By Nelson Coffin
Quai Skeete Ridley “only” tied a St. Vincent Pallotti single-season goal-scoring school record on Saturday.
Yet the final goal of her outstanding lacrosse career will undoubtedly be a cherished memory for the Howard University commit, seeing as how it came just 11 seconds into overtime of the C Conference championship game against top-seeded Concordia Prep on Saturday at Gerstell Academy in Finksburg.
It also came moments after a similar free-position shot by the Panther star midfielder was saved by Saints freshman goalie Brooke Meyer with 10 seconds remaining in regulation.
Skeete Ridley went low again on her second attempt, and it zipped past Meyer on her off-stick side to give the Panthers a thrilling 8-7 triumph on her game-high sixth goal of the game.
“I knew she (Meyer) was good low,” Skeete Ridley said. “I was thinking too much.”
In OT, Skeete Ridley grabbed the ball off the draw and went headlong to the goal before being fouled.
Her goal completed a terrific comeback in which the Panthers finished the game on a 7-2 run.
Riding a 16-game winning streak entering the fray, Concordia Prep came out strong and bolted to a 5-1 lead with 8:03 left in the first half.
Both squads felt worthy of being crowned champs, considering that they both finished at the top of their respective divisions — Pallotti (17-3) in the Gold Division and the Saints (16-2) in the Red Division.
Skeete Ridley gave Pallotti an early 1-0 advantage in the contest before Concordia Prep countered with a 5-0 run on two goals each by sophomore attacker Kelsey King and junior midfielder Sam Lassahn and one by senior attacker Sarah Franker.
Senior attacker Jayda Robertson and Skeete Ridley made it 5-3 before freshman attacker Madelaine Godat converted a feed from Sam Lassahn to give Concordia Prep a 6-3 halftime bulge.
In the second period, it was the Panthers’ turn to make something happen behind Skeete Ridley, who scored three goals and assisted on another by sophomore midfielder Ally Miller in a 4-1 run that knotted the score at 7-7 with just under 10 minutes remaining in regulation.
After that, the Saints held the ball in hopes of taking the last shot before Pallotti regained possession on a turnover.
That’s when Meyer came up big and stuffed Skeete Ridley, who had the last laugh a few moments later.
“We knew that they were going to try to stall it out and take the last shot,” Pallotti coach Mark Mozier said. “They did the same thing the last time we played, so we were prepared for it. We waited for them to make a mistake. We were very confident coming into the game. They did well to hold us (for the first time this season) under 10 goals.”