In a close state lacrosse final, it takes only one opening, and Winters Mill's Mackenzie Cyr found one last night.
Cyr drove down the middle of the arc to score the game-winning goal with 1:56 left in sudden-death double overtime, giving the No. 11 Falcons a 14-13 victory over Towson for the Class 3A-2A title at UMBC.
"I just kind of knew I could take my defender, so I made a move on her," said Cyr, a sophomore attacker. "At first, I didn't realize that won the game, and then everyone started jumping on me and I was like, `Oh, my gosh. We won.' "
The crown was the first for the Falcons and coach Courtney Vaughn, who took Liberty to the title game four times before moving to Winters Mill, where the varsity program debuted just five years ago.
In a game that was tied 10 times, the Falcons (17-2) didn't lead until the final 12 seconds of the first overtime period. Jen Peters got open in front of the crease and converted a pass from Amali Trentzsch, but the edge didn't last long.
Towson's Sarah Clemmens won the next draw, and Lizzie Cutting bobbled a pass from Caitlin Powers but still nailed the shot to tie the score with two seconds left.
The Generals (12-5) can never be counted out. They were down 10-1 to Catonsville this season and won, 17-14.
"I think that's been the mentality of our team the whole season, that we never stopped trying," Towson senior Cathy Bachur said. "We're a fighting team, and it showed right there."
Early on, it appeared the game might be a defensive struggle. Winters Mill goalie Katherine Russo and Towson's Grace Bojanowski made a combined nine saves - most of them spectacular - in the opening 12 minutes. Clemmens scored the first goal, and Towson had a couple of two-goal leads, the last at 10-8 on a goal by Kara Glazer with 8:07 left.
The Falcons answered on consecutive goals from Erin McMunn and Katie Leech to tie the score at 10 with 3:41 left. The teams then traded goals until Peters' goal with 12 seconds left.