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Marriotts Ridge boys lacrosse says goodbye to 'amazing' senior class after deepest postseason run in six years

May 20—Marriotts Ridge boys lacrosse wanted to face Severna Park in the Class 3A state semifinals. The Mustangs didn't shy away from the challenge of taking on the high-octane and seven-time defending state champion Falcons.

The teams met during the regular season and Severna Park dominated in a 16-4 win. Marriotts Ridge, and particularly the program's seniors, wanted another opportunity after coming out flat in the first meeting.

That showed as the Mustangs played with fearlessness and high intensity from the opening whistle. They trailed by one at halftime, but a strong Severna Park surge in the third quarter made the difference in the Falcons' 10-7 win. Mustangs coach Matthew Richter said he was proud of how hard his group played.

While the Mustangs' season comes to an end, the program made its deepest postseason run since 2018. Marriotts Ridge's seniors played an integral part in that journey that includes the Howard County championship last year and a regional title this season.

In Richter's second season leading the Mustangs, they've grown alongside one another.

"This senior group has been everything for this program," Richter said. "They've been great leaders. They've been the ones putting the time in. They're all great friends off the field. They play a lot together, but it's been huge. They brought our young guys up. Eight of our 10 starters are seniors and then we have two that play a lot. So, we have a lot of seniors that have contributed throughout the year."

Since taking over, Richter has emphasized the importance of the little things, something the seniors have particularly bought into both on and off the field. Saturday afternoon, Marriotts Ridge's seniors once again led the charge.

Senior goalie Ian Murphy stopped 14 shots, including several from right on the doorstep. Senior midfielder Quinn Jenkins netted a hat trick and added two assists, showcasing his dynamic speed and athleticism. Several other seniors including, attackman Michael Machiran and defenders Jackson Komin and Robert Page, delivered valuable contributions.

"We preached the message through the whole playoffs, 'You don't want to wake up tomorrow morning and say I could have done something else during the game,'" Richter said. "We don't want them to wake up or be around the next day and regret not giving everything they had on the field."

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While those seniors are departing the program, Richter hopes they've set a foundation for hard work moving forward. After the game, he and the Mustangs' three assistant coaches thanked them for their efforts. Each also referenced that this senior group exemplifies not only the value of hard work, but the challenge it takes to reach the state semifinals.

"The big thing is just for them to realize how hard it is to get to a state championship game," Richter said of what he wants the underclassmen to take away. "How hard it is to win. We talked about it last year; we talked about it this year. Sometimes you can do everything right and something can still go the wrong way. All the pregame preparation and all the work in the offseason you can do right and sometimes the ball just rolls the wrong way. It's good to realize how hard it is to win."

After each coach spoke, Murphy, the backbone of the Mustangs' defense, delivered his message. He began by sharing what a pleasure it's been sharing the field with his fellow seniors the past four years. The goalkeeper then reiterated to the underclassmen the importance of hard work both in and out of the season.

Murphy's remarks preceded Marriotts Ridge's final team huddle. Despite the sadness after the loss, the Mustangs jointly said, "Mustangs on three, family on six." Then, many members of the senior class shared warm embraces with one another and the coaches, reflecting on the collective growth they've shared over the past four years.

"They fight, they're scrappers," Richter said. "They gave us more than what they have. They've been amazing for our program and as we move forward we're going to miss those guys and we're going to be very thankful for all that they did for us on and off the field."