Arnold, Md. – No. 1 ranked Harford women's lacrosse team claimed its first NJCAA National Championship in program history on Sunday, defeating No. 3 Anne Arundel Riverhawks, 22-12, at Anne Arundel's Siegert Field.
After a career high 12 goals against Onondaga on Saturday, Sarah Dudick led the Fighting Owls on offense with eight goals and was named Offensive Tournament MVP. The Harford freshman also snapped the single season program record for most goals in a season, finishing with 75.
Freshman goalkeeper Amanda Cliffe was named the Defensive MVP of the tournament, making 21 saves across two games. Cliffe and the Fighting Owls held Anne Arundel scoreless for the final six minutes of the contest.
Harford got out to a fast start and never looked back, scoring 14 goals in the first half. Keeley McHugh netted all five of her goals in the opening 30 minutes to lead the Fighting Owls during this stretch.
Anne Arundel looked better in the second half, but Harford's defense forced the Riverhawks to settle for small two-goal bursts before the Fighting Owls retaliated by scoring one of their own. Three straight draw control wins and a 3-0 scoring run to end the game sealed the victory for Harford.
The Fighting Owls finish 2019 with a 14-1 record, the best in program history. Anne Arundel ends the year at 11-4.
Head Coach Nikki Murphy
"After the loss to Anne Arundel in the Region 20 finals, the coaching staff came in and pushed the girls in all aspects. The team bought into it and came in super focused this weekend. As a team, we prepared very hard, came together as a family this week and got it done. Everything that has happened this season was meant to be and it's all a part of our story."
Harford Goals: Sarah Dudick (8); Keeley McHugh (5); Beth Bishop(2); Sammy DeCarlo (2); Julianna Andrus (2); Paige Graff (2);Mckenzie Souder (1)
Harford Assists: McHugh (2), Bishop (1), DeCarlo (1), Dudick (1), Graff (1), Souder (1)
Anne Arundel Goals: Natalie Sonntag (4); Jordan Snyder (3); Bridgette Tayman (3); Jessica Grusholt (1); Lacey Hinkle (1)
Anne Arundel Assists: Hamelryck (1), Sonntag (1)
W: Amanda Cliffe (14-1)
L: Sarah Healy (11-4)
- Sarah Dudick, Keeley McHugh, Samantha DeCarlo and Amanda Cliffe were named to the All-Tournament team.
- Head Coach Nikki Murphy was named Outstanding Coach of the Tournament.
- Dudick's 75 goals are the most by any NJCAA player since 2012.
- Six Fighting Owls finished with two caused turnovers.
- DeCarlo, Rachel Wilson and Caroline Abbott each tallied four ground balls.
- Seven Fighting Owls scored in the win.
- Harford outshot Anne Arundel, 46-28.
- Sarah Dudick led Harford with three draw control wins.
* Article provided courtesy of Adam Fornwalt and Harford Athletics