Girls Lacrosse: Potomac Falls Survives Late Stone Bridge Rally To Claim Loudoun Group Championship

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By Michael Pittinger
LoCoSports Staff Writer
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Sterling (May 21, 2016) — The biggest excitement in any sport is to win a championship and the Potomac Falls Panthers girls lacrosse team did just that. The Panthers beat defending VHSL 5A state champion Stone Bridge 14-12 in the Loudoun Group Championship held at Park View High School on May 19.  

Potomac Falls was determined to win from the opening faceoff of the game.  Panther senior Sydney Knego scored just 24 seconds into the first half – it was the first of eight goals for the senior.  Kengos’s first goal was also the first of six straight goals for Potomac Falls.

“Sydney Knego and Tori Birks are the two big difference makers on the team,” Potomac Falls head coach Jim Birks said.  “The two of them are a big part of our team, but if I had to pick a player it is certainly Sydney who is doing a great job for us.”

GloveStix Banner AdAfter the sixth unanswered goal by the Panthers at the 15:06 mark of the first half, Stone Bridge called a timeout.  The Bulldogs came out of the timeout reenergized.

Stone Bridge junior Maria Keener scored # goals in the Bulldogs Loudoun Group loss to Potomac Falls on May 19. Full photo gallery by Michael Pittinger!

Stone Bridge junior Maria Keener scored six goals in the Bulldogs Loudoun Group loss to Potomac Falls on May 19. Full photo gallery by Michael Pittinger!

Stone Bridge finally found the back of the net at the 11:30 mark of the first half when junior Maria Keener scored — one of her six goals on the night.  This helped the Bulldogs outscore the Panthers 7-3 in the final 15:06 of the first half.  The scoring run for Stone Bridge got them within two goals at the half, Potomac Falls led 9-7.

“I think the girls needed to calm down, that’s what we talked to them about,” Birks said. “We told them to just maintain their composure because sometimes in big games people make them into a bigger deal than they should be because it’s a just another game.”

The halftime adjustments by Potomac Falls showed up early in the second half when Knego scored 28 seconds into the second half- her sixth goal of the game.  The two teams traded goals for most of the second half.

Potomac Falls junior Kelsey Curl helped senior Sydney Knego and the Lady Panthers start the Loudoun Group championship on a 6-0 run. Full photo gallery by Michael Pittinger!

Potomac Falls junior Kelsey Curl helped senior Sydney Knego and the Lady Panthers start the Loudoun Group championship on a 6-0 run. Full photo gallery by Michael Pittinger!

Eventually Potomac Falls led by four goals with less than two minutes left in the game. The Bulldogs, however, wouldn’t go down quietly. Stone Bridge scored two goals in the final 67 seconds of the game, but the Panthers were able to hold on to secure the Loudoun Group championship.

“We did the best we could to calm them down, but this wasn’t our best game because we made a number of mistakes,” Birks said.  “Thankfully we had the lead that we had and we were able to hold on to it.”

Both teams are looking forward to moving on to the VHSL 5A North zone tournament and hope to accomplish even more.

“We just want to continue to win,” Birks said. “Hopefully, we can get a lead like we had on this team, but next time keep the lead as broad as it could be.”

Scoring:
1H 24:36 PF Sydney Knego                                                                                                         1H21:58 PF Sydney Knego
1H 21:24 PF Sydney Knego
1H 20:15 PF Kelsey Curl
1H 19:40 PF Sydney Knego
1H 15:06 PF Sydney Knego
1H 11:30 SB  Maria Keener
1H 10:56 PF Kelsey Curl
1H 8:22 SB Amy Thompson
1H 6:56 SB Maria Keener
1H 5:10 PF Maya Thompson
1H 4:53 SB Maria Keener
1H 2:58 SB Amy Thompson
1H 1:49 SB Maria Keener
1H 1:20 PF Tori Birks
1H 0:08 SB Morgan Salvato
2H 24:32 PF Sydney Knego
2H 20:17 PF Katelynn Wood
2H 17:51 SB Cara Hawkins
2H 17:37 SB Annie Ellis
2H 10:04 PF Sydney Knego
2H 7:45 PF Sydney Knego
2H 5:45 SB Maria Keener
2H 4:38 PF Kelsey Curl
2H 1:07 SB Morgan Salvato
2H 0:19 SB Maria Keener

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About Author

Michael Pittinger is a native of Loudoun County, having graduated from Park View High School. While at Park View, Michael was a member of the baseball and basketball teams. After graduation, he stayed around and started to help coach basketball and baseball for three years at Park View. In 2017, he joined the Riverside boys basketball coaching staff. Michael works full-time for Loudoun County Parks, Recreations, and Community Services.

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