ELLICOTT CITY — For two years in a row the Huntingtown Hurricanes girls lacrosse team has reached the Class 3A state semifinal game, but this year the program was attempting to make it one step further into the final.
It didn’t happen as Huntingtown fell by a final score of 18-8 to C.M. Wright on Friday night at Mount Hebron High School.
“We started out really strong with the three-goal lead, but I think little by little we played a lot of hard defense,” Huntingtown head coach Maggie Pike said. “I think eventually between all of [C.M. Wright’s] excellent passing and their running it caught up to us by the second half. We were on a rollercoaster ride going up and down, up and down, but near the end we just kind of lost our speed and our drive.”
“This game was hard. [C.M. Wright] was really good. We had them shut down in the first part, and then I think they figured it out,” Hurricanes senior Hanna Ash said. “We got tired after a while with them wearing us down. We tried to make some adjustments, but unfortunately we couldn’t. We played hard though and didn’t give up. Even though the final result was a loss, it was still a great effort.”
Huntingtown (14-3-1 overall) got off to a fast start and raced out to a 3-0 lead with 19 minutes 32 seconds left in the first half. C.M. Wright (13-3) called a timeout and scored three straight goals to tie the score.
The two teams went into the half tied at 6, but C.M. Wright scored eight of the first nine goals in the second half to pull away and secure its place in the state championship against Westminster of Carroll County.
“It’s been an excellent season. I love being back,” Pike said. “I think us clinching our conference was the first celebration and then us being back here [in the state semifinals] has been eye-opening, too, because we realize how much better we need to get.”
Hurricanes senior Suzy Smith scored a game-high six goals, including notching her 200th career tally, while Willow Cooper and Lexi Zeruto scored Huntingtown’s other two goals.
“Coach Maggie has coached a lot of us since we were in first grade. This season was the greatest,” said Smith, who plans to play NCAA Division II lacrosse at Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina. “I can’t believe we made it this far again. This team is amazing and I love all of them. I love my coaches and I am so ready for the next level.”
Smith, Olivia Gillick, Ali Campbell, Ash and Abbie Pike were the five seniors who played their final game for Huntingtown and saw their high school careers come to an end after an incredible four years which included winning the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference title this spring.
“We definitely have changed the team dynamic since I’ve been here as a freshman,” Ash said. “I think this is the closest team we have ever had which has helped us play even more together. It was a great run, and hopefully they can get here next year.”
Junior goalie Emma Taylor, who will be one of the many returning players for Huntingtown, is excited for next year already.
“Since we started working together in the winter this has been the closest team that we’ve had for the last three years,” Taylor said. “It was just exciting from the beginning, and I know next year will be just as good.”
Huntingtown’s Taylor Nicholson added the team knows how hard they have to work again next year after making it to back-to-back state semifinals in order to return for a third in a row.
“We started working for this season really early on just so we could be ready for going far. I wish we could have gotten farther this year, but next year we will put in the work again and hopefully make it back,” Nicholson said.