Baseball legend Yogi Berra said it best, “It was like déjà vu, all over again.”
For the second time in four days, Fort Mill sophomore Kirsten Terry came up with the game winner for the Lady Jackets in overtime, carrying them to their first girls state lacrosse title, 12-11 over J.L. Mann at White Knoll High School.
“It was more than we expected,” said Fort Mill coach Nicol Morris. “I’m exhausted and exhilarated.”
Terry, who scored the game winner in the Lower State championship against Wando, did the same thing, this time with nine seconds left as Fort Mill edged out the Upper State champions.
Fort Mill struggled in the first half, missing passes, dropping balls and losing ground balls, which led to them trailing 7-4 at the half.
“Going into the half, we were nervous,” Terry said. “We knew we needed to play more as a team.”
Terry and senior Mady Katz led Fort Mill with four goals each as the Lady Jackets trailed for the majority of the game, never holding a lead until 7:48 to go in the second half.
Morris said she knew that both Katz and Terry would shift into another gear with the game on the line.
“They are our leaders,” she said. “They always have been.”
Katz and Terry accounted for five of the Lady Jackets’ eight goals in the second half and overtime.
With the game tied at 10 to start overtime, Katz scored one minute into the extra period to give Fort Mill an 11-10 lead.
J.L. Mann played it safe and paced themselves before tying the game at 11 with just over 3:30 left.
As both teams fought for ground balls and struggled to get into a position to score, the last 3:30 quickly ran off the clock with Fort Mill being in the right place to set Terry up for the game winner.
Trailing 7-4 at the half, Fort Mill came out in the second half and scored two quick goals from senior Dori Wilson and junior Victoria Richardson to climb back into the game.
However, J.L. Mann once again took a two-goal lead as junior Tanner Rumney scored with about 19 minutes left in the game to give the Lady Patriots an 8-6 lead.
From there Fort Mill had to find a way to keep their heads up.
They did so as Katz and Terry each scored goals to tie the game at eight with just over 10 minutes left.
“J.L. Mann came out and played great,” said Katz.
The Lady Jackets took their first lead at 7:48 in the second half, as another Katz’s goal put them up 9-8.
“They had a girl stick on me the whole game and they played to our weaknesses,” Katz said. “But this is what we have worked for. … I am sad it’s over, but I’m so excited.”
Fort Mill looked like they had put the game away with about 90 seconds to go when sophomore Claire Frase scored to give the Lady Jackets a 10-9 lead, but the lead and jubilation from the Fort Mill crowd was quickly deflated as J.L. Mann scored just 10 seconds after Frase’s goal to tie the game and send it into overtime.
Fort Mill 12, J.L. Mann 11 (OT)
Goals: J.L. Mann – Tanner Rumney 3, Caitlan Walsh 3, Salley Carson 2, Meghan Lovine 1, Ellen Stahlman 1, Emma Anderson 1; Fort Mill – Kirsten Terry 4, Mady Katz 4, Claire Frase 1, Victoria Richardson 1, Dori Wilson 1, Taylor Chambers 1.
Shots on Goal: J.L. Mann 22, Fort Mill 27
Saves: Paige Elder 15 (J.L. Mann), Rosalie Hawkins 6 (Fort Mill).
Records: J.L. Mann 15-6, Fort Mill 15-2.