SMITHSBURG — Cheryl Dietrich couldn’t ask for much more after the Smithsburg girls lacrosse team’s opening game.
Other than a victory, that is.
The Leopards literally went to the limits but fell one whistle — and one goal — short. Lauren Bonanno scored on a direct shot 30 seconds into the second overtime session for a 12-11 sudden-victory loss to Tuscarora.
“What a game,” Dietrich said. “I’m proud of my girls. They played an awesome game and stuck with it to the end. We stayed with them shot for shot. It all came down to a penalty.”
And it took that stoppage in play to decide the winner.
Smithsburg was called for a foul in front of its net, giving Bonanno an open lane to the goal on the restart. On the whistle, Bonanno charged Smithsburg goalie Danielle Harbaugh.
Bonanno bounced the shot between Harbaugh’s legs for the goal to start the Titans’ celebration.
“When it comes down to one-on-one like that, it is really a different story,” Dietrich said.
The final goal was a tough ending for Harbaugh and the Leopards (0-1). Taylor Cline led Smithsburg’s offense with eight goals, including one off a direct shot of her own with 32 seconds remaining in the first overtime.
Harbaugh, who finished with 15 saves, smothered Tuscarora’s offense early, allowing the Leopards to take a 4-1 lead, three of the goals by Cline.
But after a timeout, the Titans decided to attack strongly with waist-high shots to get back into the game.
Tuscarora owned a 5-4 lead at the half as the two teams traded advantages. Smithsburg scored four straight goals in a 4:22 span — two each by Cline and Nadya Gutierrez — for a 9-7 lead with 14:05 remaining in regulation.
Tuscarora came back and got a goal from Jamie Nicholson with 11 seconds remaining for a 10-10 tie to force overtime.
Brianna Shaw scored with 55 seconds remaining in the first of two, 3-minute overtime periods to give the Titans a lead until Cline countered to force the sudden-victory session.
Gutierrez finished with two goals and Emily Steward scored once for Smithsburg.
It wasn’t a perfect opener, but it was pretty good by Dietrich’s standards.
“We kind of had opening-game jitters,” Dietrich said. “Now that we have gone through this first game, we can really get things going.”