­i­nitely have some key play­ers that are able to get it into the cage. They kept fighting, which was nice.”

Batchelder com­pleted the Lions’ scor­ing when she caught a pass on a free-pos­ses­sion play and tal­lied while cir­cling from the side of the crease.

“It was a nice tem­poed of­fense, where we moved the ball around the out­side, and ev­ery­one ba­si­cally played their role to­day, which was nice, and we had other play­ers step up, which was good,” San­tos Bates said.

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Queen Anne’s County and Kent County play­ers scram­ble for a draw con­trol dur­ing Tues­day’s 2A/1A East Sec­tion II fi­nal at Washington Col­lege. Queen Anne’s play­ers from left are Maken­zie DeMoss, Mckenna Blick, Abby Folker, and Tay­lor Shep­pard. Kent County play­ers are Mag­gie Jones (16) and Kate Bartholomew.

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