Manchester Valley girls lacrosse caps off undefeated season with 15-7 win over Middletown for Class 2A state championship
Manchester Valley girls lacrosse erased a two-goal halftime deficit to defeat Middletown, 15-7, for the Class 2A state championship, led by Emma Penczek's nine goals. Manchester Valley girls lacrosse caps an undefeated season with a 15-7 win over Middletown for Class 2A state championship. The Mavericks erased a two-goal halftime deficit to defeat the Middletsown team, who had put up two men at halftime. Casey Meredith and Erin Herrold scored the goals for the team, while Ellery Bowman gave the Mavericks some trouble with her four first-half goals led the way. Despite the deficit, the Mavericks stayed patient and aggressive, forcing fouls and opening up scoring opportunities for Penczek and others as they looked to regain control of the game. The team-first, unselfish play that propelled the Carroll County champions the whole season was on display. Coach Shelly Brezicki acknowledged what made her team capable of such a feat, saying that it is the team that will take the most from all the team has accomplished in 2023.
Published : 7 days ago by Timothy Dashiell in Sports
Towson University bound Casey Meredith still couldn’t believe it as she looked down at her 2A state championship medal, trying to describe what the final seconds of the game felt like.
With a state title and undefeated season on the line, the Mavericks did what they have done all season, unleashing a myriad of offensive weapons and taking advantage of situations en route to a second half offensive explosion.
Manchester Valley erased a two-goal halftime deficit to defeat Middletown, 15-7, for the Class 2A state title Thursday night at Stevenson University’s Mustang Stadium.
“I’m super excited for our team,” coach Shelly Brezicki said. “This is something we’ve worked for since March 1.”
Many came into the game wondering how star sophomore Emma Penczek would bounce back following a frustrating performance in the semifinals, where C. Milton Wright held her to just one goal. Penczek answered those questions quickly, scoring her first goal a little over a minute into the game. Penczek returned to the dominant form she’s shown all year — and then some — finishing with nine goals.
“I wanted to learn from it,” she said. “We worked on not just trusting myself, but continuing to trust my teammates and coaches.”
Constantly on the attack offensively, the Knights matched the Mavericks’ intensity in the first half. Ellery Bowman gave the Mavericks some trouble as her four first-half goals led the way and left Middletown with a 6-4 lead at halftime.
Despite the deficit, the Mavericks (19-0) stayed patient and aggressive, forcing fouls and opening up scoring opportunities for Penczek and others as they looked to regain control of the game. With a little over 20 minutes left, the Mavericks found themselves two men up due to an acumination of Middletown fouls. From there the floodgates opened.
Manchester Valley scored 11 straight goals in a second half that was dominated by Brezicki’s group. Meredith and Erin Herrold got in on the scoring as the team-first, unselfish play that propelled the Carroll County champions the whole season was on display.
“Even with the advantage, you still have to go out and score the goals,” Herrold said. “We did a good job of staying focused and playing with and for each other.”
Finishing undefeated on the season, the Mavericks clinched their fourth title in school history, the first since a three-peat from 2014-16, which included an undefeated 2015 season. As Brezicki reflected on this year’s team, she acknowledged what made her team capable of such a feat.
“Just the way they played with each other this entire season was special to see,” she said. “We never mentioned going undefeated, No one on the team cared about who gets the accolades or who gets the goals. They just all wanted to play their roles and were willing to do whatever it takes.”
With Brezicki’s 15th season ending with her fourth state championship, she still has an eagerness to keep coaching. But she says it’s the girls on this year’s Manchester Valley team that will take the most from all the team has accomplished in 2023.
“Thirty years when they’re sitting around and they’re talking about lacrosse and high school memories,” she said, “being part of an undefeated team is something that they will always remember.”