In a county fast becoming known for its lacrosse prowess, McIntosh and Starr’s Mill put on a display for a big crowd of devoted fans Thursday night. With huge implications riding on the outcome, the Panthers took both ends of the doubleheader to claim an area sweep.
The Lady Panthers rallied late for a thrilling 14-13 win, keeping their own spotless 15-0 record intact and knocking the Chiefs from the ranks of the unbeaten.
“It was awesome. Just truly incredible,” Starr’s Mill coach Mary Lehman said of the win. “It has been a thrill the entire season to be with every one of these girls.”
A program that has been on the rise for years, the Panthers look ready to compete for the crown.
“I feel better about this team than I have ever felt about them,” said Lehman. “Every year I have that confidence, but this year I feel so pumped for them.”
The whole game was a back-and-forth affair. After the Panthers jumped out to an early 4-1 lead, McIntosh battled back to tie it at 5-5, and the margin stayed close the rest of the game. Starr’s Mill held an 8-5 advantage late in the first half, but the Chiefs responded with late goals by Marie Ogletree and Jalen Knight to get back within 8-7 at the break.
With under 18 minutes left in the game, McIntosh grabbed their first lead of the night on a Delaney Baro strike and stayed in front until nearly the end.
Ryanne King knotted the score up at 13-13 for the Panthers with just over a minute to play, scoring with a pass from behind the net ricocheting off the goalie’s stick. Caroline Andrews battled through the defense, firing off the winning goal with 25 seconds to play.
McIntosh got one last good look to tie it up and force overtime, but freshman goalie Karlee Jenks turned them away to seal up the victory.
Starr’s Mill was led in scoring with 3 goals apiece from Ryanne King and Caroline Broderick. Shelby Zellen and Caroline Andrews each scored 2 goals, and Ansley Wallace, Alyssa Angelo, Jordyn Richards, and Elizabeth Holley scored one apiece.
The Starr’s Mill boys used a dominating second half to a secure a 15-10 victory.
The Panthers grabbed the early momentum with a 4-1 lead, but McIntosh picked the pace up with a Tanner Price strike to finish the first quarter. They kept pushing, pulling themselves in front 6-5 on a James Outlaw goal.
Starr’s Mill tied the game on an Evan Torris strike before the break before breaking out in the second half. They outscored the Chiefs 3-0 in the third quarter and racked up a 5-0 run before they allowed another goal in fourth.
McIntosh got its closest late with a Garrett LeClaire goal to pull back within 12-8 with seven minutes to play, but the Panthers soon put the game out of reach for good.
Avery Jenks paced the Panthers with 5 goals, followed by Ryan Cockes, Evan Torris, Ethan Sack, and Joey DeLuca with 2 goals apiece. Cole Colson and Justin Yoggy each scored 1 goal.