By Chris Goldberg
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 4/29/13
In a short time, the Howard County (MD) neighborhood matchup between Marriotts Ridge and Mt. Hebron has emerged as a premier rivalry in the Baltimore area and beyond. Since Marriotts Ridge opened in 2005, the schools have played many critical games, most that decided county titles or playoff champions.
Look at recent years. In 2010, Marriotts Ridge edged Mt. Hebron, 8-7 in overtime to help the Mustangs win the County title and then they defeated the Vikings, 11-10, in the state tourney. In 2011, Marriotts Ridge lost the regular season game, 10-9, but took the state quarterfinal on the way to a 3A-2A state championship.
In 2012 Marriotts Ridge won the regular season match, 12-6, but suffered its first loss of the year in states to Mt. Hebron, 10-8.
That brought us to Friday night’s 13-12 quadruple-overtime win by No. 6 Marriotts Ridge (11-0) over No. 10 Mt. Hebron (10-2), a game for the ages that Mustangs coach Natalie Gaieski admitted will be hard to top.
“Yes, this by far ranks above them all,” she said. “I can’t tell you how many people came up to me and said they had never seen a game like this before.”
Zoe Stukenberg (Maryland signee) had an individual performance that will be difficult to top, scoring the game-winning and game-tying goals while finishing with six goals and five assists
Stukenberg scored the game-winner with 1:13 left in the fourth overtime period. She had sent the game into OT by tallying the tying goal with 1:02 left in regulation and also had the assist on Jenna Kerr’s buzzer-beater to tie the game at 12 in the first overtime.
Mt. Hebron’s Sam Brookhart (six goals, one assist) gave the Vikings the lead with 10.6 seconds left in the first overtime, but Stukenberg won the ensuing draw and after a timeout with 2.8 seconds left she hit Kerr in the crease with an unforgettable feed. Kerr immediately shot and just beat the buzzer to tie the game.
“Zoe is an amazing player,” said Gaieski. “She is an individual who wants the ball when we need a big play.
“We called a timeout with 2.8 seconds on the clock. We went over a plan on how we were going to score. Zoe made an amazing pass to Jenna, who beat the defender on her back to finish the ball for a far post hip shot. It was one of the most amazing plays I have ever seen in a girls’ lacrosse game.
“Many fans told me that they thought the game was over and that there was no way we could pull off a shot in 2.8 seconds. I am just lucky to have a group of girls who will just go for it.
“This brought us into sudden death overtime. The first two sudden death OTs remained scoreless when finally Zoe drove to goal dodging two defenders to finish off the game winning goal with 1:13 remaining.”
Marriotts Ridge is a major contender for a 3A-2A state title, but Gaieski is not looking ahead.
“As for the post season, we know that it is anyone’s game,” she said. “We can’t take any team lightly at this point. This team is a special group however.
“They have this don’t-quit attitude. When there is pressure they make amazing things happen. I am looking forward to the playoffs to see what we can make happen.”
The TopLaxRecruits North America Girls’ Rankings
1. McDonogh School, Md. (17-0) Prev: No. 1
2. Moorestown, N.J. (12-0) Prev: No. 3
3. Garden City N.Y. (9-0) Prev: No. 4
4. St. Anthony’s, N.Y. (9-1) Prev: No. 11
5. St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes, Va. (19-1) Prev: No. 2
6. Marriotts Ridge, Md. (12-0) Prev: No. 8
7. Georgetown Visitation, D.C. (14-1) Prev: No. 5
8. West Genesee, N.Y. (10-0) Prev: No. 9
9. Mt. Sinai, N.Y. (10-0) Prev: No. 10
10. Mt. Hebron, Md. (10-2) Prev: No. 6
11. Bay Shore, N.Y. (10-1) Prev: No. 7
12. Harriton, Pa. (12-1) Prev: No. 13
13. Manhasset, N.Y. (8-2) Prev: No. 12
14. St. Paul’s School, Md. (11-3) Prev: No. 14
15 Bryn Mawr, Md. (10-4) Prev: No. 15
16. C.M. Wright, Md. (11-1), Prev: No. 16
17. Century, Md. (10-1) Prev: No. 17
18. Darien, CT (8-1) Prev: NR
19. Conestoga, Pa. (11-2) Prev: No. 18
20. Vero Beach, Fla. (17-4) Prev: No. 20
Under Consideration: Amador Valley, CA. (15-1); Carondelet, Ca., (13-3); Cherry Creek, Co. (11-1); Farmingdale, N.Y. (8-1), Maryvale Prep, Md. (10-3); Milton, Ga. (12-3-1); New Canaan, Ct. (8-1), Sayville, N.Y. (10-2); Ward Melville, N.Y. (9-3); Westwood, Mass. (9-0), West Islip, N.Y. (10-2)