Career win No. 100 at Severn for girls lacrosse coach Renie Sotiropoulos on Monday was obviously very special.
As for win No. 101? Some fine stuff, too.
With a fast start, a couple of big saves from senior goalie Regan Bosch late and a fine all-around effort from senior midfielder Jess Adam, the No. 7 Admirals handed No. 1 Notre Dame Prep its second loss of the week with a 9-8 win yesterday in Severn.
The Admirals improved to 5-0 for the season, with all of those wins coming in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference to put them at the top, while the visiting Blazers (4-2) fell to 4-1 in league play.
After jumping out to a 5-1 lead late in the first half, the Admirals had an anxious 30 seconds in the end with the Blazers' strong second-half rally.
Enter Adam, who had three goals and three assists and then won the game's most important draw with the Admirals clinging to the one-goal lead.
"Last season, [Notre Dame Prep] tied the game with 27 seconds [left] and then won by around the same score. We didn't want the same result. And we wanted to get to 101 for Coach [Sotiropoulos]," said Adam.
After Sotiropoulos was presented with a plaque and a homemade card from her players to help celebrate Monday's milestone - an 11-3 win over McDonogh - the Admirals quickly went to work by controlling the draws, working efficiently in their set offense as well as in transition for the early 5-1 advantage.
The Blazers, who suffered a 7-6 loss to No. 12 St. Paul's on Monday, got three goals from sophomore Molly Ford and a standout performance from goalie Alex Piraino (nine saves after taking over for starter Caitlin Formby late in the first half), but were never able to fully recover.
"Severn came out to play and I think they were so ready, it took us out of our game early. And you can't play just a half and expect to win," said Notre Dame Prep coach Mary Bartel.
Sotiropoulos said she briefly thought back to last season's final-minute loss to Notre Dame Prep. But this year's Admirals are more experienced in the back and have Bosch to lean to when a big save is needed.
Two straight stops came in a minute stretch with an 8-6 lead and 10 minutes left, the second by Bosch from point-blank range coming on a free position take from Notre Dame Prep's Yeardley Love.
Said Adam: "This was our biggest test so far and we knew we had to be pumped up and knew what we all had to do. Even when we had lapses, our ability to stay strong and adjust really was big for us."
Sotiropoulos was quick to agree - fast to credit Adam's strong leadership particularly in the final minute.
"Notre Dame Prep is a great team and we knew we would have to play the entire 50 minutes. I had the flashback - 27 seconds left last season - but this one was our day," she said.