HERKIMER, N.Y. -- The CCBC-Catonsville women's lacrosse team is right where Jessica Baublitz thought it would be: National Junior College Athletic Association national champion.
The top-ranked and undefeated Cardinals, playing rival Harford Community College for the fourth time this season, played a complete game against the Fighting Owls to win, 13-6, yesterday at Herkimer County Community College in New York.
Catonsville (15-0) won the three previous games by an average of 16 goals. After Catonsville's semifinal win over HCCC on Saturday, Baublitz said the Cardinals would be fine against Harford as long as they played their game.
Baublitz (Parkville) scored five goals, Kyle Evans (Glenelg) added four and goalkeeper Kelly Viens made 12 saves as Catonsville's superior speed and stick-handling shone against Harford (8-5).
"We've done this all year long," Catonsville coach Tom Taylor said. "This team doesn't care who they're playing or what color the jerseys are.
"We've always thought the only team that can beat us is us."
Harford came the closest of any Cardinals opponent this year. Catonsville came up with double digit goal totals in all four games except a 9-8 home victory April 15.
Yesterday, Catonsville scored nine goals in the first half to open a 9-2 lead, and the Cardinals had too much for undermanned Harford, which played the season with a 14-woman roster. Catonsville, in contrast, ran players in and out of the game from its 19-woman squad, but Harford sophomore midfielder Jessica Kress (Fallston) said fatigue wasn't a factor.
"We lost to a good team," she said. "We haven't been here in 10 years. It's never too big a lead. We just didn't connect today."
Catonsville won its third NJCAA-recognized title and sixth overall. The Cardinals' most recent crown had been in 2005, and they were national runners up the past two seasons to Anne Arundel.
In a penalty-filled second half, Harford trimmed Catonsville's lead to 10-5 on a free-position goal by Kress with less than 10 minutes to play. The Cardinals eliminated any chance of Harford getting closer when Baublitz, an All-American, scored three straight in a span of 2:39 late in the second half.
Viens was terrific in goal, especially early in the first half when the 5-foot-10 freshman from Old Mill stopped all Harford's chances to maintain the shutout deep into the half. Kathleen Tress scored Harford's first goal with 5:15 to play before halftime.
"She was outstanding today," Harford coach Pam Reich said of Viens. "She played great."
Reich's daughter, Sarah (North Harford), scored Harford's second goal, and the coach's eyes were moist as she held the second-place trophy after her last game with the Fighting Owls. Reich is retiring after 30 years of teaching and coaching.
"We took it to nationals in her last season," Sarah Reich said.