Field hockey No. 4 Crofton scores late against No. 6 River Hill, 2-1, in Class 3A final for first state championship – Baltimore Sun

With his team battling for their first state title in just the second year of their existence, Crofton field hockey coach Amy Skrickus took one look at their star midfielder and saw the look. Junior Kylie Corcoran was not going to pass up this chance.

“You can tell when Kylie has that fire in her eye, and she got it at the end there,” Skrickus said. “She just goes full speed ahead. She is hungry. She wants that goal.

With 4:05 to go in a draw, Corcoran got it, turning around and firing a hard shot to the right side of the cage and beating the goalie at the far post to give the No. 4 Cardinals a 2-win. 1 over No 6 River Hill in the Class 3A Championship game at Stevenson University at Owings Mills.

In a game in which Crofton (16-2) was outscored 14-6 and awarded 16 penalty corners, Corcoran’s late heroism was the perfect complement to a solid defensive effort that included 12 saves from the remarkable sophomore. year Ryleigh Osborne.

“I think [we] had [16] corners, and we tried a lot of different things. We just didn’t get past them,” said River Hill coach Shelly Chamness. “We had a lot of shots on goal, a lot of corners, but that defense was the toughest defense we’ve come across, that’s for sure.”

For Crofton, which opened in 2020 for freshmen and sophomores, the effort resulted in the first Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association state title in school history in n any sport. The school’s unified bocce team also won last spring in a sport not sanctioned by the state association.

“It’s something we’ve been working on all year,” Corcoran said. “That was our goal from the start. I think when we got here we were like, ‘Let’s get this over with.’ »

River Hill (16-3), however, stood in the way, led by a pair of all-Maryland midfielders Maddie Vasilios and Puja Nanjappa of Stanford.

The Hawks, who also reached the final last year before falling to Arundel 2-1, led this game from the opening moments, when sophomore Maya Chan tipped a tough entry pass from Vasilios to only 5:56 into the game.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game, we knew it was going to be back and forth,” Skrickus said. “We told them, ‘They’ll probably score. It’s a very good team; they scored a lot of goals. That’s what you do to answer that.

Crofton fired back later in the quarter to tie the game when Karryn Dean fed fellow sophomore Mary-Cate Parks for the score.

That’s when the Cardinals’ defense took over, repeatedly denying River Hill’s best scoring chances.

“Everyone really fit in as a team,” Osborne said. “It was really important for our defense to stick together.”

Crofton defender Lyla Poknis, left, and River Hill forward Carolyn Dzubak, right, tackle the ball during the Class 3A State Championship game on Saturday night.

“We were just trying to figure out where [Vasilios and Nanjappa] were on the ground,” Skrickus said. “We didn’t want to take anything away from our game, which is a little passing game. We wanted to make sure we didn’t change what we do, but we knew we had to shut them down.

Crofton did just that, setting the stage for Corcoran’s late goal.

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“Our coach said, ‘We have to put the ball in the net’, and that really motivated me,” she said. “Honestly, I didn’t even know it was going to go in. It was a really lucky shot, and I thought someone would knock it down on the post.”

This marked the first season the Cardinals played with seniors on their roster, which was reflected in the team’s balance throughout the streak.

“We are still a very young team,” Skrickus said. “I’m so happy for our graduating seniors – first class. You can’t have a better way to send them.

Field hockey

Class 3A final state

Crofton 2, River Hill 1

Goals: R-Chan; C — Parks, Corcoran. Aids: R — Vasilios; C — Dean. Checked in : R — baker 1; C-Osborne 12. Half: Tied, 1-1.

Catherine J. Martinez