War­riors too slow get­ting up to speed

The Washington Post Sunday - - BASEBALL - BY KELYN SOONG kelyn.soong@wash­post.com Eric Gold­wein con­trib­uted to this re­port.

BEL AIR 19, SHERWOOD 5

The Sherwood girls’ lacrosse team be­gan to find its rhythm late in the sec­ond half of the Mary­land 4A/3A state semi­fi­nal against Bel Air. Within a span of three min­utes on a cloudy Satur­day af­ter­noon in Gaithers­burg, the War­riors dom­i­nated draws and threw crisp passes that re­sulted in three unan­swered goals.

But Sherwood’s brief rally came with the re­sult nearly in hand. Bel Air stormed to an early lead and used its speed and strength to over­whelm the War­riors, 19-5. With the vic­tory, the Bob­cats ad­vanced to play Sev­erna Park, a 15-0 win­ner over Blair on Fri­day night, in the state fi­nals at Steven­son Univer­sity later in the week.

“I think if we could’ve started out with that in­ten­sity, the game would’ve been a lot closer,” said Sherwood sopho­more at­tack Katie Cu­nius, who led the team with two goals. “It was just get­ting ad­justed to the speed. I think we fi­nally got it, but we ad­justed way too late.”

Sherwood took its first and only lead less than two min­utes into the game when sopho­more at­tack Ha­ley Allen forced a turnover and sprinted across the field for an unas­sisted goal.

Bel Air (14-4) an­swered 35 sec­onds later with an unas­sisted goal of its own from ju­nior mid­fielder Lau­ren Asher and scored 12 con­sec­u­tive goals be­fore Cu­nius put one in the net for the War­riors with 1:23 left in the half. That goal came off an as­sist by sopho­more mid­fielder Abbey Rose. Bel Air ju­niors Ju­lia Henry, El­iz­a­beth Hill­man and Caro­line Fal­lace led all play­ers with three goals apiece.

“They were def­i­nitely good on de­fense. They made us work re­ally hard and move around a lot,” Allen said. “They def­i­nitely put us on our toes.”

The War­riors (13-4) had sev­eral ques­tion marks head­ing into this sea­son. Sherwood re­turned only two starters af­ter grad­u­at­ing 12 se­niors, and the team was led by a group of tal­ented sopho­mores who play lacrosse year-round.

Coach Kelly Hughes also sched­uled sev­eral tough non­league op­po­nents, and Sherwood opened with three losses. But half­way through the sea­son, the War­riors found their con­fi­dence and even­tu­ally be­came the third Sherwood team in six years to reach the state semi­fi­nals.

On the game’s fi­nal goal, Cu­nius spun around her de­fend­ers and found the back of the net with 2:33 left. Even af­ter the loss, the Sherwood play­ers re­mained up­beat as they hud­dled around their coach, who ded­i­cated the sea­son to long­time as­sis­tant coach Carl Nor­wood, who passed away in March.

“I think this is some­thing that, with a bunch of sopho­mores and ju­niors, is a big learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” Hughes said. “I think the ex­pec­ta­tions are higher go­ing for­ward.”

Glenelg earns state ti­tle berth

De­fend­ing cham­pion Glenelg is back in the fi­nals af­ter a 24-2 win over Oak­dale at Mount He­bron. Anna Cal­la­han and se­nior Court­ney Rene­han each scored five goals as the top-ranked Glad­i­a­tors (19-0) cruised to their 26th con­sec­u­tive vic­tory.

Glenelg is seek­ing its fourth girls’ lacrosse state ti­tle and will play Tues­day or Wed­nes­day in the cham­pi­onship game at Steven­son.

“Last year we were kind of the un­der­dogs,” Cal­la­han said. “Now peo­ple ex­pect a lot out of us, and we kind of have a big tar­get on our backs from last year and from our per­for­mance this year. It’s a dif­fer­ent kind of pres­sure, but I be­lieve in my team.”

DOUG KAPUSTIN FOR THE WASH­ING­TON POST

Sherwood’s Katie Cu­nius, left, scores the game’s fi­nal goal in the War­riors’ semi­fi­nal de­feat Satur­day.

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