With each passing second, St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes senior Carly Reed grew more anxious.
In four varsity seasons, Reed has racked up more than 500 career points thanks to her unbridled aggressiveness around the net. But preserving a one-goal lead late in Wednesday’s Independent School League-AA tournament final against No. 2 Georgetown Visitation, the North Carolina-bound attacker understood the Saints needed to hold the ball at all costs.
While the ball-control offense took Reed out of her comfort zone, the sequence ended familiarly. After the top-ranked Saints ran a minute off the clock, Reed fired home the goal with eight seconds left that put an exclamation point on a 14-12 victory at Bullis. St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes nearly let a six-goal second-half lead slip away, but held off the rival Cubs to claim its 18th straight AA tournament title.
“It’s really nerve-wracking out there,” said Reed, who scored five goals. “I felt sick to my stomach at one point. Once the clock ran out of time, it was definitely a really good feeling.”
St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (27-1) seemed poised to cruise to the finish line when Reed scored the first goal of the second half, making it 12-6 with 19:43 remaining. The Saints built the advantage behind Reed, senior Margaret Tucker Fogarty (five goals) and junior Sophie Davidson (four goals, two assists).
Down the stretch, Georgetown Visitation (21-2) seized momentum to put a major scare into the Saints, whose only league loss in the past 18 years came last spring to the Cubs.
Visitation controlled possession and chipped away at the lead with a gritty effort. All-Met Tess McEvoy scored all three of her goals in the ensuing 6-1 run. A turnover by Reed set up a goal on the other end by junior Kelly Myers that made it 13-12 with 1:08 left.
However, the Cubs were whistled for a foul on the ensuing draw and St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes made sure they didn’t get the ball back. The Saints passed the ball around the perimeter until Reed raced on cage for the finishing score.
“We’ve been working on that [offense] a lot,” Fogarty said. “We just kept the ball and passed the right passes. We stayed patient and didn’t force anything.”
Ranked fifth in the latest U.S. Lacrosse national poll, Georgetown Visitation fought back with a closing effort that was missing in a 14-9 loss to St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes last month.
The team posted four victories by two goals or less this season but none of those required such a rally. This time, the furious comeback fell short only because the Saints, slotted No. 4 in the same national rankings, managed to execute in the closing minutes.
“Some losses you come off the field feeling like you have a pit in your stomach,” Visitation Coach Aubrey Andre said. “This isn’t one of those. Second place today feels more like a celebration because of the way that they played.”
In the ISL-A final, National Cathedral edged Bullis, 15-12, at St. Andrew’s, taking the tournament crown after losing in the championship game the past two seasons. Junior Parker Garrett scored six goals to pace the Eagles (8-9-1), who avenged a 13-goal regular season loss to the Bulldogs (15-5).
Panthers take MAC crown
Senior Phillip Bennett and junior Kevin Havermann notched three goals apiece as Potomac School rolled past Flint Hill, 15-4, in Wednesday’s Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament final in McLean. The Panthers won the outright conference title for the third straight year, winning the regular season and tournament crowns.
Potomac School (10-10) scored the game’s first six goals to assert control and kept the pressure on, using patient offense to wear down the Huskies (13-8). Senior goalie Parker Hornstein paced the defensive effort with 16 saves.
The Panthers lost six of their first seven games this season against a brutal nonconference schedule but recovered for a perfect run through the MAC.
“We got stronger as the season went on,” Coach Ian Healy said. “It’s not an excuse, but we had a lot of injuries this year. These last couple of weeks we’ve gotten a lot of guys back healthy and could get some nice chemistry going. I love the way we finished up here.”