SANDY SPRING — Two undefeated teams. Two overtime periods. One last-second Anna Lippy goal in double overtime to claim Sherwood’s eleventh win of the season.
Whenever the Sherwood Warriors and Whitman Vikings varsity girls lacrosse teams play each other, it usually results in a close, aggressive game and Tuesday was no different as the Warriors returned the favor from last season and defeated the visiting Vikings 11-10 at Caruso Memorial Stadium.
The game was Sherwood’s last at home before the playoffs. Both teams played with a level of intensity that is to be expected late in the season against two squads who had run through everyone else on their schedule. The referees stayed busy doling out yellow cards for illegal hits and plays that resulted in the Warriors being down two players heading into overtime.
Lippy and senior midfielder Maddy Kostopulos each finished the evening with a game-high four goals. Lippy earned her first just 14 seconds into the game when she took the draw and raced down the field, launching the ball past Whitman senior goalie Claire Hisle.
The Vikings took their time getting on the board until seven minutes in, when senior Gaby Svec scored Whitman’s first goal of the night. After that, the Vikings took advantage of Sherwood’s slowing offense to not only erase a three-goal deficit but to knot the score at seven before the half. Kostopulos scored twice in a matter of seconds, and then junior Hanna Freund followed with the go-ahead score after Svec’s assist.
The Warriors tied it up quickly in the second half as junior Haley Allen scored right out of the gate. With both teams boasting stifling defenses, attackers and midfielders had to fight hard for every point.
The Warriors managed to mount a two-point lead before Kostopulos and Svec of the Vikings teamed up to tie the game at 10 with just under six minutes to play.
The final six minutes in regulation featured a defensive battle on both sides as players scrambled after the ball and girls from both teams were penalized with yellow cards.
The defensive battle continued through the first overtime period and into the second until suddenly, the entire game rested squarely on Lippy’s shoulders. The senior took aim and Hisle moved quickly to try to block the shot. Seconds later, the entire Sherwood team stormed the field, cheering and celebrating their big win.
“I’m at a loss for words because I thought we were going to lose,” said Lippy, still breathless from her game-winning score. “I was missing so many goals. I thought that I have to make this or I would cry.”
Even though her team lost a close game, Whitman head coach Katie Bitonti is still looking forward to the postseason.
“It’s a heartbreaker but the girls played their tails off on both sides,” she said. “We can’t ask for more than what they gave us. I think this will motivate us to try to make it to the regional finals so we can hopefully see Sherwood again.”
Warriors head coach Kelly Hughes explained the dynamic and chemistry between the two teams is what results in such thrilling matchups.
“Whitman gets really fired up for games that matter… I take a different approach about going out and controlling the game. When things are close, that energy takes over and you have a calm team against an energized team and it tends to be an interesting chess match,” she said.
Hughes echoed Bitonti’s sentiments about a possible Whitman and Sherwood postseason encounter.
“I would love to see Whitman again. I really, really would. I think they were 10-0 for a reason and if they’re on that side of the bracket, there’s a chance it could line up for an interesting match at the state semifinals,” said Hughes. “Personally, we’ve had our sights set on states since day one.”
One more regular season game stands between both teams and their respective postseason berth. The Vikings will close out their season at home Wednesday against Damascus, while Sherwood will travel to Churchill on Thursday.